"Web Therapy" Works Out Some of Its Problems in Time for an Excellent Second Season Review

One of the best things to be born of the web series craze and writer's strike (that wasn't Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) was Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, and Don Roos's Web Therapy about the self-interested Fiona Wallice (Kudrow) who decides three-minutes via a webcam is more than enough time to sort out patients' problems. Showtime adapted the show to a 30-minute TV series in 2011 with a first season that expanded the cast and gave the show some direction outside of just quick comically awkward exchanges with patients. The introduction of Victor Garber as Fiona's husband Kip and Alan Cumming as Fiona's lover made for an interesting subplot to Fiona's therapy business, but for the second season of Web Therapy the subplot takes over and the show benefits greatly.

The second season starts exactly where the first season ended with Kip informing Fiona he plans to run for office and will need her to play the role of loving wife until the campaign ends, at which point she and Austen (Cumming) can resume their fling. The whole process becomes increasingly complicated as Kip is sent off for sex therapy to be de-gayed (with the aid of a hilarious Meryl Streep), Austen's promise to publish Fiona's ghost-written autobiography hits the rocks thanks to his zealous Catholic assistant Maxine (Rosie O'Donnell), and Fiona's client-base becomes problematic thanks to a contentious Conan O'Brien (once again playing a humorously hyper-egotistical version of himself) and Newell (David Schwimmer) who blames Fiona for something that happened years ago. Through it all, Fiona has to deal with her aggravating mother (Lily Tomlin) and vengeful sister (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and a personal assistant dealing with surrogate-baby-mama drama.

The second season sees a shift towards a greater focus on personal life as opposed to her patients (though it balances out more in the season's final episodes), and the new equation works out much better. The campaign gives Fiona's ego countless opportunities for butting heads with sensible people and the huge number of cameos from the likes of Streep and O'Donnell only make the conflicts funnier. Streep has to be the season's highlight as it's such an unexpected sight to see her show up and in such a ditzy, flighty role as a sexual therapist. It's the best cameo of a season of television filled with fantastic cameos, and yet the regulars (all notable actors in their own right) find moments to exceed and make their own.

The second season is a marked improvement over the first which was still good, just less outright funny, and if you can make it through the first season, the pay off here is worthwhile and it'll likely hook you on Web Therapy from here on out.

DVD Bonus Features

There production featurette on the set is amusing, but the deleted scenes and gag reel (which we get a taste of in the credits of every episode) are easily the best extra on the disc. The full auto-tune music video of Kip's sexualized speech and director's cuts of Meryl Streep and Conan O'Brien segments round out the set.

"Web Therapy: The Complete Second Season" is on sale June 18, 2013 and is not rated. Comedy. Directed by Don Roos, Dan Bucatinsky. Written by Dan Bucatinsky, Lisa Kudrow, Don Roos. Starring Alan Cumming , Conan Obrien, Dan Bucatinsky, David Schwimmer, Lily Tomlin, Lisa Kudrow, Meryl Streep, Victor Garber, Rosie Odonnell.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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