In Treatment – Season One (DVD)

On the surface, the concept behind HBO’s drama In Treatment doesn’t seem to elicit the same excitement as say a show about Jersey mobsters or Hollywood hangers on, but given a chance the series is remarkably addictive. Adapted from a popular Israeli TV series, Gabriel Byrne plays Paul, a psychologist with his own emotional and family problems.

The half hour series centers on five patients (including Paul himself) going through therapy, each spotlighted in rotating order. The patients include a young female doctor with commitment problems, a Navy fighter pilot struggling with the bombings of civilians in Iraq, a teenage gymnast who flirts with suicide, a married couple who seem destined to kill one another and Paul, who sees an old colleague to discuss his own troubled marriage. Unraveling in 43 episodes, spread out over nine discs, In Treatment is equal parts intimate and engaging.

Smartly written and beautifully acted, the no-frills drama is a high point for the talented Byrne. His character is thoughtful, intense and appropriately flawed. Dianne Wiest also does a remarkable job as Gina, his therapist. With over 21 hours of shows, the collection is admittedly intimidating, but a handful of episodes into the series, you’ll be skipping sleep and putting all other plans on hold just to get to the end of the season.

Rating: 9.2 out of 10

In Treatment – Season One / DVD 2009 / HBO Home Entertainment / 1,290 minutes.

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