TV alert: HBO’s “In Treatment”

 
 

Tonight at 9:30 on HBO, the new series In Treatment premieres. This one has quite a gimmick: It airs five nights a week and is set entirely in a therapist’s office. Each 30-minute episode focuses on a different client of therapist Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne), and on Fridays we’ll get to see his session with his own therapist (Dianne Wiest).

The cast also includes Melissa George (Alias, 30 Days of Night), Embeth Davidtz (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Junebug) and Michelle Forbes (Battlestar Galactica, 24, Star Trek: The Next Generation).

 

It could be weird, self-indulgent or just plain blathery, but it could also be cathartic and, uh, therapeutic. I only wish Dr. Melfi could drop by. Or maybe Paget Brewster from Huff (I know, she was a psychiatrist’s wife, not a shrink herself, but these are my crossover fantasies and I’m sticking to them).

It certainly seems like an interesting experiment. On Sundays, there will be a marathon of the previous week’s episodes, if five nights a week just seems too demanding. (This show is definitely what DVRs were made for.) Oh, and the writers’ strike won’t affect this one — 43 episodes have been filmed.

The New York Times calls In Treatment “hypnotic” and “addictive” in its review:

In every session the patients’ words are veined with allusions and elusions, clues to problems or patterns that are invisible to them but absorbing for the viewer. … This show is smart and rigorous, with a concentration that bores deep without growing dull.

You can watch clips on the HBO website.

 
 

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