Lexus, Toyota’s fancypants car division, has taken the obvious next step for a #1 selling American luxury item.  Today, the company launched an online-only, branded, new media studio. Finally!

But L Studio isn’t what you’d expect.  Unlike BMW’s web.tv and Ford’s Bold Moves, there are no self-congratulatory videos for obsessive car owners with vehicle engineers lauding advancements in efficient dynamics or marketing ploys disguised as honest documentaries about brand reinvention.

Instead, The Hollywood Reporter notes, L Studio has a lot more in common with Bud.TV (except that you can access the site without draconian age verifications) and HBO.  It’s a digital home for disparate types of quality programming linked together by the PR-Speak-idea of innovation.  Lexus “has always been inspired by finding unique ways to look at the world” so the car manufacturer put together “an eclectic collection of unique perspectives meant to inspire you.

Headlining that collection is Lisa Kudrow, playing the role of (what sounds like Long Island) psychotherapist, Fiona Wallice in Web Therapy.

Wallace’s approach to therapy is way more Bob Newhart than Sigmund Freud.  She conducts her absurdly short, three-minute microsessions remotely with the use of iChat and, between awkward misinterpretations and nervous backpedaling, doesn’t do much to help her patients’ psychological troubles.  Written by Kudrow and Is or Isn’t Productions partner, Dan Bucatinsky, the series will span 15 episodes, with five different clients each attending three sessions a piece.

Online video aficionados might elicit an initial cringe at the thought of another webcam-driven series, but those will turn into sighs of relief once they recall they’re in the hands of seasoned Hollywood vets.  This is no shoddy, fly-by-night production.

Friends of Phoebe and Valerie Cherish will be delighted by Kudrow’s enthusiastic portrayal of yet another hopeless eccentric, while the light dialogue will be a pleasant anicdote to anyone not compelled by the heavy-handed treatment that television has recently given psycotherapy.  Directed by Don Roos, Web Therapy also looks as good as any high quality video you’d find on Hulu and plays beautifully on an L Studios player that comes complete with all the functionality a blogger could ask for (easy embeds, toggle to full screen, easy access to comments and related videos, etc.).

Andrew Wallenstein notes that Kudrow had been offered many opportunities to come to the web, but chose to work with L Studio in part because they granted her complete creative freedom (a refrain we’ve also heard from Hollywood stars who’ve chosen to work with MyDamnChannel): “In this business, it’s really nice there are other options for people who just like to write things and perform and people can see it or not. There’s not a lot of pressure. It just feels like an experiment.”

In addition to Web Therapy, L Studio features videos of Ray Manzarek tickling the ivories, an “intriguging look at the erotic symbolism, bourgeois beginnings, and feminine obsession with shoes” in High Heels, interviews with world-famous architects, an animated comedy review show drawn on post-its, and Puppy Love – a scripted series written by Amy B. Harris that debuts in October and looks like must-see entertainment for any pet owner (it had me at seductively cute shots of puppies with windblown fur):

Catch all the innovating content at LStudio.com.

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