Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dr Katz Professional Therapist - Season Two|
Actors: Jonathan Katz, H. Jon Benjamin, Laura Silverman, Sandra Bernhard, Todd Barry
Genres: Comedy, Television, Animation
Meet Dr. Katz. He lives with his 20-something unemployed son, has a sullenly sarcastic receptionist who occasionally finds the time to work for him and a therapy practice where he treats dozens of the finest comedic minds ... more »
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A Breath of Fresh Air
Adam Dukovich | 10/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist was the standout show on Comedy Central a few years back, when the network's programming schedule ranged from the Daily Show (with Craig Kilborn) to Odd Couple reruns to crappy Rodney Dangerfield movies from the 80s. (No wonder he gets no respect!) The premise of Dr. Katz is a simple one: a therapist, Dr. Jonathan Katz (voiced by the comedian of the same name) spends his entire day dealing with his neurotic, funny patients (generally comedians like Ray Romano, Larry Miller, and so on) and fending off his generally disagreeable secretary, Laura (Laura Silverman). He spends his time right after work at a local bar where he discusses his problems with some friends (voiced by Will LeBow and Julianne Shapiro), and then he spends his evenings with his son, Ben (H. Jon Benjamin), who is in his twenties, has no friends, no job, no plans, and no worries. The casting (as far as the voices go) is very good, and the show has a unique comic rhythm that is almost immediately familiar, yet entirely original. The animation technique the show uses, Squigglevision, is also original, and although it takes a while to get used to, it is certainly distinctive. Check out this underrated and very well-done series--you'll thank me for it. Favorite quote: "Yeah, Dad, I have plans tonight, they just don't involve other people.""
Jason | CaLiFoRNIA | 12/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The reason I love this show so much is because it has heart. Genuine soul. The comedians receiving Freudian advice from Dr. Katz are, by and large, a mixed bag -- entertaining, usually, but rarely crossing the line into hysteria. A few of them get some great laughs (Steven Wright in the first episode, for example), but the show doesn't have the benefit of multiple writers and scripted events; because of this, I really do find that 'Dr. Katz' isn't as "funny", per se, as the greatest 'Simpsons' seasons, or 'Family Guy', or 'The Critic', etc. Yet, it's such a different beast, and by no means does it strive for the same humor, nor audience, as those shows (though I'm sure most fans of Katz are huge fans of 'The Simpsons' glory days). That's why it's so refreshing, really; it's unlike anything else that's ever existed on television.
Again, though -- it's the beating heart. The reckoning force of the show is the heartfelt, loving relationship between Dr. Katz and his son, Ben. Their relationship is so beautiful because, really, they never get angry at each other for more than a few seconds, and they play off each others' unparralled level of wit to the utmost charming effect. They are father and son, but more than that they are friends, and I'm not sure I can name any television show that I've ever seen that displays such a unique, sincere affection between two people. Never, ever -- ever -- is this gooey or overtly sentimental, either; because, hey, these are not mushy guys -- they're just two intelligent, cynical but kindly beings that live and draw from each other. It's so lovely to be apart of. For comparison, I can think of a few other shows that give off a similar effect -- surely, in 'The Simpsons' best moments, there was a resonant feeling that developed and I felt apart of the family. Likewise -- and more uniquely so -- Larry David's 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', despite being the antithesis of a dramatic series, involves me in such a way that I simply --;do not want the show to end;--. You become so enthralled with these real, lively people and their reality -- that you don't want them to leave. Even so, with 'The Simpsons' (in my opinion, the best television show ever to exist [roughly seasons 3 - 9]), this sentiment never, ever held a candle to the ingenious writing and expression of comedy (unrivaled in most technical respects). 'Dr. Katz', by contrast, propels the show into soaring levels of sheer enjoyment with such an emotive disposition, high-riding above the comedic elements within the show that, on their own, still satisfy on a consistent basis. Yet again -- this makes the show brilliantly distinct.
I'm discounting the humorous nature of the show, too, which isn't fair, because it is funny. It's just not, for me, gut-busting funny -- Ben Katz makes me laugh for completely different reasons than Stewie Griffin, Bender, or Jay Sherman. It's often improvisational, and therefore much more naturalistic, leaning again towards the charming nature of the petty conversations between father and son. The chemistry, though, is without fault -- though the dynamic offers familial joy, Jonathan Katz and H. Jon Benjamin are brilliant and likable comedians in every respect, and the exchange and building upon each others' wit is priceless and in huge supply.
Only 13 episodes, which is disappointing, but I'd feel wrong giving it anything less than 5 stars. It deserves it."
Animated Comedy Collector's Must-Have
Darcy Shepard | CSU Chico | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show is one of the most underrated comedies on TV. It ran for six seasons in the mid-90s, but the show is now just coming out on DVD. More than ten years ago I watched my first episode of Dr. Katz (season 2's Bystander Ben) and was in love. At first some might find the Squigglevision hard to watch - the characters don't move much - but the characters are drawn well, and many guests look as they do in real life.
The show follows psychotherapist Dr. Katz as he treats famous comedians and lives with his 24-year old unemployed, unmotivated son Ben. Standout episodes of the second season include "Drinky the Drunk Guy" - Ben is convinced his father is drinking too much, and lets him know; Rita Rudner guest-stars in "Real Estate", an episode where Ben and Dr. Katz try to decide if Ben's mom, the former Mrs. Katz, can stay at their house as she travels through town; in "ESP", Ben is convinced he can read minds after finishing a few sentences and performing some mind tricks -
Dr. Katz: "Wait a second, you bent all these spoons with your mind."
Ben: "Pretty much, you know, I found that if I preheat them first, it makes the job a whole lot easier.."
Comedians Going Mental
Robert I. Hedges | 12/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Dr. Katz" was a low budget, but high concept, weekly animated show founded on the premise that comedians have an extremely wide variety of mental disorders. The comedians who appear in the show collaborated on the material which occurred in their "sessions" with two cases a week being typical. The problems are generally far out of the norm (although not so far out as to be avant-garde,) and humor is the result.
I find that Garry Shandling and Kevin Meaney come across as the most consistently neurotic, but Ray Romano is my favorite guest this season, as he is so hilariously dysfunctional in this show (versus his own prime time show) that the dichotomy is extraordinary.
Jonathan Katz anchors the production as the divorced, slightly neurotic psychiatrist. H. Jon Benjamin is perfect as his slacker son, Ben, who is pitiful, yet hilarious in his approach to life (and especially women.) This is the show that made "Squigglevision" famous, which annoys some people, but I find endearing in its cheesiness. The two DVD set also has a couple of extras such as audio commentaries and follow ups with former patients like Steven Wright (who seems the genuinely least sane of the guests) and Emo Philips (whose voice may be the most grating in history.)
This is a smart cartoon for adults, and while it's not for everyone, it does what it does exceptionally well."