Well, this is getting to be a trend: Just one day removed from our reporting of actor Liv Tyler departing her role in Fox television’s 911: Lone Star comes even more startling news about yet another high-profile exodus by a respected actor from a hit show: Per those glum chaps over at the revered Hollywood Reporter comes the news this morning of Alan Arkin pulling the big adieu by opting out of creator Chuck Lorre’s (Two and a Half Men) Netflix comedrama The Kominsky Method.
A commercial powerhouse for Netflix, as well as a critical comeback for its two stars, Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method hit the ground running a mere three years ago and was instantly feted as one of the most unflinchingly honest and funny ongoing series on the airwaves. The dynamic between Douglas and Arkin – who shared equal screen time – was electric and resulted in both actors receiving plaudits and award nominations from the likes of the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes in 2019. The upcoming third season was announced by Lorre and Netflix before the pandemic hit as being the final chapter in the story of Arkin’s and Douglas’ characters, making the announcement today of Arkin’s decision not to return to the show even more surprising.
Sources are reporting that Mr. Arkin’s decision was not based off of concerns about COVID (which was actually Ms. Tyler’s rationale for leaving 911: Lone Star), but rather was a personal choice the actor had apparently made sometime after the second season bowed late in 2019. For those with a scorecard handy, Netflix only announced the return of The Kominsky Method in July of this year. No mention was made at that point in time about cast shakeups, leading some prognosticating seers to question the exact timing of Arkin’s decision. The legendary actor’s departure will be addressed in the upcoming season, according to those vexingly anonymous sources.
While this writer/fanboy wishes only the best for Mr. Arkin – seriously, I’ve been a tremendous admirer of Arkin since his 1992 tour de force performance in director James Foley’s Glengarry Glen Ross – it is hard not to lament the loss of the chemistry between him and Michael Douglas and, selfishly, I wish we could have gotten that final season with the two of them present and accounted for. It’s akin to Bud Abbot of the famed Abbot and Costello comedy team showing up to perform the duo’s renowned Who’s On First routine sans Lou Costello; it’s all crackle and very little magic.
Vents wishes only the best for Alan Arkin and The Kominsky Method team.