In Treatment: Season 3
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Anyone who has experienced the psychotherapeutic process cannot help but be instantly drawn in to the show's eloquent design of talk-and-listen, as secrets are told or held back, fears and desires explored or repressed. Even those who are perfectly adjusted and scoff at the value of psychological treatment should be fascinated by the twists and turns that mostly seem entirely naturalistic, and better yet, unexpected. The 50-minute hour that is shortened to 20-something for dramatic purposes may sometimes play against the realistic portrayal of the professional dynamic, but after all, this isn't reality. Even so, the episodes crackle in their basic form as one-act plays that thrive on nothing but two people trading razor-sharp dialogue about who they are and what they're thinking. Paul is still listening, and he's entirely engaged. The flow of each session reflects the depth of his perception as he leads himself and his patient back to points, gestures, and remarks that may have been made in passing, yet which represent the basic spectacle of the therapeutic process and the essential role the therapist has in that relationship. We understand that what goes on in his office affects him as much as his patients.
That's where Amy Ryan comes in as the young, brilliant psychiatrist who Paul sees at the end of each week to bare his own tortured soul. He's still terribly depressed. His ex-wife is remarrying, he's plagued with guilt over his 12-year-old son, and he has terrorized himself into believing that he's becoming his father, even to the point of being convinced that he'll die of the same disease (Parkinson's). At first Ryan comes off as the perfect psychiatric ice queen. But as their connection deepens with knowledge, insight, transference, counter-transference, and enthralling exchanges of actorly acrobatics (their butts never leave their seats!), she becomes perhaps the show's most compelling character. She's in great company with Debra Winger as a patient who plays an aging actress (though decidedly not typecast) who finds work elusive and is facing some ordinary family struggles as well. Not only does she look terrific, Winger brings the best game she has to her sparring-match scenes with Byrne. As an anguished gay teen, Dane DeHaan is the weakest character. He's saddled with annoying sexual and adolescent stereotypes that seem to be thrown into the show's mix just for a proper portrayal of patient demographics. Best of all is the Indian actor Irrfan Khan (known primarily in the United States for The Namesake and Slumdog Millionaire) as a maladjusted immigrant whose inscrutable nature fascinates Paul. As the most glaring example of how Paul's relationships with his patients sometimes slip into the inappropriate, the two become friends of sorts, even into the ultimate and unforeseen conclusion of this sensational seasonal thread. In all, In Treatment continues to be an engrossing dramatization of psychotherapy, made human by excellent writing and gripping characterizations. --Ted Fry
Top Customer Reviews
This is the best show on television. The acting and writing are superb. As a retired therapist, I can vouch for the validity of the therapeutic process and sessions. Gabriel Byrne does it again. Don't miss this season.
The reality is that therapy is messy, as messy as life itself. It starts and stops like the rest of life starts and stops, not at any great dramatic points but at quite ordinary and often unresolved points. The patient teeters off to do life on his or her own for awhile and after some missteps will often come shakily back into therapy again with perhaps a different therapist. Although the therapist comes across as all knowing and wise in session, if you stumble across your therapist's personal life, you discover his or her personal life eclipses your own in sheer messiness.
This show captures the above like no other film or tv show ever has. It has done so for three seasons. It may have done it best in this season. Gabriel Byrne does a tour de force job as therapist Paul Weston and indeed very much reminds me of my own first therapist. This season we see him in therapy with a new woman therapist plus him as the therapist with three new patients. My personal favorite has always been to see Byrne's Paul Weston in therapy and this season is no exception to that. He is just a complete mess but in a wholly believable way.Read more ›
'In Treatment's third year you will again find four half-hour episodes per week. The first three half-hours are Paul's ongoing sessions with his patients, and the final one brings us inside Paul's sessions with his therapist. His therapist for the first two years is gone, and a new one, Adele, is on the scene. And, she is a therapist that we all want. Intelligent and insightful, she brings Gabriel Byrne, Paul, to his senses. She will not allow him to wallow in his misery and points it out, weekly, with force.
the other three patients are a mixed group. Debra Winger as Frances, an actress who come to Paul when she begins to have trouble remembering her lines. Sunil, a new widower from India who has come to live with son and his family, deeply unhappy and seemingly in a depressed state. Jesse, an adopted gay teen who is promiscuous and torn between his lovers and his families. All of them fascinating in their own way, but it is Adele, played by Amy Ryan, who keeps our focus. Sharp, she begins to get inside Paul's head, and he begins to wonder if what he thought was true, indeed is.
Gabriel Byrne is a force to be reckoned with. His performance is award winning and so convincing that at times his wounds are palpable. Kudos to the staff and actors of this marvelous HBO show.
Highly Recommended. prisrob 12-08-10
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perhaps not as spell binding as Season One or Two, but still quite entertaining.Published 3 days ago by Karen
Great dialogue, delving into the mind of your next door neighbor, should have been a season 4, season 5, etc
Could not wait to see the next installment. Read more
Really addictive, if you enjoy teleplays with a lot of dialogue. Be prepared for nuance, ambiguity, and a wide spectrum of emotion.Published 11 days ago by RIchard Lindberg