Meet Dr. Katz. He lives with his 20-something unemployed son, has a sullenly sarcastic receptionist who occasionally finds the time to work for him and a therapy practice where he treats dozens of the finest comedic minds of the '90s. In this second season DVD of the Emmy award-winning animated series, co-creator/star Jonathan Katz hosts the likes of Joy Behar, Garry Shandling, Steven Wright, and Sandra Bernhard, all of whom show why nitpicking, phobias and neuroses make for great comedy.
In its 13 episodes, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist: Season Two shows that not much has changed in the life of mild-mannered psychologist Dr. Katz (voiced by comic actor Jonathan Katz). His grown-up, loser son, Ben (H. Jon Benjamin), continues to spend his days inching toward one or another imagined destiny, absolutely dependent on his tolerant if frustrated dad, yet resentful that the elder Katz advises him on his idiotic quests to nowhere. Meanwhile, Katz's professional life remains a succession of loony sessions with the likes of Ray Romano, Janeane Garofalo, Joy Behar, Emo Phillips, Steven Wright, and Garry Shandling. Nothing has changed about the appalling work ethic of receptionist Laura (Laura Silverman), who pilfers office supplies, ties up every phone line on personal business, and rebuffs Ben's daily efforts to impress her with one or another claim to his uniqueness.
"Bystander Ben" finds the eponymous goofball quoted in a local newspaper as a fully-identified witness to a crime. Convinced he's riding a wave of media fame, Ben misses the big picture: the yet-to-be-captured criminals can identify him. In "Real Estate," Ben considers finding an apartment of his own, leaving such minor details as a lack of income for later consideration. "Glasses" features Dr. Katz in an unusually narcissistic mode, trying to update his personal appearance with a hip pair of reading glasses that make his face look like it's in a fishbowl. "Drinky the Drunk Guy" is a very funny episode in which Ben confronts his father in the most obnoxious terms about what he perceives as Dr. Katz's drinking problem. "A Journey for the Betterment of People" and "ESP" are also great Ben-centric tales, the former concerning Ben's sudden desire to save prostitutes from a life of exploitation, and the latter about his strong belief that he suddenly has the power to read minds. ("Can you read my mind?" the disgusted Laura asks.) An excellent set. --Tom Keogh