“Head Case: Season 2” is really season three. Long story. Doesn’t matter.
All you need to know is that is that this Starz cable series is witty and funnier than you’d expect, anchored by an Emmy-worthy performance by creator/star Alexandra Wentworth, who is something of a hidden treasure on the American comedy landscape.
She plays Dr. Elizabeth Goode, who rarely is. She’s a psychiatrist to the stars, but she’s so wrapped up in herself that she makes little, if any, progress with the celebs she’s supposed to help. The show is semi-improvised, and her couch guests play themselves, usually against type. They’re also usually C-level names, with this season’s notable exception of Jerry Seinfeld.
In the 10 episodes on these two discs, the formula of the previous year continues, but with some choice shake-ups, primarily in Goode’s marriage to Hollywood agent/douche Jeremy (Rob Benedict), which lasts all of eight hours. The union’s near-immediate collapse sends Goode into a mental collapse “ which Wentworth admirably plays without vanity and, thus, with hilarity “ and to New York to recharge her batteries. Naturally, that’s easier said than done.
Back home in L.A., her office becomes a hotspot for selling “blendies,” which are fruit smoothies laced with sample prescription meds. You have to be there.
Typically, the show’s gimmick of the famous patients turns out to be the weakest links of any given episode. It all kind of depends on the comedic strengths of the star, which is wildly unpredictable.
For example, Vegas magician Lance Burton may be the sharpest of the season (who knew?), with “Heroes” star Greg Grunberg up there as well, playing an oversexed version of himself, anxious to prevent Goode from tying the knot. But Isaac Mizrahi? The antithesis.
It’s Wentworth’s show, in more ways than one, and she carries it with ease. But this year, she smartly cedes greater time to her strong supporting cast members, who get more to do, and do it well.
Sadly, it’s their last shot, as the show has been canceled. Oh, well, it was fun while it lasted. Here’s 300 minutes’ worth of proof. “Rod Lott