"House of Mirrors" and "Mental" - both on the way of defining their identities

It is a bit of a different "medical show", in the same way Psychiatry is seen by many as being a quite different thing to other medical specialities. The main issue is not a broken leg or a nasty bug which can be readily visualised by means of in body sequences, but something more ethereal that is much more difficult to represent to the outside world.

To make the viewers understand what is going on inside the head of the patients, this series also uses special effects, unluckily for them, their budgets spent on these is not on par with other series or movies (didn’t you suddenly feel like you time travelled back to the early 90s computer generated effects?) . They felt cheap and might have even made the general experience worse (just see or remember the special effects of the 2nd chapter, with the wannabe dad!). It looks like they realised this and turned the dial down on that aspect.

But this handicap could also bee a good thing for the creators of the show, they might see or have seen that they have to rely on other elements to make the show work: plot,character development, dialogue and acting. Which one could say that are much more better suited to the subject at hand anyway, and have made a huuuuge progress (from sucking almost as much as the special effects to being quite acceptable... still with plenty of room for improvement, but if it continues to progress at this pace... :)

I have to say that I progressed from seeing the first chapters with clenched teeth (“this special effects are just horrible!” That was soo stupid! How can this guy be soooo retarded?) to enjoy the most recent ones. Now I’m really looking forward to the next one!

And what do you think? Do you think it is getting better too?

By the way,as in any medical drama, the doctors have to find out what is wrong with the patient, decide what to do with him or her and “save the patient”. That’s why the writers have to find a compromise between making the cases too easy or leaving the patient unchanged and the viewer confused and unhappy with the result. For example in this last episode: how incredibly well the 16 year old girl seems to take the revelation of her secret thanks to the magical influence of Dr. Jack Gallagher! :-|

On the other hand, perhaps the "Rainy Days" episode would have needed a little more explaining.

You can check out the true story behind "House of Mirrors" in 5 minutes here or in a 45 minute long documentary here

(If you found this references useful, tell me. I could post more for the past episodes and for the next ones).




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Jul 18, 2009 1:43PM EDT

Wow that documentary was pretty good, even if it did do the BBC thing of constantly having piano music over random pieces of scenery to create the mood which can get annoying.
I personally found this very useful and Mental is definatly getting better as the series progresses and people stop comparing it to House even though they share nothing at all other than the fact that they are set in a hospital with a British lead, and Hugh Laurie doesn't even use his English accent so that hardly counts as a comparison

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Jul 18, 2009 6:53PM EDT

well yes, maybe they are a little too strong on the piano, it's apparently standard procedure, after seeing a few of their documentaries you can't take it seriously anymoreI'm happy you enjoyed the documentary despite of it! ;)

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