***In Lexington, Showtime can be found on channel 537 (satellite), 750 (digital cable), or 954 (high definition), if you subscribe.***
Things on Showtime’s Web Therapy may be progressing a little slower than expected. In last week’s episode, Fiona (Lisa Kudrow) discovers that her husband Kip (Victor Garber) is gay. But in the latest installment, “Exposed!,” she does not actually expose him, as one might assume she might. Instead, she tries to get her mother Putsy (Lily Tomlin) to see that the son she thinks she’s found after many years is an imposter. So the “exposed” of the episode title refers to the “son” and not to Kip. It’s still Fiona doing the exposing, just not who viewers might expect.
Too bad Putsy isn’t willing to listen to reason (or even DNA test results). What’s more conclusive than DNA testing? Perhaps whatever Putsy is smoking has something to do with her delusion, considering that she seems higher and higher in each subsequent scene.
Thank goodness Tomlin is a comedy queen, or this silly plot might fall flat. Instead, not only does it work, but it’s very easy to see where Fiona gets many of her less endearing characteristics. Hopefully Putsy will begin to see reason before Tic removes everything of value out of her house. On the other hand, if she doesn’t, maybe she might move in with Fiona! That would be hilarious!
But back to the original point: why isn’t Fiona pressing Kip’s secret more? True, discovering something as startling as discovering a partner’s hidden homosexuality after many years of marriage is a trauma. Fiona may still be in shock.
So why doesn’t she confront Kip? The strange nature of Web Therapy, showing only scenes that take place at computers, may mean that Fiona already has already spoken with Kip before or during “Exposed!” If so, though, doesn’t Kudrow owe it to the audience to discuss the effects of that conversation?
Or maybe Fiona hasn’t even brought the subject up to Kip because she’s afraid that it will drive him away and ruin the one caring relationship she has in her life.
Of course, Fiona isn’t holding back because of scruples. She has few of those. Convincing Jerome (Dan Bucatinsky) to do illegal things as part of his “therapy,” just so she can investigate her husband, proves that Fiona has little regard for most of those around her. While it is Jerome that takes things too far and gets not only fired, but escorted out by security, Fiona should know how fragile his psyche is, and what she is doing by manipulating him. Her behavior is unethical, at best.
Now Jerome is actually worse off, working for Fiona. With Kamal (Maulik Pancholy) refusing to do any more of Fiona’s dirty work without compensation, Fiona turns to the desperate Jerome and gives him a job. While not expressly stated, it is hinted that Fiona sabotages other interview opportunities to drive a frustrated Jerome close enough to the edge to accept such an arrangement. That she even charges him a supply fee for toiletries shows how little regard she has for him.
Which is why Fiona doesn’t really deserve a happy ending. Unlikeable main characters, who are still interesting enough to watch, are a relatively new thing on television. Kudrow seems to take things a little further than most other attempts, as Fiona is completely self-involved and has an annoying tenor to her voice, making her almost impossible to sympathize with. Yet, the actors in Web Therapy, pros, all of them, are plenty talented enough to hold a viewer’s attention. It’s what makes the web series version of Web Therapy so popular, and it’s what will keep this television series running.
Watch Web Therapy Tuesdays at 11 p.m. ET on Showtime.
If you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter!
Click here to purchase Web Therapy.
Article first published as TV Review: Web Therapy – “Exposed!” on Blogcritics.