Vincent, the paranoid schizophrenic artist who draws little green men and has visual hallucinations [not the more typical auditory sort], was found screaming and wandering naked in traffic.
The summer replacement series with the un-PC name1 is about life in a psychiatric inpatient unit:
MENTAL is a medical mystery drama featuring Dr. Jack Gallagher, a radically unorthodox psychiatrist who becomes Director of Mental Health Services at a Los Angeles hospital where he takes on patients battling unknown, misunderstood and often misdiagnosed psychiatric conditions. Gallagher delves inside their minds to gain a true understanding of who his patients are, allowing him to uncover what might be the key to their long-term recovery.Unfortunately, the pilot episode was absolutely terrible, just one stereotype after another, with the brave unorthodox heroic psychiatrist opposing the shrew-like female staff and suggesting that herbs and acupuncture are the best treatment for paranoid schizophrenia.
Vincent the mental patient is unnaturally strong and cannot be subdued by several cops and hospital administrators. So the rakish Dr. Gallagher strips naked to gain his trust as a fellow human, joined together in the fight against the scary lizard people.
The acting was bad, the writing was awful, and the characters were unappealing. The situations were wildly unrealistic: psychiatry residents are sent on a house call (fact-finding mission), Gallagher is arrested for breaking into Vincent's home to see his outsider art, and the inexplicable charisma of Gallagher and his ways manages to change the mind of one female colleague who had actually resigned in protest (no matter that her turnaround was nearly nonsensical).
After breaking and entering, Dr. Gallagher views his patient's outsider art for the first time. The tortured artist Vincent had completely lost his creativity due to zombifying antipsychotic medications that, nonetheless, allowed him to function in society and live with his sister and her kids.
The show makes the unfortunate suggestion that drugs are all bad.2 Gallagher guilt-trips the sister into accepting his new-age treatment plan for Vincent, who otherwise must make the ultimate sacrifice (loss of his artistic abilities, minimal though they are) of resuming medication.
And here's the drug-free Vincent, drawing for the first time in ages while his sister looks on.
Other choice critiques (via @blueberrio):
- Nearly every line contained a stereotype, and many were damaging stereotypes. Unrealistic to the point of stigmatizing
- I'll bet NAMI's Stigma Busters are all over #mental [not yet]
- I was especially offended by the "nymphomaniac" elderly woman. Having sexual desires over age 65 is grounds for committal?
- i think they were trying to allude to some sort of extreme provocative behavior (or increased sex drive, as is sometimes...
- ..the case w/ conditions like bipolar disorder. but, they didn't elaborate very well, did they? plus, the cinematography...
- ...left a lot to be desired. some scenes just looked cheap (& not budget wise, if you know what i mean).
1 Here's the Urban Dictionary on the term "mental":
mental crazy stupid retard insane retarded dumb psycho mad idiot nuts weird sick slow braintard sex gay nutter moron disorder retarted physical special mind lunatic loser bitch silly fuckdisease cool spastic loony idiotic strange random loco freak dumbass bonkers angry spaz illfunny fucked fat fag emo disabled depression
1. mental meaning someone who is silly or stupid, usually for attention and in a random or sporadic way, involving nonsensical references and actions. usually violent or quick action involved, resulting in general amusement and hilarity of onlookers."hey look, archie's jumping off that cliff while holding a banana!"
"wow! he's mental!"
2 This is not to deny that antipsychotics do, of course, have some very bad side effects.
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