An odd duck himself, Dr. Jack Gallagher (Chris Vance, a dead ringer for the young Harvey Keitel) directs the psychiatric services at Wharton Memorial in Los Angeles. In the pilot episode alone, he invites a patient to a staff meeting, breaks into another's home, and disrobes to put a delusional man at ease. Throughout the season, Jack continues to broach protocol in ways that particularly irk his nemesis, senior staffer Carl Belle (Derek Webster). As Gallagher tells residents Arturo (Nicholas Gonzalez) and Chloe (Marisa Ramirez), "We treat the patient, not just the disease." Because he gets results, departmental administrator Nora (Annabella Sciorra) supports his methods. Some of the more interesting cases revolve around pseudocyesis (hysterical pregnancy), folie à deux (shared psychosis), autism in a murder witness, and narcissistic personality disorder in an actor who recalls Christian Bale--and a few other A-listers. To add a little pizzazz to the scenario, delusions come to life through special effects (some better than others). End result: viewers not already acquainted with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM IV) will get a crash course.
As with most medical series, personal issues also come to the fore, in this case through Jack's search for his schizophrenic sister, the affair his colleague Veronica (The 4400's Jacqueline McKenzie) has with another doctor, and Arturo's strained relationship with his soap opera father. Notable guest stars include Samantha Eggar as Jack's mother, Sex and the City's Willie Garson as a compulsive gambler, and David Carradine as the victim of a lightning strike (in an eerie touch, his character doesn't utter a single word). Fox's attempts to market the show as House Jr. backfired as Mental met with cancellation after 13 episodes, but there's some intriguing material here, and it deserved more of a chance to find an audience. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
If you like House
, then you’ll go “Mental” for Dr. Jack Gallagher. He’s a radically unorthodox psychiatrist who takes on patients battling unknown, misunderstood and often misdiagnosed psychiatric conditions. While House treats the body…Gallagher treats the mind!
- Audio: English: 5.1 Dolby Digital
- Language: Dubbed: English / Subtitled: English, French & Spanish
- Theatrical Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 1.78:1