Snap Judgment: HBO's 'In Treatment'

Intreatment_lI’m sure it’ll get better. It has to, right? Blair Underwood (pictured) will be Gabriel Byrne’s patient every Tuesday night on In Treatment, HBO’s new series about a thoughtful, brogue-y therapist. As you probably know, the show’s on five times a week, and you can watch some of it online. I personally wasn’t too jazzed about first episode, which featured Laura (Melissa George, a.k.a. Lauren from Alias), a woman who’s convinced herself she’s in love with Dr. Hotness. Having read virtually nothing about the series until last night, I took it upon myself to guess at what ailed Laura and all I could come up with in the first 15 minutes was that she had multiple personality disorder because her accent kept changing. At first I thought it was Southern; but George is actually from Australia, so…. huh? Great raccoon eyes, though. Helped with the "about to pounce" element of her storyline.

All in all, it was a really slow half hour. There were perks, though. I’m a big creepy voyeur and love the idea of watching someone’s therapy sesh, so I think the up-close-and-personal aspect of the show really works. The two characters just as easily could have been performing on a stage. Also, I was thrilled to hear at least a few lines out of Byrne’s mouth. I’ve been watching season 1 of Mad Men over and over and it irks me to no end that Betty’s therapist never says a freakin’ word, even when she asks a question (usually: "Can I smoke in here?") And the opening titles for In Treatment inspire me to drink more water, and that can only be great for my health.

Did you like In Treatment, and if not, will you stick it out ’til the end of the week?


Comments (20 total) Add your comment
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  • Melissa

    I liked it very much, actually. At first it seemed slow, but about halfway through, I became completely engrossed in her story. Mostly because I think the sort of scenario she described in the bathroom happens to women more often than one would hope. It was very sad.
    Also, I found it believable that she would be in love with Doc because hello?! It’s Gabriel Byrne. He exudes the perfect mix of sensuality and kindness. Great casting.
    I think it will only get better with time. Except for the young gymnast storyline. That looks stupid.

  • Josh

    I watched the first ten minutes of it last night. That is all I could make it through. It has to get better than that. The show is sitting on my dvr, so I will try and sit through the rest of it at some point. The series has a lot of potential, but it’s hard to get into something when it doesn’t grab you whatsoever. I think they started off with the weakest character. Blair Underwood should be good tonight.

  • Catzak

    I watched about 5 minutes and then decided to finish watching Mad Men instead. I caught about the last 5 minutes also and wasn’t sure. I’ll try the episode tonight with Blair Underwood and see what happens, but I’m not sure if I have the time to invest in a show 5 times a week…

  • Kevin

    I am a therapist and loved last night’s episode, which I watched on-line. I also watched tonight’s on-line episode with Blair Underwood, which I also liked. Mr. Byrne’s character may not make the same choices I would as a counselor, but I think he is quite believable. I think I am officially hooked.

  • Xashton

    BORING! Nothing grabbed me and these sorts of things don’t work for me unless you have a “real” feel and the acting was anything but real.

  • Calliope99

    I’m also a therapist & found it a surprisingly realistic portrayal of what a therapy session looks like. I think that Byrne’s choices were often different than mine would have been, but always within the realm of possibility (and even more rare on tv – he was ethical throughout the session – nice change from most!!). I will definitely stick with it, but I’m hoping I can turn my brain off and just enjoy it – it did feel a bit like a training video at times (like an APA “What to do when a client comes on to you” vid). I feel sure it will get more engaging as we get to know these characters more and get deeper into therapy (and when we learn more about Byrne thru his own therapy). Oh, and George’s character? Unless I’m off my mark completely, she presents as classic Borderline Personality Disorder. But it’s early yet for diagnosing, so there may be much more to it as we go along. I look forward to finding out!

  • Carli

    You guys are nuts! I loved this show. I was into the story for the full 30 minutes. It was so detailed that I found myself (after it was over) trying to remember if those scenes from the bar were actually shown or if she just told us about them. I was able to picture it so perfectly that I forgot. Count me in.

  • miltchocklit

    i thought it was great and well acted. melissa george was very convincing and look forward to next week. i was thinking with all the drama classes i went through in my youth, how tough it must be for gabriel byrne to memorize all those lines for every show, every day. good start, it’s got a spot on the tivo!

  • v

    I watched the first two episodes tonight, and while I don’t think it’s a home run just yet (for example, like “Mad Men” was for me), I think I’ll stick with it. I’m responding to it so far like I did to “Tell Me You Love Me.” That seemed very slow at first, but after a couple of episodes, I found myself dying to know what would happen next for some of the characters. And I love Gabriel Byrne, so to be given the opportunity to spend time with him every night, even for just a short while, is just fine by me.

  • SteveS

    I also liked the first 2 episodes a lot. Yes, it is slow moving but the characters are still being established so I wasn’t expecting too many revelations from them yet.
    I just watched the third episode online with the gymnast, which I found disappointing after the first 2, but I will keep watching probably for the entire 8 weeks.

  • paul

    i liked the first episode, i think it will be interesting how these patients will progress or digress. i will be sticking with it? what else is there to watch? (besides lost)

  • Jen

    I was not crazy about the first episode. I was sort of bored by her character and I think the writers could have faired better with a different take. The falling in love with the therapist just seemed dull. But I loved the Blair Underwood session. He’s a great character–the arrogance was just awesome to watch. I can’t wait for the next Tuesday session.

  • veronica

    i was hooked from about ten minutes in. then i watched all five episodes straight – found each of them compelling, and especially friday’s ‘session’ with paul and his own therapist. fantastic acting and writing – engrossing. really looking forward to next week’s installments.

  • Michael

    I am also a therapist and, like the previous comments, felt like I would have made different choices, but also was struck by how much it felt like the real deal, from both the therapist and the patient chair. The patients are excellent – totally believable, and while Paul’s technique sometimes occasionally looks like a trainee blunders, this might be justified by observing experienced therapists often find ourselves with particular patients which we might never do with others, and which might even violate our own principles on paper. Paul is an engagingly flawed therapist but he has the tone right, especially of someone who, in the cocooned isolation of his home office has perhaps drifted into some idosyncratic directions in that has perhaps let him indulge some personal idisyncracies. I especially liked how well they evoked the zingers patients throw us and the ad hoc qualities of our responses, something which I bet every therapist will recognize.

  • canyonroad

    if you think that Byrne is a good shrink, you should have your head examined. He has no boundaries and has committed the ultimate sin by leading Laura on

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