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Head Case

Kevin Hilke

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Elizabeth Goode, the Hollywood-based clinical psychologist around whom Starz’s Head Case centers, and her office-mate, Freudian psychiatrist Myron Finklestein, are incessant barrages of bad-therapist stereotypes. Like most art that moves by aestheticizing exaggerations of the familiar, the show’s best comedic moments deliberately muss up the line between sense and nonsense in a way that either makes a point or makes a point of not making one. Head Case is noteworthy for many traditional TV-innovation reasons, but what makes it stand out from its psychological sitcom brethren is its concerted if indirect engagement with substantive questions in the fields of mental health. Because what constitutes “sense” with respect to psychotherapeutic technique today can only barely be agreed upon, Head Case’s psychotherapy parodies are simultaneously ignorant and incisive and on points of serious contention; sense and nonsense turn into and out of one another, faithfully replicating how the hyperpolarized field of psychology produces what it ends up calling knowledge– Kevin Hilke

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  1. [...] has announced plans to run longer episodes in 2011. It would be disappointing if like Head Case, Web Therapy lost its dexterity as it abandoned the nurturant holding environment of the therapy [...]

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