How does one end up in a cult? It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at some point. How does someone end up entirely under the sway of another person’s will? The Shrink Next Door can’t answer that question for everyone, but it can answer it for Marty Markowitz, a successful but anxiety-ridden new york businessman who ended up in the thrall of his psychiatrist for nearly thirty years.
As with many shows that are based on real-life, the story is almost too much to be believed. Markowitz (played by Will Ferrell), struggling with his business and an ex-girlfriend, seeks therapy from Dr Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf (Paul Rudd). Herschkopf’s methods immediately stand out as skirting the line of professional ethics –he literally tells off the ex-girlfriend, in person, while Marty stands there nearly helpless– but Marty is enamoured. “People take advantage of you,” Herschkopf says, “but not anymore. I am going to take care of you.”
It wouldn’t be a series of things didn’t get weird. These eight episodes of television chronicle just how deeply Herschkopf ingratiated himself into Marty’s life, and serve to showcase excellent performances from stars Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell.