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August 28, 2015

Review: The New Adventures of Old Christine - Dr. Little Man

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 22nd 2009 3:28AM
Eric McCormack(S05E05) This could turn out to be the single most important episode of The New Adventures of Old Christine. Dare I say it was "a very special episode of" The New Adventures of Old Christine? Oh, who am I kidding, things will never change, but isn't that why we love it.

It was a lot of fun seeing Eric McCormack as Matthew's mentor in therapy, as well as his office-mate. That's an easy way to set him up for a recurring role on the show for awhile. And they gave him a shady past, which is an easy way to write him off the show at a moment's notice.

He was there to give Christine someone new to bounce her craziness off of. I absolutely loved their first scene together. Christine all hopped up on diet pills from the '70s, dressed like Maude and working as a temporary fill-in as Matthew's secretary. Every week Julia Louis-Dreyfus cracks me up with just how undignified she's willing to look for this role.

I was impressed, however, with her innate ability to answer the phone in a phony secretary's voice. Who knew, there's something she's actually capable of doing? Even if she did take it a bit far by offering therapy over the phone to Matthew's patients.

But that brings me to my point on why this could be the most important episode yet. Christine Campbell in therapy. The very thought of it put Richard and Matthew immediately into a happy place. What was even more astonishing to me, though, was that Christine had enough self-awareness to realize that even though she had an opportunity to turn McCormack's character into a boyfriend instead of a therapist, she needed a therapist more than a relationship.

Who the hell is this woman? Did those diet pills shake something loose in her skull? Christine's been living in a self-perpetuated delusion of grandeur and self-importance for years and years now. How can she suddenly realize the truth that she needs serious help to deal with her mountains and mountains of issues.

Richard and New Christine, though, they just need to get laid. As usual, it's Richard that takes on the stereotypical "woman's" role of not being able to separate sex from lovey-dovey feelings. He's always been the emotional one. I love how when New Christine did jump back into the dating world it involved Olympic athletes and paparazzi. Personally, I don't think she's all that, but it's hilarious to get these constant reminders of just how out of Richard's league she is.

I can't see the show actually treating Christine's statement about needing a therapist as an actual opportunity to start growing her character into a healthier mental state. Most of their humor comes from just how messed up she is. But it was such a true and honest moment, that it surprised the hell out of me. And McCormack is around for a few episodes at least, so we'll see where this goes.

It might be fun to see her give therapy a try for a bit. I'm sure we'd get treated to many more scenes of her trying out what she learned in therapy on everyone around her, like she did with Matthew when she tried to apologize for bombarding him with "Little Man" and interfering with his patients.

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