It’s Not TV. It’s Even Better.

One of the advantages of being sick is plenty of time to watch TV.  So I’ve now seen a good chunk of the first season of “The Wire” and the first week of “In Treatment,” both of which are HBO shows and both of which are almost as wonderful as they are exhausting.  (I also watched<i>The Italian Job</i> via the Watch It Now feature on Netflix, and that was a fun film.  I liked it.)

Everyone loves “The Wire,” so I have nothing new to say.

“In Treatment” is difficult to watch in a couple of ways.  First, in that you really have to commit the time — there are 5 episodes a week, apparently, each of them 28 minutes long.  Four are sessions that Paul (Gabriel Byrne) is having with different patients (Monday – Laura, Tuesday – Alex, Wednesday – Sophie, Thursday – Amy and Jake) and on Friday, he’s in therapy himself with his former therapist, Gina (Dianne Wiest).  Every session is full of frustration and anger and misdirection and misunderstanding and… it’s very well done.  The writers do a great job (at least in this first week) of weaving in just enough backstory (and hints of story-to-come) that I’m interested in all of the patients for different reasons.  I also think the week was paced well, because after Thursday I felt like I needed therapy — so it should have been a relief to see Paul go talk to Gina.  But, of course, it can’t be that easy — and that’s what’s to love here.  It’s never as simple as it seems, and it’s always lifelike.  Yay.

So far, highly recommended… with the caveat that I think this could be an emotionally trying show for many, and time-trying show for nearly all (it’s available On Demand).

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