The Insanity Defense

Two weeks ago I brought Mary Sues, and before that I discussed antagonists. So with that said, I want to talk about something that is very personal and near and dear to my heart: I want to talk about the problems with having “crazy” villains. Now, I might have made a caveat back in “Motivate Me,” in which I said you should avoid making “crazy” villains, now I am going to explain it deeper on why “crazy” shouldn’t be used as a flaw or a negative and explaining some of my childhood with mental illness and having a developmental disability.  Read More The Insanity Defense

Motivate Me: A Primer on Writing Protagonists and Antagonists

In this series of articles on writing and developing fiction and sharing my own trials and tribulations on writing fiction, I will be discussing topics such as world building, constructed languages, writing protags/antags, understanding pacing, the concept of the “Mary-Sue,” self-inserts, discussing sex in fiction, and plot building. Read More Motivate Me: A Primer on Writing Protagonists and Antagonists

Are You Rooting for a TV Villain?

I was watching my trusty old re-run of Beverly Hills 90210 last night when I had a change of heart. Kelly Taylor was supposed to be the heroine, the girl who everyone loved and who always did the right thing; back in the day, I subscribed to this idea, but as I watched her take on a holier-than-thou attitude for what seemed like the 90th time that episode, I decided that she was annoying and that Valerie Malone, her mortal enemy and the alleged villain of the show, was totally right: Kelly did suck.  Read More Are You Rooting for a TV Villain?

Top Chef Needs to Spice It Up

There are a few competition reality shows that I watch every season, and each time a new batch of contestants start, I never like anyone. I don’t hate them or anything, but I don’t have anyone to root for until their stories have been told over the course of a few episodes, and I get to see how they interact with each other.  Read More Top Chef Needs to Spice It Up

Community: Fish in a Barrel

This week’s Community was a doozy, delivering a perfect blow to the documentary-style format that has become ubiquitous in prime time (especially on NBC, Community’s own network). I’ve grown a little weary of this style myself, and in fact didn’t give Parks and Recreation a chance when it first came out because I was just so tired of this weird, awkward format. Read More Community: Fish in a Barrel

Top 7 Movie Therapists

As much as TV shows love to put their characters in therapy, so do movies.   A lot of movies really like to focus on the mental illness and the therapy is only a small part of it.  Here are a few good movies where the therapist has a more prominent role.

Nurse RatchedOne Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – While not actually a therapist, psychiatric ward Nurse Ratched needs to be on any list of movie therapists just for the sheer WTF-ery of her character.  Manipulative, evil, and with a loose hand for dispensing medication she does more mental harm than good. If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way. But I don’t think that he would like it.

Analyze This – Billy Crystal as the bored therapist whose life gets  turned upside down when a mobster comes to him for therapy.  Hilarity ensues!  Actually this movie isn’t half bad and I like when they have therapists who have their own problems they have to work through.

Good Will Hunting – It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this movie, but I think I prefer Robin William’s portrayal of a medical professional here to him as that obnoxious Patch Adams.

Sixth Sense –  Dead psychologists still count, right? (Spoiler Alert)  You have to give a dead guy credit to being that committed to his profession.  Plus, on my little list here I think he’s actually probably the best therapist.  You know what they say about shrinks?  The only good one’s a dead one!  I don’t know if that’s a real joke or not.Bill Murrary Screen Cap

What About Bob — I’ll admit it.  I like this movie.  Sometimes when I think about progress I am making in my own life, I think of Bill Murray’s OCD sufferer repeating “baby steps” to himself.  This movie has Richard Dreyfuss as a man who loves being a therapist so much, he has gone so far as to name his children Sigmund and Anna.

Ordinary People – Honorable mention in this list goes to Judd Hirsch’s Dr. Berger.  I’ve never seen Ordinary People, but Dr. Berger always comes up in mentions of good on-screen therapists.  If only they had it on Netflix Instant.

Silence of the Lambs – Say what you will about Nurse Ratched, at least she didn’t eat people.  Hannibal Lecter is, and always will be, my favorite on-screen psychologist.   Sorry Jack Crawford, but I do want Dr. Lecter inside my head. Hannibal Lecter, close up