Review: Help Me Help You

Help Me Help You

In the US: Tuesdays, 9.30/8.30c, ABC

In the UK: Anything with Ted Danson in appears on Paramount Comedy. You know that.

Help Me Help You is what is known in the trade as a “smart comedy” – that is, you won’t laugh very much, but you’ll be thinking “Oh, that’s wry and accurate”. It’s also what is known as a “Ted Danson vehicle”. That is, it stars Ted Danson with shockingly white hair.

Danson is a psychiatrist who’s absolutely brilliant at fixing other people’s problems, but who’s rubbish at his own. He has a regular therapy group, whose clients are all very nuts; he also has a college-age daughter and an ex-wife who used to be in Malcolm in the Middle.

So each week Danson does something screwy in his own life, while his patients tell him their problems and do screwy things in their own lives. The clients are all reasonably entertaining, notably the stereotypically gay man who thinks he’s straight and the suicidal temp worker who just wants to get the girl. Danson is just channelling his Becker persona again, so isn’t desperately funny: in fact, nothing to do with his side of the plot is funny at all.

All the same, it’s a reasonably amusing half hour thanks to those clients and it doesn’t insult your intelligence like some of the new comedies I could mention.

You can view a trailer on the official web site.


Jere Burns (Michael)

Ted Danson (Bill Hoffman)

Darlene Hunt (Darlene)

Michael Cotter (Glen)

Jim Rash (Jonathan)

Mykel Shannon Jenkins (Shannon)

Suzy Nakamura (Inger)

Charlie Finn (Dave)

Kathleen Rose Perkins (Jocelyn)

Jane Kaczmarek (Anne)


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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