Lisa Kudrow mines ’Web Therapy’ for laughs (with a little help from her friends)
While some may believe that therapy is no laughing matter, there’s nothing but laughs in the Showtime series "Web Therapy."
In the series, which was been airing in a slightly different format on the Internet for three years, Lisa Kudrow stars as Dr. Fiona Wallice, who treats patients via webcam in three-minute sessions. Dr. Fiona, however, is not the warm and fuzzy kind of therapist, rather she’s a meglomaniac more likely to inflict harm than good on her patients. With familiar faces like Lily Tomlin as her mother, Victor Garber as her beleaguered husband and a slew of patients/guest stars including Courteney Cox, Jane Lynch, Alan Cumming and Rashida Jones, the improv-based show is low on therapy but high on laughs.
Fans of therapy
During the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour, EDGE’s Jim Halterman attended a panel featuring Kudrow, Tomlin and Executive Producers Don Roos and Dan Bucatinsky where the foursome talked about transforming the series from the web to Showtime as well as attracting big names including one multi-Oscar winner.
Kudrow wanted to make it clear from the start that while the show brings the laughs, she’s not truly making fun of the institution of therapy.
"We’re fans of therapy," she said, eliciting laughs from the crowd of journalists. "I won’t speak for Lily, but we’re fans of therapy when it’s done well. This is more about the Internet and self-serving people."
Before anything else was explained, though, the producers (which includes Kudrow) had to expand the Web series to suit a typical 22-minute half hour sitcom length. How exactly did they do it?
"We pulled ten half hours together from the first two web seasons of the web series," said Bucatinsky.
But, added, Roos, the Showtime series is not a reworking of the web series. "We didn’t reshoot anything that we had previously shot for the Web. What you see inside the Showtime show, for the most part, is exactly what aired on the Web. We added other webisodes, but we didn’t change it or go in there and reshoot."
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Watch this feature about Showtime’s "Web Therapy":