Mental With House , Lie to Me , and now Mental , the Fox network is in serious danger of OD'ing on British actors playing rule-breaking… Mental With House , Lie to Me , and now Mental , the Fox network is in serious danger of OD'ing on British actors playing rule-breaking… 2009-05-26 Drama Chris Vance Annabella Sciorra Fox
TV Review

Mental (2009)

PSYCH OUT: Annabella Sciorra and Chris Vance's show has problems Prozac can't help
Image credit: FOX
PSYCH OUT: Annabella Sciorra and Chris Vance's show has problems Prozac can't help
EW's GRADE
C

Details Start Date: May 26, 2009; Genre: Drama; With: Chris Vance; Network: Fox

With House, Lie to Me, and now Mental, the Fox network is in serious danger of OD'ing on British actors playing rule-breaking wise-guy doctors. In this latest variation, Prison Break's Chris Vance plays Dr. Jack Gallagher, newly appointed psychiatric director for an L.A. hospital. We know he's a rebel because in the first scene, he deals with a naked, agitated, threatening patient by stripping naked himself to win the fellow over. His ploy works — though Dr. Jack is considerably raising the stakes on his new employees for casual-dress Fridays.

Sure enough, the hospital's hotsy redheaded psychiatrist (Jacqueline McKenzie) threatens to resign, though she says it's because she didn't get Gallagher's job. Annabella Sciorra, as Gallagher's boss, has already seen our hero's privates: They used to be lovers. But she says she hired him because he's a good doctor, not because of his privates. Paging Kate Walsh, stat!

Mental's plots are trite and secondary to establishing Gallagher as a policy-defying Brit who says ''Bang on!'' to express enthusiasm. He spends so much time on Naked Guy's case — at one point breaking into the house where the man once lived, only to be arrested (''I was making a house call'': har-har) — that you think, this guy is the most inefficient hospital administrator imaginable.

Mental's creators, Deborah Joy LeVine and Dan Levine (both once of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), probably didn't intend for me to side with Hotsy Redheaded Psychiatrist in feeling Sciorra's administrator has made a terrible mistake hiring this genial lout. But I do. C

Sign up for EW.com's What to Watch Newsletter!

What to watch on TV. Hear what's on tap for the night ahead and get witty, morning after recaps of top shows (sent weekday mornings).
Originally posted May 20, 2009 Published in issue #1049 May 29, 2009 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners