In Treatment – Season Three (DVD)

On the surface, In Treatment shouldn’t work.

Aside from Gabriel Byrne who plays therapist Dr. Paul Weston, there are few reoccurring characters to attach to; just about every scene takes place in either Weston’s office or the office of his own therapist; and there is very little action, putting all of the pressure on the dialogue. But somehow – and almost exclusively thanks to the brilliant Byrne, as well as the writing – the show works amazingly well.

Season three starts off with Dr. Weston finally settled in Brooklyn, where he moved his practice after breaking off with his wife in Maryland. While dealing with the new changes in his life as well as tremors that he fears may be the beginning stages of Parkinson’s Disease, he starts seeing his own therapist (played by a fantastic Amy Ryan). The season also introduces three new patients: Irrfan Kham playing a Sunil, a recent widower from India whose son and daughter-in-law have brought him to live with them in New York; Debra Winger, playing Frances, an aging Broadway actress; and Dane DeHaan, playing Jesse, a gay, adopted teen who is struggling with whether he should contact his birth parents.

While the story focusing on the Broadway actress grows tedious fairly early on, the other two story lines are among the most compelling of the series to date. Beating the odds, In Treatment manages to be one of the strongest dramas on cable.

In Treatment – Season Three/4 DVDs/840 Mins./HBO/2011

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