Necessary Roughness

I decided to give this show two episodes before writing my impression of this new USA series. The series follows Dr. Dani Santino, a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavior therapy. Dr. Dani’s life is a bit of a mess when she and her husband go through a messy divorce, her daughter is rebellious, and her son keeps reading her psychology books and trying to employ what he learns. For a while her career fairs little better, until a chance meeting gets her a new, famous client: a pro football player with a bad attitude. Her career starts to take off as does her personal life too, in a way (she falls for a guy she works with and therefore shouldn’t date, naturally).

At first, I was concerned that this show would be like last summer’s failed series Mental, where every problem was conveniently solved immediately and unrealistically, when in real life therapy takes time. Having seen episode two it is clear that this is only sort of but not quite the case. They use that excuse that because she specializes in behavioral treatment, results are more immediately noticeable, so there’s at least that believability element to the sudden improvement. We also see, within a single episode, that success is not instant and has false starts and even setbacks. (In episode 1, her job is to help a pro footballer’s mental game when he has problems catching the ball. His first game in after their therapy session is anything but a success.) Additionally, at least one of her patients is recurring–we see him come back for more therapy and to deal with more problems. She may have helped him, but she has only just started. For me, this adds an element of believability and realism that most doctor and therapist shows are lacking (clearly In Treatment is an exception to this too).

Dr. Dani is played by Callie Thorne who is mostly charming. She’s no Sarah Shahi, but she still carries her show well enough to make it enjoyable. She is a strong woman with a sharp wit who can hold her own against volatile personalities and bullies alike. It is nice to have a strong female lead on TV who is not estranged from her children (I’m looking at you Body of Proof) or socially inept (Bones). At present, the other cast members could do with a great deal of fleshing out, but I assume that will be coming as the show continues.

For now it’s fun and summer-light. Definitely worth investing in. I expected there to be more sports related work in the show, but that too may come in time.

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One Response to “Necessary Roughness”

  1. marcus benton Says:

    i would say this was right on the button not hocus pocus and you are fixed


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