Episodes and Green Wing star Stephen Mangan is to play a highly unvonventional therapist in a semi-improvised Channel 4 comedy called Hang Ups.
He stars as Dr. Richard Pitt, a psychotherapist with a chequered professional career whose personal life is also beginning to unravel in the show which has been adapted from the Emmy-nominated series Web Therapy co-created by former Friends star Lisa Kudrow. Web Therapy was cancelled by Showtime in 2015 after four seasons.
After the collapse of his previous group therapy practice, Richard is no longer able to conduct the traditional 50-minute sessions most therapists have with their patients. Instead, he has developed a new form of therapy –weekly quick-fire sessions with his patients which take place online, through a webcam.
The six-part comedy will follow these lively exchanges with his patients as well as chronicling the daily interruptions of a demanding extended family, errant teenagers and his own trouble-filled past…
“Hang Ups is a farcical, dark and perceptive comedy about a man trying to help other people keep their shit together while his own inexorably falls apart,” said Channel 4 in a statement. “Heavily improvised, each of Dr. Pitt’s therapy sessions are startling, unpredictable, discomfiting and hilarious.
“Hang Ups, with pathos and humour, presents a family and a society that have the opportunity to be more connected than ever before, but who in reality find themselves utterly disconnected. Time poor and technology rich, self-obsessed and neurotic, image-conscious but insecure, the world is full of hang ups and is it any wonder why…?”
Mangan himself said: “People are complex and complicated and they lead messy, knotty lives. We’ve tried to put some of that all-too-familiar turmoil onscreen and the result, I think, is chaotic, glorious and disturbing.”
Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, added: “Stephen Mangan and Robert Delamere have achieved the almost impossible task of creating a brilliantly farcical show that is at heart a family sitcom. An ambitious, modern comedy, Hang Ups is a timely, inventive and very funny exploration of the ridiculous pile up of challenges we call modern life.”
The series will begin filming later this year and will air on Channel 4 in 2018.