In news fraught with psychological meaning for the show’s creators, a drama is in the works in which Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, is also a cop—because perhaps they see their own fathers as unsympathetic and merciless arbiters of punishment, yes? Perhaps when X-Files writer Frank Spotnitz and The Seven-Per-Cent Solution author Nicholas Meyer first conceived of their procedural, Freud: The Secret Casebook—in which the famed analyst is portrayed as the first criminal profiler—they were thinking of their own secret neuroses as crimes for which they deserve to be imprisoned.

But sometimes a cop show is just a cop show, and today everything is definitely a cop show, whether it’s the story of Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan-Doyle, or of Thomas Edison, or even of Spotnitz and Meyer’s own unresolved shame over the Oedipal urges their fathers were forever attempting to “police.” Their Freud is most definitely a cop show, following him through 20th-century Vagina—or whoops, Vienna—as he uses his radical theories on psychology to help solve crimes, while also dealing with his own “tangled and provocative personal life,” according to the official description.


“Now that’s what I call a Freudian slip,” Freud will say at the end of each episode as the handcuffs are slipped around another wrongdoer’s wrists, and while Spotnitz and Meyer unconsciously cover their penises.