“Anchorman” comic talents Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd are reuniting for the dark existential therapy comedy series, “The Shrink Next Door.” The eight-episode series about the co-dependent relationship between a therapist (Rudd) and his patient (Ferrell) launches on Apple TV+ on November 12. Below, watch the first trailer for the series.
Inspired by true events and based on the 2019 podcast of the same name, “The Shrink Next Door” centers on the bizarre relationship between a psychiatrist to the stars, Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf, and his longterm patient, Martin “Marty” Markowitz. What starts as a normal doctor-patient dynamic slowly turns into the all-too-charming Ike (Rudd) taking over patient Marty’s (Ferrell) life, from moving into Marty’s home to taking over his family business. The show is written by Georgia Pritchett (“Succession,” “Avenue 5”) and directed by Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”). Showalter and Rudd previously worked together on the cult classic “Wet Hot American Summer.” Kathryn Hahn also stars as Marty’s sister, while Casey Wilson plays Ike’s wife.
The original 2019 Wondery podcast was written and hosted by Joe Nocera.
“It’s so relatable in a way — obviously it has special meaning for anyone who has done any amount of therapy,” Ferrell told Entertainment Weekly. “When we talked to [the real] Marty about this, it was a perfect storm of someone in a vulnerable place who had never really sought this type of counsel before and decided to give it a shot, and got some really effective temporary relief right out of the gate and support in a way that he’d never felt and thought, ‘Let’s keep going. I’m going to double down on this whole thing.’ And then it was the point of no return. So that whole kind of seduction of it at first, and then just the rapid ringing around the toilet bowl before you go down was the part that really jumped out to me.”
Paul Rudd added, “The idea that these characters were real people — it was a real story — but they were also interesting people and an interesting story and [it was] a different kind of character for me to play. Also [it’s] not such a crazy story that you can’t believe it happened. I mean, I just think there are other versions — it made me think of Brian Wilson and Eugene Landy when I heard the podcast.”
Rudd also said the concept brought to mind the NXVIM docu-series “The Vow.” “You hear people that are in cults and when they get deprogrammed, they don’t seem like crazy people. They just kind of get caught up in it. And I just think our brains are pretty malleable. It’s easy to be convinced of something.”