Annabella Sciorra goes “Mental”

She played the sexy, lesbian director who didn’t take any of Jenny’s crap in Season 4 of The L Word, and hasn’t been seen much since, but Annabella Sciorra (remember director/Tina’s love interest Kate Arden?) will be back this summer playing a very different role.

Sciorra, who has been in a slew of films and played Tony Soprano’s hot and crazy mistress in the HBO series, will be trying “conservative” on for size in the new Fox hospital series, Mental.

Chris Vance (of Prison Break) plays a “rebellious psychiatrist at a Los Angeles mental-health hospital” working with a conservative boss, played by Sciorra.

According to Variety, the show was the first in Fox TV Studios’ attempt to test shows in an international market before airing them in the U.S. In a bizarre attempt to save some cash, Fox shot the initial 13 episodes of the series at Fox TeleColombia in Bogotá, Colombia.

Aside from the “unusually attractive financial deal” surrounding the show getting picked up (shooting in Colombia saved them buckets of cash), not much has been said about the quality of the programming.

Entertainment Weekly writer Jeff Labrecque is skeptical:

Fox just announced Mental, a new hour-long medical drama whose title and concept couldn’t be more derivative. Chris Vance (Prison Break) plays “a dynamic, young psychiatrist” who uses “unorthodox methods” to treat “misunderstood and often misdiagnosed conditions,” and Annabella Sciorra (The Sopranos) plays his conservative boss. The Mentalist + House = Mental. I’ve yet to see any episodes, so, to be fair, perhaps it will completely reinvent the medical mystery drama genre when it premieres this summer. But I have my doubts.

Fox announces their summer programming schedule in the next few weeks, and hopefully will do some decent promoting for the show before then. I don’t know if the show will be taking home any Emmys, but it’s certainly nice to see Sciorra again.

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