Nina Conti – In Therapy is as high-concept a sitcom as you're going to get. It's about a ventriloquist using a monkey to sexually harass her therapist. You didn't read that wrong.
You can't get more high-concept than that. Told in 9-minute episodes on YouTube, the series features Nina Conti and her alter ego Monkey seeing a psychotherapist. If you know Conti's act with Monkey at all, then you can guess Nina Conti – In Therapy doesn't go well, which is comedy gold.
Conti is the daughter of Tom Conti and an actor and stand-up comedienne with a successful career using puppets in her act. Her most popular act involves Monkey, a cute but foul-mouthed puppet that speaks what she would never say in decent company. Now she's created a series about her and Monkey seeking therapy.
Each episode is improvised by Nina Conti and Adam Meggido, who plays the increasingly harried Dr. Lenin. It can only be a YouTube webseries. The show is actually a fairly accurate portrayal of therapy sessions, with Meggido playing the straight man. Dr. Lenin is trying to do his job, but Nina and Monkey are playing a game. She's really more interested in talking about having sex with him. Or is it Monkey? But isn't Monkey her, as Monkey keeps reminding him? She plays up the schizophrenia of Monkey as an increasingly disturbing pathology that gets weirder and weirder as the series progresses.
It's possible that Channel Four might have commissioned it, but only on YouTube can she have the total creative freedom to push the boundaries and wear a monkey suit to dry-hump the therapist at the climax of the first season. This is just a half-step away from Hannibal, which is pretty much a dark comedy anyway. Nina Conti – In Therapy just gets more horrifying and hilarious at the same time. The best comedy walks a tightrope between comedy and horror, and this series actually goes there.
A month ago, Nina Conti – In Therapy came back for a second season. Shot during lockdown in isolation, it's as funny and horrifying as ever. Dr. Lenin has agreed to continue as Nina and Monkey's therapist with the stipulation that they conduct the sessions on zoom so there's no risk of Monkey trying to hump him.
Nina Conti – In Therapy can be streamed at Nina Conti's YouTube Channel.