Thursday, May 28, 2009

Great TV - HBO's "In Treatment"

There isn't much to HBO's critically acclaimed series In Treatment. A room. A few comfortable chairs. A therapist. A patient.

And the dialogue between the two.

That's it.

And that's all In Treatment needs, because it works.

In Treatment tells the ongoing story of a psychotherapist named Paul (played by Gabriel Byrne). In four of the five weekly installments, we watch Paul interact with his patients. In this latest second season, those patients included a former lover of Paul's who desperately wants a child, a college student stricken with cancer, a couple and their confused child going through divorce, and an embattled Wall Street CEO attempting to salvage his career.

In the fifth weekly installment, we follow Paul as he visits his therapist (Dianne Wiest).

7 weeks. 35 shows.

Simple, right?


This show masters the art of letting the viewer learn just enough information about all the parties involved to keep him hooked. The cat is never entirely let out of the bag. Bits of insight are painfully gleaned over the course of therapy sessions.

In a way, In Treatment is almost therapeutic for the viewer.

And that is powerful TV.

No comments: