Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Famous 'Mental' Patient

I always get a kick out of episodes about actors and Hollywood (the kick being, of course, that a Hollywood-produced show cast with actors is basically eating its own). Almost the entire hour is one big "wink, wink." This week's episode of Mental continued this tradition with a famous patient who suffered a very public breakdown while promoting his new film on a late-night talk show. Of course, his spin doctors sold the story as a publicity stunt and research for his next role (which had him playing a psych patient). The press bought it and then packed their best paparazzi lens and flashbulbs as they camped out at the hospital, stalked the doctors with relentless phone calls and savored every leak they could print (courtesy of the publicity-seeking Dr. Belle). Sure, there were plenty of "wink, wink" moments including negative comments about actors, the business and the ridiculous army of people that make up Team (insert your fave celeb's name here). Every time I see Hollywood make fun of, well, Hollywood, I'm reminded why I love my anonymous life. In fact, I'm pretty convinced that a spotlight as large as Liam McBride's could drive the most sane person into insanity. Add in his disturbing and scarring past and you have an unsettling recipe for emotional and mental disaster. Oh, and I kinda loved the fact that Jack didn't really hypnotize Liam. That was pretty awesome.

The show's best episode thus far was about the young girl whose deranged husband had convinced her that she was pregnant because the episode, a) had a patient of the week who was engaging and her story was fascinating and surprising, and b) it mixed in a compelling and startling personal story for Veronica (my fave character, which should come as no surprise since I adored Jacqueline McKenzie on The 4400). I was feeling like the show had sorta dropped the latter story line until this week. Veronica came clean to Nora. Even more interesting, though, she said, "Because I'm having an affair," not "I had an affair." When last we dropped this story line, Veronica was telling the young doc that they couldn't continue. At the end of the episode, she seemed pretty resolved to the end of the affair as she sat in the car with her cutey patootey husband and they talked about their future. Now, I want to know what happened between then and now, but we've been left in the dark. Personally, I'd like to see the show flesh out these characters a bit more. I want to feel invested in them, but right now, I don't. The patient with mental case of the week is always well developed. All we need now is to know more about the docs treating them.

Mental moves to its new night next Friday, July 3rd on Fox. If you missed this week's episode, watch it for free at

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