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11 January 2014 @ 05:00 pm
TV Review: Cracked  
I randomly got into this Canadian program over my winter break.

Cracked is about a newly formed Psych Crimes Unit made up of mental health workers and police officers of the Canadian Police Force that deals with cases involving emotionally disturbed criminals. It's currently in its 2nd season and for whatever reason, I was able to watch season 2 but not season 1. So all my knowledge of this show comes with the 2nd season cast, though I know they switched out the main psychiatrist that's on the team.

After dealing with so many procedural shows and medical shows that uses mental illness for its sensationalistic qualities, I was impressed and amazed that Cracked really does a wonderful job of balancing fictional thrills with the realism of living with a mental disorder. Sure, the show still gives us schizophrenics who hear voices and have delusions and motivations that seem extremely implausible, but the ways in which the PCU handle these cases is rather deft. I'm mainly going to single out Dr. Clara Malone (Brooke Nevin) who is the new psychiatrist to join the team at the start of season 2. Whoever writes for this show has either been exposed to a really good psychiatrist or has a good one consulting. Clara is everything I feel I strive to be when treating patients. She's kind, empathetic, and completely grounded in reality; meaning when she has someone who is actively denying the truth, she'll firmly but compassionately lay out the situation for them. There's something very non-judgmental and respectful in her attitude when approaching patients that I feel often gets lost in shows when the shrink is brought in to analyze someone. They either come off as too cold or too mollycoddling and/or too patronizing. Clara always has her patients best interest at heart and will work to give them a life they want, even if it means having to challenge them first to break out of their current state of denial. She treats people with respect, no matter what their diminished mental capacity and it's a wonderful, if sadly, rare thing to see in shows that give us characters who work with mentally ill patients.

If I had to criticize one thing about this show is that I fear the writers can only write for about two characters at a time. The show's core cast is comprised for 4 members of the PCU plus their boss but often the episodes feel like it can be done with just Aidan and Clara. The remaining characters often are left to do busy work or have personal story lines that sadly don't really go anywhere. Although I did enjoy one of the PCU dealing with a parent who began to show signs of dementia. Super bonus points for the show giving us a snippet of an accurate neurological testing session.

At some point I'm going to try and track down season 1.