Web Therapy (TV Series 2008– ) Poster

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Another remarkable character performed by Lisa Kudrow
Rubens Junior19 January 2009
Seems that Lisa has a natural interest for realistic comic situations. The Comeback (2005) was a mockumentary about an actress trying to resuscitate a 15 years long dead career. Lisa made of Valerie Cherish a remarkable original character in a show of outstanding quality and mesmerizing performance, giving a huge step forward in comedy and leaving behind very silly things that people were used to laugh of. In other words, "The Comeback" was an extremely intelligent and brilliant series that her fans and also smart comedy show fans are missing a lot.

After the storm of positive reviews received about her last show she's back again with another very interesting and smart idea. Web Therapy (2008) is a web series that debuted on Lexus' broadband channel L Studio and is directed by Kudrow's long time collaborator Don Roos - The Opposite Of Sex (1998), Happy Endings (2005). The series and all its episodes can be seen with no sign-ups or PayPal.

Web Therapy follows some of the same steps of her last show, it plays with some real figures, deals with facts in realistic tones and also there's this character that's a lot different from Valerie but can also be a lot pathetic. She's Dr. Fiona Wallice, the psychotherapist of unreliable quality that believes that 50 minutes sessions is too much of talk, while weekly 3 minutes sessions can make patients cut right to the point making therapy sessions effective. Besides her uncommon and completely surrealistic kind of therapy she's also not a good listener, interrupting sessions mostly for self judgements, giving personal and unnecessary quotes or even trying to use her patients to promote her "new modality" of therapy. A lot impolite and unprofessional situations, but extremely hilarious. It's some kind of a twisted In Treatment (2008).

Lisa performs it perfectly as always, and also her guests, mainly because the invited actors - and also Lisa - are improvising all the time. Do not expect hours of entertainment because the episodes are too short and it happens as fast as Fiona's therapy sessions but there's enough for loud laughs. Dr. Wallice is rude, indelicate and inpatient, the worst therapist you could ever met. Like "The Comeback" it's all about intelligent dialogs and uncommon situations, so don't go expecting that automatic thing of 'sit- watch-laugh', it's a show that asks for appreciation because it's one of the most refined things in comedy that you can expect if you are someone really interested about new experiences in comedy shows.

After 3 years the show debuted at Showtime and people need to recognize Lisa's talent not only as an actress but also as an amazing creative artist. No doubt, Dr. Fiona Wallice is another original, remarkable and brilliant character created and performed by Lisa.
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Web Brilliance
benjweil17 June 2009
I can't believe that (a) I had never heard of Web Therapy until today, and (b) there is only one user comment about it on IMDb! Do we need any more proof that Lisa Kudrow is a genius? And is there anyone in Hollywood more willing to embrace the ugly side of celebrity (okay, Ricky Gervais -- another genius)? Her Fiona Wallace in Web Therapy is just as brilliant and original as Valerie Cherish in The Comeback. No valiant, selfless characters for Lisa. Only those that are devastatingly funny and self-absorbed, and wholly original.

Lisa, if you're out there: keep up the good work! We are starving for your kind of comedy and social commentary.
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Superb, inventive comedy . . .
GoUSN26 February 2012
Lisa Kudrow is the Lucille Ball of our time. Unusual, distinctive, unafraid.

This show, which I only heard of last October (2011), is remarkable comedy.

Comedy is the art of making the unexpected hilarious. That's what this show does. In each episode, the premise is usually straightforward. Each time Fiona begins a session, we have immediate clarity on what the problem is. Hilarity then ensues, taking unexpected turn after unexpected turn - some cued by Kudrow's priceless brand of facial exasperation, others cued by some astonishing new fact that visibly upsets or enrages her.

I remember reading a take on I Love Lucy. Desi Arnaz explained that every episode opened with a perfectly common home-life dilemma. As fans know, nothing past that premise was ever common. Each week, Lucy made us believe that she's the housewife with X problem which, if solved, will change her life. All the better if the dilemma was posed by a possible show-biz break.

Cue Lisa K and the Lucy Ricardo'ish character Fiona. She is ambitious. The Internet is her show-biz - she always wants to break into it in a big way. She has an appalling lack of common sense. Kip has problems we could imagine Ricky having if he was a lead singer and star today.

In the end, both Lucy R. and Fiona W. are screwball characters whose humanity is immediately on display but who are tempted into vanity, errant ambition, and ill-fated schemes.

Web Therapy is comedy art. Hilarity at its zenith. I tell everyone I know to Watch This Show!
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Hurry up and bring it to physical!
Victreebong23 June 2017
Yes you can watch this online, but since it's got such an odd separation between the original skits, and the seasons on Showtime, they just need to release the entire series in one compilation.

This show was wonderful! I didn't get into until recently because I REALLY needed a Phoebe Buffet fix, and this was like a fresh chocolate soufflé. The setup is Lisa interviewing a client (typically a well known A-list actor or B-list supporting actor) and within seconds the "therapy" derailing into personal agendas, tirades, cathartic resolves, the works.

If you're looking for loose, flaky, free spirited Phoebe, go back to Friends. If you're looking for Kudrow in complete control of her mannerisms, expertly timed dialogue and wit mixed with exceptional improvisation, bam. As Fiona Wallace, Lisa completely encompasses what it means to be typical professional person (READ, not just woman or man, person) in today's self-destructive and overwhelming Web 2.0 society. A waning marriage, sibling rivalry, suitors, judgmental peers, generation gaps, tech disability, all while trying to stay afloat. Those who enjoy satire like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, Arrested, you'll love it. This part of the series is smaller segments, typically 3-8 minutes in length. The Showtime continuation sticks the skits into clumps that average 24 minutes. You don't have to go in order, most things can be gleaned from just the few seconds of each set.

My favorites have got to be the Steve Carell guest skits, and the ones with her ex husband. Julie Claire's cameos also show huge range for both actresses and are a mix of awkward and straight awesome. My only beef is the lack of support on physical media; there needs to be a Blu-ray release or the rest of the series on DVD besides seasons 1 & 2.
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Larry David is annoying and funny; Lisa Kudrow is just annoying
ceilingcat9 August 2011
One has to be, I think, a particularly gifted comedian to adopt an unlikable, mostly unsympathetic character and still create good comedy. Few have that skill, and Lisa Kudrow (the one-hit wonder from that cheese ball "comedy" aimed at teenage girls known as Friends) has none of it.

This is why her show is on Showtime (the HBO for the simple minded, the unemployed, and the farm belt). But even with that easy-to-please audience, there is a snowball's chance in hell that this exercise in comedic mediocrity will be "rewarded" with a second season.

The premise, along with the title, seems to represent a desperate attempt to attach itself to the "hip new worldwide web," no doubt in response to Showtime's understanding of the fact that its subscribers would rather watch cat videos on YouTube, than to watch its low- budgeted, poorly written, and inevitably predictable programming.

My advice to Lisa is that she fall in love with a vampire before Showtime's viewers realize that their money is better spent on a web cam of their own.
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Enjoyable, but Not Brilliant
ChorusL1069 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I've always enjoyed Lisa Kudrow as an actress. I think she has a gift for comedy and creating humor in situations of angst, misery, and the pathetic. While I enjoy her as an actress, and do think she is incredibly gifted for her unique acting abilities, I don't think that those talents, alone, are enough to support an entire sitcom as a lead character.

I watched this entire web-series in two evenings. First off, I enjoyed them. I do think her take on the character is viable and relatively believable, despite the sheer heinousness of her. However, I think the supporting guest appearances by other notable actors and actresses were far more interesting and humorous than Kudrow's character. Guests like Molly Shannon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael McDonald, etc., provided their well-known comedic flair that, I think, stood out over Kudrow's. I think this is mainly because much of these well-known comedians' parts in the show replicated the humor for which they previously became famous. Molly Shannon plays an over-the-top, eccentric reporter who has a complete meltdown, entirely in the gruff style of Shannon. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays her usual middle-aged, stressed-out female with the a propensity towards dramatic, heated outbursts. Many guests play parts that have characteristics reminiscent of their well-known characters in the past.

Kudrow, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have the same comedic connection, most likely because most of her comedic parts were either supporting, or if they were lead characters, they were short lived, i.e. Valerie Cherish. Thus, I kept wanting to see a more predictable comedic pattern in Kudrow's Wallice character. To be clear, Kudrow's portrayal is very consistent and remarkably believable for how "character-ish" Wallice is. But it falls short for the reason above.

Secondly, I don't find Kudrow's character to be particularly new or ingenious. I've seen several mean, rich, bitchy, self-absorbed, insensitive, calculating woman characters many times on TV in the past several years. Karen Walker, Lucille Bluth, Samantha Jones, Lucretia, Ilythia, Atia of the Julii, among others, have introduced many traits present in the Wallice character that others on this board seem to think are so novel. For sure, Kudrow puts her own spin on the character, usually with great success. But I don't believe it to be a particularly ground-breaking portrayal given what I've watched in the past few years.

Despite the above criticisms, it really is a cute show. The story lines, while short, are interesting and deserve attention. The recurring Craig/McGreevey/Haggard issue is very funny and well played. The other women that come into the script as a result of this issue have some hilarious bits.

I did see the Meryl Streep episodes. While she is not well known for her comedy (aside from 'The Devil Wears Prada' I don't think I've seen her in any comedies), her portrayal of the vapid, over-confident, saccharine Camilla was exceptionally wonderful. I don't know if Streep is a method actress, but her talent as a gifted performer far outshines that of others on the show. She literally became that woman in every part of her being. Her comedic performance in 'Web Therapy' seemed just as carefully crafted as her great cinematic roles.

Lastly, the concept of the show is really quite interesting. It reminded me of Choderlos De Laclos' 'Les Liasions Dangereuses,' written completely as letters between the characters. While the webcam offers a more complete observation of the characters, the action is limited only to what the computer camera captures. This struck me as similar to same limitations presented by the letter-writing in Laclos' book. Thus, much of the action depends on the performers' true acting abilities, and less on sets, costumes, and blocking. The closed feel of the webcam definitely limits what the characters can do, which I believe must have been challenging. I applaud the cast for dealing deftly with that limitation.

To sum it up, while it's compelling, funny and interesting, I don't think it is Kudrow's best work. However, like I expressed, I don't feel this is due to any lack of command in performance on Kudrow's part. She is extremely gifted and talented, but I don't think this particular project suits her talents. Secondly, the other guest characters' shenanigans and their portrayals are so funny, I think Kudrow's performance gets stifled. Personally, I imagine her as a much more deft dramatic actress with a comedic undertone (similar to her performance in 'The Opposite of Sex'), as opposed to a fully comedic character actress. I also don't see her character, nor her portrayal of her, as exceptional or novel. The performers do well with the limitations of the use of the webcam device and it provides an interesting cinematic tool. I give it 6 out of 10. Thanks for reading.
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