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I just watched the very first episode and after it was over I just sat
there, silent, amazed at what I had just seen. It's dialog and
character driven. It's simple and yet complicated. Gabriel Byrne seems
to be the perfect choice for the therapist character. He's an actor who
says a lot with his face and his eyes. Frankly, I can't wait to see
what happens with these people.
Very engaging first episode. It drew me in with just two people sitting in a room talking. There really aren't many things out there that can do that. Definitely give it a chance, especially if you enjoy most things HBO.
I think it should be understood, that therapy is not always the
cliff-hanger that these episodes are. But, if you made a show that was
truly realistic to what occurs in therapy, no one would watch it. So I
feel the writers/producers of "In Treatment" made the smart move in
focusing on the aspects of therapy (psychoanalysis, to be precise) that
are most riveting; these tend to be issues of transference and
counter-transference. The Friday supervisions/treatments that Paul
receives provide vital clues to keep an eye out for in the subsequent
sessions that he has in the following week. In the most recent episode
(2-5-08), Paul is seen to be projecting onto Alex his own feelings
towards his marriage by telling alex that he's probably known these
marital concerns were at a "boiling point" for some time. This is a
small example of the attention to detail that the writers/producers
have paid to the realities of therapy; and if they did this without a
psych consult, all the more credit to them.
Lets not forget that this is a television show. It can't be a perfect portrayal of the reality of the therapeutic environment. Lets ALSO remember that therapists are not perfect people. They can be idiots who foolishly leave medicine in their office bathroom cabinets; they can project their own issues into a session; and they can clog their toilets up, resulting in an argument with a client over boundaries (Laura, week2). Paul is being portrayed as an adept psychoanalyst with issues of self-worth that were probably never thoroughly analyzed during his training. When the narcissistic thrill of being a gifted therapist wears off, everything starts to make its way to the surface.
Kudos to HBO on a well-done series.
The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and Rome ending, left a gaping hole in
the heart of HBO for me.
I was ready to drop my subscription when I realized that Gabriel Byrne was going to be a key player in the new series, In Treatment.
WOW! I'm so glad I stuck it out...Gabriel Byrne...I first admired him years ago when he played in a robust movie called "Into The West" which I now own on DVD. He is one damn fine actor in a tour de force of a show that he can easily sink his teeth into.
Diane Wiest as the therapist's therapist is noteworthy as well!
The plot is addictive...I quickly became committed to the weekly patients, some of whom I really hate. The script is detailed, intense and very well written. The simple sets and the subtle camera action during emotional moments, serves well to keep one purely focused on the drama. And man what drama! Even though it has no comedy, In Treatment is almost destined to be another big hit for HBO.
Some one suggested Robin Williams should have had the part of the psychoanalyst...what? I hope that was a joke.
So i've just finished watching the first 5 episodes of HBO's new
therapy session adaptation, "In Treatment", and I can say that I'm am
more than satisfied. This show is really great! I'm not one to fall for
'buzz', and i'd seen a few interview/promotions for the program before
I had sat down to watch it but this program works purely on its script
and sharp camera work. it's quite easy to get pulled into it. It is of
course a bit 'over'-dramatic (or just dramatic as this is TV) for the
sake of entertainment, but the dialogue is kept realistic and subtle
enough to be engaging.
Each of the characters bring something totally different as well and the final therapy session of the week is probably the most ironic and consequently the most fun.
I would like to say this feels totally original, though truthfully it reminds me a bit of the Soprano's, specifically Tony's therapy sessions, it has that same feel but with a little more spice to last that whole 30 Min's or so. The cinematography is also really tastefully done.
All in all its a well carried out show, and i could say a ton more at the risk of sounding like a advertisement so i won't. its a really great show and can't wait for the next slew of episodes.
Don't hesitate to check it out!
I nearly judged this one by its first episode, which I think pointed the series in the wrong direction. This show is a cleverly constructed concept that feels quite like it belongs on the stage. Gabriel Byrne uses his greatest talent - subtly of style - and performs exceptionally in the long pauses and lingering shots. Its addictive. Come 'Thursday' night you may feel cynical, but after 'Friday's' episode you just have to know what transpires the next week. In an age where we are all obsessed with over-analysing everything, this is a show that will appeal to many people with its everyday issues and obvious psychology that we are so keen to recognise in others, but not ourselves - a fact blatantly realised when the tables are turned and the therapist effectively goes to therapy.
I was ready to be seduced by a new HBO series and here it was. Perfect
timing coincided with perfect writing and acting had made an immediate
fan out of me before the end of week 1. We follow week-by-week the
therapy sessions of four individuals (which includes watching Paul
Weston, the therapist go through his own therapy) and one couple. For
anyone who has ever been in therapy there is an automatic connection to
the whole process as we see it unfold with different characters and
being able to relate to pieces of all of them.
The acting is incredible though this show belongs to Gabriel Byrne and Diane Wiest. I'm having my own erotic transference to Dr. Weston but am I relating to him as an actor or a therapist? That's how wonderful he is in this role.
"In Treatment" is what "Tell Me You Love Me" tried to be but didn't quite hit the mark. Promise you, after 2 sessions, you will be hooked.
This Show is a definite contender for the Emmy awards this year. The
writing was superbly well done and even if it always remains in his
office it keeps me on the edge of my seat.
Personally its Gabriel Byrne's best job since " The Usual suspects". The characters all have amazing depth in their histories and personalities. My personal Favourite is Sophie, she shows what many true teenagers are feeling everyday but are to afraid to get help. Diane west playing Gina was an excellent choice because of her inviting motherly aspects as well as her coldness.
I personally think it was a brilliant idea even if it was already done in another country. It is the best new HBO show in my opinion and one of the best show's ever produced.
OK all of you who've read the first draft of this article thank you for saying it helped you and now that i've finished the series i can say that i stand behind everything i said before. I honestly cant wait for the next season.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've written before that I'm a sucker for one-on-one scenarios -
they're generally the hardest to pull off, but when they're good,
they're very, very good: intimate, intense and deeply rewarding. In
Treatment has a unique format: Monday through Thursday, we focus on a
different patient of therapist Paul (an interesting performance by
Gabriel Byrne) and then on Friday, it's Paul himself who is in therapy
(with the superb Dianne Wiest as Gina).
For the most part, the sessions are written in a realistic way, where the issues are revealed in layers, not upfront, which is how things generally are revealed in real life, so this works.
On Monday, we have Laura (the compelling Melissa George), who tells Paul she is in love with him. Yer basic "transference" as it's called, and Paul responds by telling her he's not an option. She's very persuasive, this Laura, and the next week (the second session we see), she comes back to tell him she's decided to accept her boyfriend Andrew's proposal of marriage, simply because Paul told her no. A lot of game-playing and power-tripping going on here, a lot of testing, as well, and then there's Paul's true feelings about the situation, which go far deeper than he shows Laura, of course.
Tuesday is Alex - he's a pilot who's flown bombing missions and is seeking help for his guilt, which he cannot even admit he has. He's the most controlling of the patients, constantly playing tedious ego games with Paul.
Wednesday, we've got Sophie, a teenage gymnast and Olympic hopeful who may or may not be subconsciously causing herself harm in order to get attention from her mother and/or to get out of the pressure of training. She also might be sexually involved with her coach - this is something I picked up on during the first session and I was pleased to see Paul bring it up with Gina in his own second session (which I watched last night). The actor who plays Sophie is Mia Wasikowska, and she is absolutely fantastic - she makes her lines sound as if she's creating them on the spot, a brilliant actor with a stunning career ahead of her. Her sessions are by far the most believable, and I find myself truly caring about what happens to her character.
Thursday we meet with a couple, Amy and Jake, who are having a baby and not sure if they want to keep this baby. The second of their sessions was cut short when Amy started having pains and they had to leave.
This provided a chance for Paul's wife Kate to have it out with him in his office, which she feels he uses to escape from her and shut her out. She's been very unhappy because she feels Paul puts all his energy into his work and has nothing left for her and their children - "all I get is an anemic old tired man," she tells him. Then she proceeds to say she's been having an affair - something Paul already suspected and had mentioned to Gina in his first session with her. He then flies into a rage and demands details, so he won't be left to his own imagination, he tells her.
Friday, things really heat up, when Paul seeks solace by going to see Gina, a therapist with whom has an apparent history. By the second session, he's a wreck, although he was a mess the first week too, confiding in her that he feels he's been "losing patience with my patients" - which is true, from the behavior we had witnessed.
It's like the blind leading the blind, really, because Paul, we find, is egotistical, angry, deeply conflicted, confused and in denial just as much as the patients he attempts to treat. Even worse, he's withholding when it serves him. For instance, in their second session, he fails to tell Gina that HE was the one who demanded details of the affair from Kate, instead passing it off as if she was throwing these details in his face. It's only when Gina calls him on it that he sort of admits what really happened.
This is good though, the way Paul is portrayed - it makes him human. And the show is addictive, if you like this sort of thing, which I do, of course, even with the self-consciousness of some of the writing - only the sessions with Sophie genuinely ring true, as I've said. Rodrigo Garcia, who also worked on the other therapy show, Tell Me You Love Me, is a good writer and director, as are the others being employed, and I believe this show could blossom and go on for quite some time.
2/26/08: I've watched weeks 1-7 now, and I have to add: keep watching. It gets better. MUCH better. I've up'd my rating from a 6 to a 7 to reflect this.
3/18/08: Week 8 is nothing less than transcendent, some of the most compelling TV I've ever seen. Giving the series an 8 now.
5/5/09: After 5 weeks of Season 2, it's a 9 from me. This season is much better, in every possible way: all the self-consciousness is gone from the writing, it's much more organic now and quite brilliant. Paul has new patients (all intriguing and beautifully written and brought to life in stunning performances across the board), and he's dealing with the fallout from Season 1 - most notably his infatuation with Laura which cost him his marriage and the potentially hugely damaging lawsuit brought on by Alex's father, who holds Paul responsible for his son's death.
In Week 5, we see a heart-breakingly sad Paul, whose father has just died. The subtlety, complexity and poignant restraint with which these segments were written and performed represent, in my opinion, some of the most stunning and affecting television you will ever witness.
In Treatment is one of those series that doesn't need anything more
than creativity, because it's all about it. There's no need for more
than a director, a camera, an effective editing, great few actors and
interesting cases. OK, any other series need all of that too but here
everything's much more simple, fitting in a low budget that results in
a high profile series that holds your attention just by amazing
performances in a room.
When I heard about it for the first time I thought that it could be a lot boring, but I was completely wrong. HBO's philosophy about realistic drama shows never goes wrong on the target.
In Treatment really is something like 6 different series in just one. I mean... you can follow each one of the 5 weekly patients individually or you can just opt following all of them. So you will keep understanding the primal idea anyway you choose. And that is a lot interesting and innovative.
Boring? No way. The actors and their characters have their very own personality and problems a part, and each one of them has their own meaning and importance in a way that it's impossible choose the most interesting or the best performance between them.
First season is filled with great actors and amazing characters. You have Laura (monday) - brilliantly performed by Melissa George - a person who have relationship problems with her fiancé because she's in love with Peter, her psychotherapist; Alex (tuesday) - performed by Blair Underwood - an arrogant navy pilot that is always testing Peter and himself without balancing consequences; Sophie (wednesday) - performed by Mia Wasikowska - a teenager that seems to be a potential suicide but in fact problems are too much worse than that; Jake & Amy (thrusday) - performed by Josh Charles and Embeth Davidtz - a couple which husband has trust problems with a wife that's always hiding truths to avoid his jealousy behavior; and at least and last Peter himself (friday), performed by Gabriel Byrne, who searches for his once a time mentor and now a retired psychotherapist Gina - magnificently performed by Dianne Wiest - because psychotherapists are also humans and have their own personal and professional problems.
But the best thing for me is the realistic tone of each chapter, making us fell like in a real psychotherapy session. If you like consistent dialogs and enjoy a lot to be an observer of human behaviors and also all those psychotherapist manners to take away hidden truths like playing a game, you'll be mesmerized with this show. It's simple, consistent, dense and emotional with no shame.
I don't know why, but everyone who comments on this show feels a need
to outline each of the characters, with a short "bio" and some personal
What's curious about this is that the show's uniqueness comes from Gabriel Byrne's performance, and the subtle variations in his dealing with each patient. Their problems and dilemmas are somewhat secondary to his attempts to address them, which, ironically, is only possible because the other actors are absolutely brilliant.
All that said, Sophie is fascinating, not only from the character/plot/script standpoint, but from the unbelievable performance by Mia Wasikowska. She was the only one in the show I had never heard of or seen anywhere else, and for this kind of incredible performance to spring out of nowhere, it's clear she's sold her soul to the devil, and truly gotten her money's worth. Looking forward to seeing her in everything else she does.
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