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2009 TV Shows Reviews

Mental / TV Show Reviews

Mental

From the opening moments we're led to believe that Mental will be House in a psychiatric setting and that's pretty much it. Naturally the series opens with a shocking moment - don't they all? - meant to show you just how far our protagonist is willing to go to prove he's not your typical shrink.

Chris Vance (Prison Break) plays Dr. Jack Gallagher, the new, brash, young head of the psych ward at an LA hospital, a rebel who shakes things up by clashing with the status quo and knocking heads with the powers that be, a highly unorthodox crusader crashing head on with the outdated notions of patient care that shackle the creative - oh hell, you get the idea.

Tony Soprano's psycho car dealer girlfriend Annabella Sciorra is back for another series try, this time she's on the right side of sanity as a hospital administrator who stands staunchly on the wrong side of the new director's far-out methods.

The entire cast is a hodgepodge of vaguely familiar faces, Nicholas Gonzalez (The O.C.), Derek Webster (K-Ville), and Jacqueline McKenzie (The 4400) handle their roles with solid competence. No complaints here.

Some scenes just write themselves like the "how dare you interfere with my course of treatment" speech that inevitably comes when Doctor Jack throws a poolside party for the loonies on his first day (I'm not making value judgments on the mentally ill here, these patients are seriously nuts). In fact, most of the scenes putter along on auto-pilot with a been-there-done-that assuredness.

Whether audiences will flock to ER without the blunt force trauma is anyone's guess but the situations here are no less compelling. In fact, I'll take Mental over any hospital drama I've seen other than maybe House which it blatantly mimics. That said, I've never been a fan of the genre mainly because the ironic character associations and miraculous recoveries that inevitably come about ring hollow to me.

In short, nothing ground-breaking here but a pleasant enough diversion depending on what level of meds you're on.

Mental debuts Tuesday, May 26th at 9:00pm EST on FOX.

Here's a preview:


2009 TV Shows Reviews
The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi

Which Way Home

Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech

Jesse James Is A Dead Man

Important Things With Demetri Martin

Lie To Me

24 - Season 7

Taxicab Confessions: New York 3

By The People: The Election of Barack Obama

The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant

Youth Knows No Pain

Nine Lives of Marion Barry

Boy Interrupted

Teddy: In His Own Words

Prom Night in Mississippi

Teddy: In His Own Words

Mental

Reno 911 Seaon 6

Death on a Factory Farm

Dollhouse

Hell's Kitchen Season 5

Cat Dancers

Simpsons Treehouse of Horror

Chocolate City

Sarah Silverman Program

House - Season 5

Bones - Season 4

Real Vice Cops Uncut

Kung Fu Killer

The Gong Show

Reality Bites Back

Ganja Queen

Hard Times at Douglass High

Roman Polanski:
Wanted and Desired

Carlos Mencia - Performance Enhanced

Unhitched

DEA

A Colbert Christmas

24: Redemption

Sunday Night Animation Domination

Do Not Disturb

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Season 2

Prison Break Season 4

Fringe

Kitchen Nightmares 2008

S.I.S.

Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal

Thank You Mr. President - Helen Thomas At The White House

Big Ideas

Factory

The Academy: LASD Class #368

John Oliver: Terrifying Times


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