Best of ...
TV's Best Shrinks: 'The Sopranos,' 'Twin Peaks,' 'Necessary Roughness' and more
Dr. Bob Hartley, "The Bob Newhart Show" (CBS, 1972-78): Bob Newhart's deadpan straight-man persona was a perfect fit with his role as a Chicago psychologist who shepherded a comical parade of patients, most notably the uberneurotic Elliot Carlin (Jack Riley), through individual and group therapy sessions.
Dr. Sidney Freedman, "M*A*S*H" (CBS, 1972-83): He was only in a dozen episodes, but Allan Arbus' appearances as an Army psychiatrist were the catalyst for some of the sitcom's most emotional moments, including Hawkeye's (Alan Alda) efforts to deal with a particularly upsetting repressed memory.
Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, "Twin Peaks" (ABC, 1990-91): The town of Twin Peaks was full of strange characters, so Russ Tamblyn's eccentric psychiatrist fit right in. He's best remembered for his professional relationship with a former patient: the late Laura Palmer, whose murder was the centerpiece of the series.
Dr. Jennifer Melfi, "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007): As troubled mobster Tony Soprano's (James Gandolfini) psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) knew him better than anyone in his family ... or his Family.
Dr. Charles Kroger and Dr. Neven Bell, "Monk" (USA Network, 2002-09): Being obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk's (Tony Shalhoub) psychiatrist could be a full-time job with some strange side effects, but both Kroger (Stanley Kamel) and Bell (Hector Elizondo, who took over in Season 7 after Kamel's death) rose to the occasion and occasionally even helped Monk solve a crime.
Dr. Darryl Nolan, "House" (FOX, 2004-12): He appeared in just four episodes, but Andre Braugher's stubborn psychiatrist was just what Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) needed during his stay in a mental hospital at the start of Season 6. It was Nolan who helped the missing House's colleagues find him in the series finale.
Dr. Dani Santino, "Necessary Roughness" (USA Network, 2011-): Callie Thorne brings professional toughness and personal vulnerability to the role of a therapist to sports stars and other high-profile clients who is dealing with her own new status as a single mother.
Photo/Video credit: CBS/CBS/ABC/HBO/USA/FOX/USA
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