Wednesday, June 03, 2009

PTR Goes 'Mental'

With this post, I am officially adding the new Fox drama Mental to the PTR summer line-up. I watched the premiere last week and was a little iffy about it, but this week's stellar outing rocketed the show into the line-up. I'll admit that I first tuned in for star Jacqueline McKenzie. I loved her on The 4400 and was so pi$$ed when USA Network canceled that series, and I'm pretty sure that her performance in the little Australian film Angel Baby is one of the finest (if not, THE finest) pieces of acting that I have ever seen. Needless to say, I'm so glad to see her back on my TV screen and in another leading role. They didn't do much with the development of her character in the premiere, but they sure made up for it this week! She has been cheating on cutey-patootie husband with a fellow doctor in the staff lounge (p.s. I wonder how much nookie actually takes place in real staff lounges at hospitals? I only ask because ever freakin' hospital show since the dawn of time seems to have characters gettin' it on in there like it's some sort of epidemic in hospitals across the country!). I have to say, I was pretty shocked when they dropped this bomb. Veronica seems so straight-laced, so serious and so by-the-book that I wasn't expecting it. I did notice that she was quite cold toward her musician husband and his apparent lack of motivation, but I kinda dismissed it as one of those "sore subjects" between couples. I really thought she was going to come clean at the end in the car, but she kept quiet.

This week's psychiatric case had me swinging back and forth. At first, I thought it was all the wife and then the OB/GYN husband showed up and insisted that his wife was pregnant. So, I figured that he was going along with his wife to keep her from getting upset, but then he just went off the charts. Before I knew it, I was so hating the husband and his manipulations. In the end, I felt sorry for him. He wanted a child so badly, he invented one and he bought into the delusion. I liked the role reversal and the way it presented the man as the one who wanted a baby with every fiber of his being. The story went against the cliches and stereotypes and reminded us that men can want a family just as much as women.

I'm also enjoying the irony in this show. We have a group of psychiatrists whose job puts them in charge of the mental and emotional states of their patients and yet, every single one of them has his/her own issues that they're not dealing with properly. From Veronica's aforementioned frustrations with her husband and subsequent affair to Jack's unresolved relationship with "Beth" and how it more than likely factored into his decision to uproot from Vermont to Los Angeles to Arturo's obsession with sleeping with Chloe to Nora's not so secret feelings for Jack to Carl's ego: everyone has something they need to work through and they choose to ignore it instead. I think Alanis Morissette said it best when she said, "Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?" Welcome to the PTR line-up, Mental!

Mental airs Tuesday nights on Fox. If you missed this week's episode, watch it for free at

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