What to watch on TV this week

Will Ferrell as Marty in The Shrink Next Door

Will Ferrell as Marty in The Shrink Next Door - Credit: Apple TV

The Shrink Next Door, streaming on Apple TV now 

This story, of how one man took over the life of another over the course of three decades, is quite honestly almost too unbelievable to be true. 

Alongside other eager listeners, I devoured every single episode of podcast The Shrink Next Door, stunned not only at the length and breadth of the deceit, but by its perpetuator’s absolute insistence he’s done nothing wrong. 

The birth of The Shrink Next Door began in the Hamptons, when journalist Joe Nocera discovered that the New York-based therapist living it up in the neighbouring house was in actual fact therapist to Marty Markowitz – owner of said house, and assumed to be its groundsman! Treated as a lackey, waiting on guests and doing yard work, there was little to give away the truth beneath the dirty overalls. 

Paul Rudd plays therapist, Ike, in The Shrink Next Door

Paul Rudd plays therapist, Ike, in The Shrink Next Door - Credit: Apple TV

Kathryn Hahn as Phyllis in The Shrink Next Door

Kathryn Hahn as Phyllis in The Shrink Next Door - Credit: Apple TV

As any intrepid journo would, Joe picked up the scent for what would turn out to be an incredible story, and put the groundwork in for 2019’s Wondery and Bloomberg Media audio hit – one surely destined for the big screen. 

And Apple TV (which is cracking out some superb telly, albeit at a slower pace than the likes of Netflix) really has done justice to the tale, telling it in short, 30 minutes bursts. 

The Shrink Next Door begins in the late 80s in the Markowitz family fabric factory. Marty (one of very few straight acting roles in Will Ferrell’s career) can barely cope with the responsibility of the business, having picked up the mantel from his deceased parents. And he’s agitated by his flighty, dominating, but ultimately loveable sister Phyllis (Kathryn Hahn).  

Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd in The Shrink Next Door

Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd in The Shrink Next Door - Credit: Apple TV

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At one point, Marty is so overwhelmed by a client he drops to the floor, quivering behind a curtain in angst. There’s only one solution says Phyllis. A shrink’s in order. And she knows just the one. Ike Herschkopf – recommended by someone at her Temple. 

Marty's having none of it. But as the panic attacks grow in volume (his ex is hassling him for a free trip to Mexico), Marty yields, ending up in Ike’s leafy office. 

Like the most notorious cult leaders, Ike is charismatic, he’s charming, he’s good-looking, he knows people. Ike holds up pictures of himself hanging out with celebs. He helps Marty plan the bar mitzvah he never enjoyed as a 13-year-old. Gets him work with a huge Broadway client.  

And, once he hears of the Hamptons house, the trusts, the jewels, latches on to Marty, picking off friends and family one by one, worming his way into every crevice of his life until it’s hard to know where Marty ends and Ike begins...until Marty himself no longer knows who he is. 

Gripping stuff, and a must watch for fans of Dirty John and The Crypto Queen. 

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Jason Sudeikis is the host for the latest edition of the hit late-night comedy show, with musical gu

SNL guest Brandi Carlile - Credit: Will Heath/NBC

Saturday Night Live, available on the Peacock channel on Sky and NOW TV 

It’s the show that helped launch the careers of some comedy’s biggest and best, propelling them into stardom and ultimately turning them into household names.  

Think Steve Martin, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Andy Samberg, Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, and Tina Fey to name a very select few.  

And now, Saturday Night Live is finally available to watch on British television. Hallelujah!  

For anyone who’s never seen it (and even if you haven’t, you’ll definitely have heard it referenced in day-to-day life or pop culture at some point), Saturday Night Live is a long-running US comedy sketch show that has aired on NBC since 1975. Created by Lorne Michaels, it’s currently in its 47th season.  

The premise is simple - a variety of regularly-changing cast members perform sketches and skits in front of a live studio audience.  

And as the name suggests, the show comes on every Saturday night, so a lot of the sketches are written earlier that week, making the show extremely topical and current.  

The skits during the last US election were some of my favourite (who could forget Alec Baldwin and Jim Carrey playing Trump and Biden respectively, absolutely nailing those impressions with ease).   

SNL’s 47th season first aired on October 2, and so far has featured Owen Wilson, Kim Kardashian West, Rami Malek, Jason Sudeikis, Kieran Culkin, and Jonathan Majors taking it in turn each week to host the show, alongside acting in a number of the sketches. And Suffolk’s very own Ed Sheeran was even the musical guest just the week before last! 

And while a lot of critics and die-hard SNL fans think the show has long surpassed its ‘golden era’, I’ve genuinely loved the last few seasons - and the likes of Pete Davidson, Chloe Fineman, Kenan Thompson, and Cecily Strong all bring the laughs week in, week out. 

Saturday Night Live’s current season is, at the time of writing, six episodes in, and can be watched on-demand on Peacock on Sky and NOW TV.  

But if you’re feeling extra nostalgic, SNL’s Youtube channel is full of clips from years’ gone by. It’s fascinating to watch skits from the 80s, 90s and 00s, seeing some of the aforementioned actors in some of their earlier roles, and how they’ve progressed over the years. 

Danielle Lett 

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