Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In Treatment

I am completely hooked on IN TREATMENT. It airs nightly on HBO and they’re in week four of nine. But you can catch up and watch the episodes on their website or HBO replays them whenever they’re not showing the “Making of SPANGLISH” or one of those other unwatchable movie – cough cough -- “documentaries”.

It’s adapted from a popular Israeli series so you know it’s not PETTICOAT JUNCTION.

The remarkable Gabriel Byrne stars as the therapist, Paul. And he’s just what you’d want in a shrink – he’s in a screwed up marriage, he’s getting burned out, he has the hots for one of his patients, and he can’t lose his accent.

You find yourself completely engrossed with each of his cases but it occurred to me that maybe it’s because they’re all sexy.

Mondays feature Laura (yummy Melissa George), a smoking hot anesthesiologist who’s in love with Paul and deals with rejection by hopping into bed with anyone.

On Tuesdays it’s Alex (Blair Underwood), an arrogant Navy fighter pilot who killed a bunch of innocent people during a bombing raid in Iraq and is there because he can’t get a good cup of coffee.

Wednesdays belong to Sophie (Mia Wasikowska), a cute high school gymnast banging her coach. She’s a cross between Juno and Chloe from 24. My heart goes out to her when I don’t want to smack her.

For Thursdays, Paul treats Jake & Amy (Josh Charles & Embeth Davidtz), a young couple struggling with infertility, marital issues, and who are we kidding? The Bobbits’ have a better chance of growing old together.

But the best is Fridays where Paul sees a therapist. (Actually, that’s not true. One Monday when Laura described giving a stranger a hand job in a bathroom that was more fun than Paul’s ennui.). But it’s fun to get in Paul’s head and Dianne Wiest (pictured) steals the series acting-chops-wise.

Like I said, sexy scenarios all. But in real life, this is probably Paul’s caseload:

Mondays – Ida. 81, nervous to interact socially because her Depends leak.

Tuesdays – Sarah. 25, actress wannabe. For a whole hour it’s just me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

Wednesdays – Rick. 54, hates his job at Aetna insurance, which he goes into with great minute detail.

Thursdays – Natalie. 64, Cries the entire hour. Just cries.

Fridays – Howie. 49, writer. Last credit: THE ROPERS. Guess what he talks about week after week after week.

But fortunately for us IN TREATMENT has more sizzle and intrigue. And when it’s over I know I’m going to feel such a void, such a loss that I’ll need to start treatment myself. Just hope I bump into Laura and not Ida.


Anonymous said...

Diane Wiest is wonderful. I have a loose connection as my oldest sister graduated from Nurnburg American High School with her.

The Minstrel Boy said...

at first i was thinking "how could this be any good? two people sitting down in a room and talking." but, like you, i'm totally hooked. there have been some little nuances that truly amaze me. some of them i don't even know if they are on purpose. one thing i noticed, and i think i noticed it mainly on account of growing up with an irish da, is that when paul gets angry, or emotionally upset his accent thickens. most of the time in conversation it is almost undetectable, then, when he's in a scene finding out about his wife's affair it becomes t'ick and present. the consonants shorten and the vowells gain. even if it is an unconscious thing on bryne's part, it's brilliant. and i agree with diane weist owning her share of the screen. even to the point of all this week having moments during laura and alex's night when i was thinking "how's he going to tell that shit to gina?"

Слінк Ядранко said...

I don't know if you've seen Huff, but it covers a lot of these bases and manages to be rather likeable too.

Has a real Douglas Coupland vibe to it.

I'll check this out.

Anonymous said...

(but not selfconcious about it)

Knowing how picky some of you can be, please withhold your judgment on Anonymous’ spelling of “Nuremberg” above. First, because that is exactly how we pronounce & spell it here in the South, and second because, here it is with the umlaut that must have accidentally fallen off - Nürnberg.

FYI, the American high school is at a military facility named Ferris. Why do you think they didn’t name the place Ferris High? I’m such a fan of both Diane Wiest and Renee Zellwegger, they pretty much have me at the first squint. Would like to go deeper into this, but I see our time is up. Perhaps we can cover it in our next session.

Ü Mr.Umlaut, the only emoticon with the smile in its locked and upright position.
Accept any substitute, and we'll be shocked Ö, Shocked, I tell you Ö Ö.

Anonymous said...

Also love the show. Who knew two people sitting and talking could be so entertaining. Lest anyone forget, it's brilliant writing. As for the acting, also brilliant. I told my wife all those actors are going to get other roles without even auditioning for them. What more would a director on another project need to see?

Anonymous said...

Ken, your "Howie" would've been 19 years old when he was writing for "The Ropers". I know writing staffs are young these days, but THAT young? :-)

Unknown said...

I covet the ability to see this show. Sadly we don't get HBO.

I got the first 15 on the ITunes Podcast just to get a taste and was really impressed.

Now I will have to wait for the inevitable DVD.

Cap'n Bob said...

What, no flash cuts, no floating cameras, no extreme closups, no grainy frames, no flashing lights, or jungle drums? No headache-inducing MTV effects? WHat could they be thinking?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

(in Canadian)

Melissa said...

I'm hooked too. I find it a real struggle to keep up, I'm waking up early or staying up late just so I don't fall behind. The timing for this show was good, lucky really, with the strike but now the strike is over, more competition for my eyeballs like AI.

I liked Huff a lot too. Showtime doesn't give their shows enough time to catch on.

The casting is spot on. Lots of sexy foreigers besides Paul (Sophie is an Aussie as is Laura). Just when I feel like I'm getting tired of a character, they open up another door into something more interesting.

Ironically I've found Paul's sessions with his therapist to be the least compelling....but I'm sure I'll love that one this week too.

Anonymous said...

Who writes the show?

Anonymous said...


I just watched the first weeks worth and this show is fantastic. Never would have watched it if you didn't mention it.