There are plenty of head cases on television, but few are as engaging as HBO’s ‘In Treatment,’ which returns tonight for a third season. Subtle, sophisticated and brimming with stellar performances, the shrink-wrapped drama is outstanding TV therapy.
Gabriel Byrne is back as brooding psychiatrist Paul Weston, who has scheduled sessions with an intriguing but smaller list of patients this year — like the rarely seen on TV Debra Winger — allowing viewers to connect more with the ones on the couch.
That includes the McDreamy doc himself, who seeks out a new therapist this season after his shrink Gina, the terrific Dianne Weist, has retired to write a novel–featuring a character whom Paul perceives to be a thinly version of his tortured self. That lands him in treatment with the younger, less experienced Adele, played by Amy Ryan of ‘The Office.’
Oscar-nominated actress Debra Winger (‘Terms of Endearment’) has been lured into therapy, tackling the plum-perfect part of an aging movie star attempting to make a comeback on Broadway, except that she’s been ‘blanking out’ on stage. Winger, who’s been very choosy when it comes to working over the last decade, was last seen in a guest stint on the last season of ‘Law & Order’ and in the 2008 indie film, ‘Rachel’s Getting Married.’
Others seeking help from the insightful, soothing and patient Dr. Weston are a depressed, isolated widower named Sunil, who’s a Bengali professor now living in America with his son and daughter-in-law (played by ‘Lost’s Sonya Walger). There’s also the case of Jesse (Dane DeHaan), an adopted gay teen in crisis, struggling with the discovery of his birth mother.
While entering the world of the repressed and depressed each week might seem, well, depressing, ‘In Treatment’ is actually quite gripping and well done in typical HBO fashion. (It’s also kind of like free counseling!) So if you haven’t gotten into ‘Treatment’ yet, now is the time to give it a try.
Season 3 of ‘In Treatment’ premieres this week on HBO with four new episodes: Monday, Oct. 25th at 9 and 9:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 26th at 9 and 9:30 p.m.
Debra Winger Grapples with a ‘Sensitive Subject’
Meet Paul’s New Therapist: ‘You Seem Distressed’