When you hear that Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd are going to be starring together in a film or television series, you know that you are in for some serious laughs — need we remind you of Anchorman?
The limited series is inspired by true events (and a Wondery podcast of the same name) and details the bizarre relationship between psychiatrist to the stars, Dr Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf (played by Rudd), and his longtime patient, Martin “Marty” Markowitz (played by Ferrell).
Over the course of their relationship, the all-too-charming Ike slowly inserts himself into Marty’s life, even moving into Marty’s Hamptons home and persuading Marty to name him president of the family business. The series explores how a seemingly normal doctor-patient dynamic morphs into an exploitative relationship filled with manipulation, power grabs, and dysfunction at its finest.
The series also stars WandaVision‘s Kathryn Hahn as ‘Phyllis,’ Marty’s younger sister, and Happy Endings star Casey Wilson as ‘Bonnie’, the wife of Dr Herschkopf.
Ferrell and Rudd also serve as executive producers on the project and have each spoken about what attracted them to the very unique series, to begin with.
“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,” Rudd told Entertainment Weekly. “Also [it’s] not such a crazy story that you can’t believe it happened.
“It’s so relatable in a way — obviously it has special meaning for anyone who has done any amount of therapy,” Ferrell said. “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.”
Rudd noted to Entertainment Weekly that Ike and Marty were “two guys who needed each other for different reasons” while Ferrell delved a little deeper into the unusual relationship between the two men.
“There are some elements of it that really mirror a love story in the classic sense, between two people who really, at certain points in time, meant so much to each other,” he said. “And then in a negative sense, as some relationships go, there was a terrible codependency there that was obviously pretty debilitating to one party more than the other.
“But if I would sum it up, it’s kind of a combination of Thelma and Louise meet Butch and Sundance meet Turner and Hooch.”
If you are now thoroughly intrigued by the series, we do have one piece of bad news for you — The Shrink Next Door won’t debut on Apple TV+ until Friday, November 12, 2021, but never fear: the streaming platform has released a teaser trailer to tide you over.
Failing that, the time is always right to re-watch Anchorman to see these two comedy legends united on screen.