Help Me Help You

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ABC (ended 2006)

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Help Me Help You Fan Reviews (7)

7.9
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233 votes
  • "Becker" meets "Dear John".

    5.0
    Ted Danson played a bartender, then he played doctor (forgive the pun) in an inner city clinic, and now he's a psychiatrist to the usual assortment of dysfunctional people.

    To show how "original" it tries to be, we have an oriental woman (one of Danson's patients) who, apparently, likes kosher meat - - I mean, Jewish men! Get it? See, Jews are supposed to like Chinese food, so, naturally, there must be Chinese people who like Jews! Hilarious! (that was sarcasm, in case you missed it!)

    The crux of the episode I saw, "Raging Bull" (the second word is quite apt), was that Danson's character took on a dismally ineffective boxer in hopes of using psychology to improve him. Basic training and pep talks don't work, but, during a group session, the boxer becomes enraged at another patient, who is very timid and insists on sitting near the boxer who refuses to move from the timid guy's usual seat on the sofa. The shrink uses this to his advantage by bringing the timid guy to the boxer's fights where, naturally, the boxer wins every time, as long as the timid guy is present. Later, the boxer physically abuses the timid guy in the gym locker room . . . Black guy beating up a white guy. What a wonderful message to send to the audience! But, wait! The timid guy actually becomes more extroverted, mostly because of his belief that he was instrumental in the boxer's improvement. Wow! Psychology at its best! Oh, and I don't want to forget to mention that another white patient, who is, apparently, gay, makes terrible, obvious, advances to the black boxer during session, but the boxer doesn't get mad at him. Makes perfect sense!

    The secondary subplot was of the Chinese woman, mentioned above, going on a blind date with a man she met through an online Jewish dating service. Laughs galore (sarcasm, again) when it turns out that he's Chinese! Of course, neither is Jewish, but they try to bluff their way through it. They go to a Sabbath service, during which the Rabbi welcomes them as "new members" (presumably to his synagogue) and even mentions them by name, which would seem to indicate that he met them beforehand, so why didn't he figure out that they weren't Jewish? They are finally "caught" when they are given the honor of saying a prayer over the sacramental wine, but they obviously don't know it when they start singing a completely inappropriate song (I forgot the name of it, which shows how bored I was with the episode). And, of course, despite their obvious mistrust, the two end up sleeping together; did anyone not see that coming? (no off-color pun intended!)

    The final subplot was of Jere ("Dear John") Burns' character as an overly aggressive (opposite of the timid guy?) manager, becoming hooked on a hand-held video game that his subordinates play. At the end of the show, he apologizes to one of the subordinates, then fires him (we aren't told whether he was kidding or not).

    Though there were no surprises in this episode (the first I've seen of the series), I'll admit to being somewhat "hypnotized" by it, not unlike watching a multiple, motor vehicle, highway accident. I'll give it another shot or two, to see if it improves, but I doubt that will happen: "Bob Newhart", this ain't!
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