Before we boogie, last night had us thinking: The brain is an amazing machine. On last night's Mental, we saw what can happen when that machine breaks down. It isn't pretty, but it makes for some very dramatic television. Mental is Fox's newest medical drama, and after the first episode I'm left wanting more... but maybe only a little more.
Like House, Mental gives us an unorthodox medical miracle worker who rubs his co-workers the wrong way as he does what he has to for the patient. Chris Vance is very charismatic as Dr. Jack Gallagher, but I was a bit dismayed by the cliche setup. He's the unknown quantity with a female boss whom he once had a relationship with, the other lead female wants to quit because she thinks she knows better, and then we have the two clueless residents who don't seem like they could figure out how to microwave soup, let along diagnose a patient with schizophrenia. Then there's the whole going-butt-naked-in-public-to-gain-the-confidence-of-his-patient thing. I thought he was going to enter the hospital under the guise of a patient, so stripping down was a step up, I suppose.
On the upside, the actors playing the patients were incredible, particularly Silas Weir Mitchell, who played Vincent. It's tough to play mentally ill without turning it into some slapstick caricature, and these people really pulled it off. I was particularly intrigued by the special effects shots they used to show us what's going on in the minds of the patients. Nicely done.
Fox is taking a big chance here. A weekly drama that focuses on mental illness is a slippery slope, and I can't even think of another show that used this premise on a regular basis. It's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for TV, and so far I'm willing to pay this hospital another visit.
What's on tonight?
Tonight, you get two more hours of So You Think You Can Dance auditions as the judges visit Miami and Memphis. Watch for talented toe-tappers, elegant ballroom couples and some of the wildest and weirdest poppers, lockers and hip hoppers you have ever seen.
It all begins at 8:00 on Fox.
You don't have to be a die-hard country music fan to enjoy this event of music and song. If you enjoy pop, ballads or singer-songwriter tunes, this two-hour special will put a smile on your face. My favorite artist, Taylor Swift, will be there along with Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Lee Ann Womack, Brooks and Dunn, Sugarland and many more.
Watch this musical special starting at 8:00 on CBS.
ABC is all new tonight as it starts with the return of Wipeout. Watch as contestants try to navigate across rivers of mud, past the punching wall and over the big balls -- it's not West Wing, but Wipeout is cheesy and silly... and fun!
Next up is the premiere of The Goode Family. From the creator of King of the Hill comes this animated comedy about a family who tries to live eco-friendly in a gas-guzzling, water-bottle-loving world.
Watch Wipeout at 8:00 and The Goode Family at 9:00 on ABC.
Former Girls Next Door star Kendra Wilkinson will star in her own reality series appropriately titled Kendra. The series will follow the former playmate as she sets up house with her Philadelphia Eagles fiance. The show premieres June 7 on E!
Jon & Kate Plus 8 opened to record ratings this past week, proving that all news, even bad news, is indeed good news in the entertainment industry. Don't miss our story on the Jon and Kate Plus 8 premiere here!
Al Pacino has signed on to play Dr. Jack Kevorkian in an HBO movie about the doctor famous for his work in assisted suicides.
John Lithgow has signed on to play a serial killer in the new season of Dexter. Now that I'd love to see.
Mental -- Pictured: Chris Vance, Jeff Neira/Fox
George Strait: ACM Artist Of The Decade All Star Concert -- From left in background are Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Troy Gentry, Ronnie Dunn, Jack Ingram, Lee Ann Womack and Kix Brooks. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS
Wipeout -- Photo: ABC
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