Saturday, 10 October 2009

In Treatment in the UK - What the Critics Are Saying

The first season of In Treatment had its premiere last week in the UK. Though Kate will have her entrance not until episode 6, FYI a couple of reactions. What the critics are saying:

"[...] acted with the kind of subtlety, intelligence and smouldering power that makes you want to hug the television while you are watching it."

"Nancy Banks-Smith in the Guardian: "Each episode is a perfect little pearl, luminous on its own but better still as a necklace... In Treatment reminds us that TV is essentially claustrophobic and intensely personal. The enormous audience is an illusion... The therapist (Gabriel Byrne) appears to do very little. It is a treat trying to catch him at it."

Brian Viner in the Independent: "It's exceedingly classy drama, reliant almost more on the pitch-perfect acting than on the excellence of the writing. It's impossible to take your eyes off Byrne's performance, which is all the more remarkable given that he has so little to say."

Benji Wilson in the Sunday Times: "You barely leave Paul's front room in the entire series, yet it is as addictive as a morphine drip."

And from a negative review - yes, I kind of liked it, made me grin, though I differ in opinion. The author Rachel Cook has yet to encounter Michelle:)

"OK, cards on the table. In one sense, In Treatment (10pm, weekdays), which Sky Arts has bought from HBO following much acclaim and many awards, was never going to appeal to me. I am morbidly suspicious of therapy - where's the science bit? - and throughout my life have always found repression to be a vastly under-valued psychological tool. That and good old compartmentalisation. The inside of my brain looks not unlike the bottom of my wardrobe: basically, it's crammed with a load of old shoeboxes, some of which I'm willing to have a good rifle through now and then, and others that I would simply prefer to leave closed, thanks very much. [...]
Then the titles rolled. Oh dear. This show - which is based, sometimes word for word, on an Israeli series of the same name - is a complete disaster and I am at a complete loss as to why it has had American critics so bedazzled. Yes, its format is moderately brave, at least by the standards of US television. The saga is doled out to us in daily half-hour episodes, each focusing on a different patient, or on one of Paul's sessions with his own therapist, Gina (Dianne Wiest). In other words, each show is basically a two-hander and as static and wordy as a piece of theatre. But just because something appears to be "demanding" doesn't mean that it is also, merely by extension, good. This isn't good. The dialogue is hammy and clich├ęd, and you can see every kink and fold of what passes for its plot coming from about eight miles away."

"In Treatment is stunning stuff that in just five half hour episodes has been shocking and thought-provoking. I can’t wait for the rest."

Pink Paper Magazine published an interview with series creator Hagai Levi:

"Given the programme's success in such a crowded TV marketplace, what makes its creator proudest when he looks at back at the first year?
Levi smiles and thinks for a moment: “The fact that, even with all this noise all around them on television, people will listen to two people sitting in a room and talking makes me very happy.”

"You wouldn't think a drama filmed almost entirely in one room could be that compelling, but this is state-of-the art dialogue and brilliantly acted. Superb."

Some of our gentle readers may know how biased I am when it comes to In Treatment, so you won't be surprised that this is a golden opportunity for me to post screencaps:

"I knew it deep down that if I came here it would turn into this history between you two. I’m sorry, it’s really not helpful to me." Kate (Michelle Forbes) to Paul (Gabriel Byrne) & Gina (Dianne Wiest) ~leaves~

"Kate: She's Tammy Kent.
Paul: WHAT?
Gina: Who's Tammy Kent?
Paul: How-how is she Tammy Kent?
Kate: You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.
Gina: May I ask who this is?
Kate: This was a girl that Paul was in love with when we first met....
Paul: A long, long time ago.
Kate: ...well, WHATEVER, they're EXACTLY the same type....
Paul: No they're not.
Kate: ....and he....yes they are, and he made Laura out to be this fragile little girl, and I'm telling you what I saw was this highly sexual woman who was wearing stilettos at ten in the morning....
Paul: I...

Randy gave officially his OK: I'm allowed to keep posting - if I'm not hammered. We settled on the wording that my writing style is not odd nor is it weird, but it's eccentric :) And our visitors are a forgiving tribe of geeks and nerds, just as we are. Besides, this blog has become much too serious anyway, it was once meant as a simple refuge and replacement of a non-functional forum and website.
So, prepare for the next article tomorrow, titled: Lazy Sunday Afternoon. --chris