5 August 2009 | ttandb
Mental is good entertainment
There seems to be two camps on here - those that, like me, think 'Mental' is good entertainment and hope it continues; and those pseudo intellectuals, who believe they can be sofa psychiatrists and ridicule what is basically TV entertainment for not being 'realistic' enough.
The second camp completely ignore the fact that this is a drama and NOT a documentary; stating that Mental' is a joke when it comes to representing mental health professionals and their patients. Well, as someone who has had mental health problems for the last five years and has had to deal with said 'professionals' I tend to disagree.
The back stabbing amongst these 'professionals' I've witnessed has been the same as the show. As for the patients that are missing from the show, those for whom there is no long lasting 'help', well this is ENTERTAINMENT; a show about the futility of a 'cure' for mental health problems wouldn't be very entertaining would it?
Far better to have the show end on a positive note, than one where the patient kills themselves or ends up in a drug induced stupor as the only way to survive. But hey, I'm just a patient and not a sofa psychiatrist, so what do I know?
Certainly as someone 'in the loop' I do actually find a certain amount of realism in this programme; except for the bone jarring feeling of talking to a wall I experience every time I have an appointment, which is missing from the show itself. After all, in the show the doctors actually LISTEN. I mean what other doctor sits with a timer on their desk, apart from a psychiatrist? This is also absent from the programme; Doctor Gallagher never says "sorry, but can we end it there?" when a patient is in floods of tears and pouring their heart out, just because the timer's gone off.
Oh and let's not forget that 'House' isn't real either....do we honestly believe that Hugh Laurie's character would really hold down a job in ANY hospital? A drug addicted, pain addled, rude and nasty man whose only enjoyment in life is to put others down and torture those he's supposed be to teaching, along with his 'ME, ME, ME!' attitude and callous disregard for his patients? I doubt it, but that hasn't stopped the show winning a myriad of awards. So to hold this show up as some kind of 'realistic' benchmark for 'Mental' is ridiculous to the extreme. It's like saying 'ER' and 'Gray's Anatomy' are real too. (inserts eye roll here).
Like I said all these shows are for entertainment ONLY - and I for one enjoy 'Mental' immensely. If all you're looking for is realistic torture of mental health patients just watch 'Big Brother'; that should give you some *real* nut jobs to sink your teeth into, and certainly some without any hope of a cure.
However for those who say they *are* some of these mental health professionals, I would need to question why they would want a TV programme to show all the suffering they work with daily for them to watch all over again -very odd.
But remember, patients like me watch this show too - and I don't think it's that unrealistic. I just like the ENTERTAINMENT, and of course Chris Vance is lovely too!! He certainly carries the show....