Web Therapy: Season 3, Episode 16

Aversion Therapy (8 Nov. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
9.0
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Title: Aversion Therapy (08 Nov 2010)

Aversion Therapy (08 Nov 2010) on IMDb 9/10

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Crisp, consistently funny, engaging and brilliantly improvised skit
18 March 2012 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Fiona Wallice, everyone's favorite web therapist, encounters Camilla Bowner, a syrupy, overbearing and eccentric straight conversion therapist who treats her patients, which includes Fiona's husband Kip, to go from 'left' to 'right'(a very smart pun alluding to Democratic vs. Republican view on the issue) i.e. to obliterate any homosexual behavior within him. Wallice initiates the session but it is soon taken over by Camilla, who elaborately explains Kip's condition and the difficulties in treating the man who broke their 'homosexuality measuring scale' and would rather look at David Hassellhoff than a picture of Fiona in the nude, and insinuates Fiona's personality being the reason for his 'defect'.

If you watch the 'Behind the Scenes' and 'Outtakes' sequence, you can notice how much the episode is improvised. You can also notice Lisa Kurdrow's nervousness in sharing the stage or rather the web-space with Meryl Streep. In the end of the behind the scenes sequence, Lisa actually apologized to Meryl for not being able to perform as well as her but Meryl reassures her, telling her that she laughed at all of Lisa's jokes. And this disparity in the comic effect is clearly visible in 'Aversion Therapy', though by the end of the other two episodes, Lisa catches up, delivering good punches. In Aversion Therapy however, Meryl is the web sensation. She quickly changes her tone, her voice, her volume to suit her character and also does remarkable changes to her body posture, her expressions etc, everything that her character needs to possess. For example, the way she sits with her shoulders drooping forward slightly in a way that suggests emancipation (sexual here). Lisa does become clueless as Meryl keeps delivering most of the punches, many in a non-sequitur way, for example, suddenly talking about her bra or asking Lisa about her bowel movements.

The writing is crisp, consistently funny and engaging and the improvisation really improved the quality. Camilla wears that maternal pink dress and her room is designed with very sober colors like purple, white, and such (poor at colors!) while Fiona's wardrobe and office appears more formal and impersonal. Camilla's dig on Fiona's dour appearance is hilarious and mostly improvised by Streep. Many who dismiss Meryl as a technical actress should watch her in Web Therapy, especially the behind the scenes footage, to get a better idea about her working style. Lisa is Lisa but we like her the way she is.

My Rating: 7 out of 10


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