"Mental" Pilot (TV Episode 2009) Poster

(TV Series)


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Good performers, eco-friendly protagonist, inspiring alternative therapy and emotional story
igoatabase28 May 2009
A video clip from this episode convinced me to give Mental a chance. Two actors from Prison Break were cast. One plays the doctor Jack Gallagher who uses unorthodox methods and the other a patient who has hallucinations. Their first scene was a great way to introduce them to us and it should both surprise you and make you laugh.

Chris Vance's performance as Jack was quite convincing and I already like him because he looks like the guy next door. Moreover there's something genuine about his character and I would really like to learn more about his story. For instance a flashback revealed the event that convinced him to become a doctor. I also enjoyed the fact that he uses a bike to move around instead of a car, it's nice to see the producers care about the environment. It was also quite funny to see him hanging around with his wheel. Last but not least the tensions with other characters, specially female, should lead to quite twisted side stories. It leads us to Jacqueline McKenzie who plays a sexy and ambitious doctor. It was interesting to see them interact and I can't wait for their relationship to develop.

The other arc I enjoyed was the doctor Carl Belle one because it intrigued me and I think the writers will use it to cover health care and big money issues. Are all these medicines really necessary ? At times shouldn't we use alternative and natural solutions instead ? I think it's what Jack tried to do in this episode. That simple acts like drawing can be used as a therapy to cure people. Give them a goal, something to rely on. Let the patients express themselves instead of drugging their creativity.

About the patient I really enjoyed the actor's performance. In fact he already played a nutsy in Prison Break and greatly contributed to make its first season a success. But it seems we won't see anymore of him. In fact it's what worries me because I hope episodes won't be patient of the week ones. As Jack received a very weird phone call I suspect the writer will develop two arcs. One about the protagonists and an other for each episode, introducing new patients.

So overall it was quite interesting and I'm looking forward to watching the upcoming episode. Moreover I got really emotional while watching it because the performances were quite good. However I hope it won't jump the shark as Life did because at first I really liked its zen spirit but it quickly turned into a mission of the week show. The main story has to be interesting in order to keep the viewers tuned. Also I was slightly disappointed by the production quality because it really looked cheap. I suppose it's due to budget cuts but it almost looks like a really bad sitcom. The lighting was so horrible that it felt like the scenes were filmed using a high-definition mobile phone. But it's not that important and somehow I found it made them more realistic. Anyway I'm not that picky when it comes to the form because I think the contents matter the most.
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