Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Cure for the 'Mad Men' Void: 'In Treatment'

The secrets we keep

The lies we tell

The truth we hide

It all comes out.

The intense, almost claustrophobic HBO therapy drama, In Treatment returns for its third season on Monday October 25 at 9 p.m., and just in time, as far as I'm concerned, because I’ll be anxiously using sessions with Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) to fill the philosophical/intellectual entertainment void that Mad Men left behind in the wake of the conclusion of its too brief fourth season. (Ironically, the advertising copy for this season's In Treatment -- listed above -- sounds like it could also be applied to Mad Men.)

For the uninitiated, In Treatment is a series of regular “appointments” for each character. There are new characters each season, with the exception of Paul who has been in all the episodes. You watch that character’s session on his/her day/time each week, watching all the patients' sessions or just the ones that happen to interest you. At the end of the “week,” Paul visits his own therapist and reflects on what’s been happening.

Here’s the schedule for the sessions/installments:


9 p.m., Sunil: A retired math professor from Bengal, who moved in with his son and his son’s American wife in New York City, is struggling with the recent death of his wife.

9:30 p.m. Frances (Debra Winger!): A recently divorced actress can’t seem to remember her lines and has been experiencing anxiety because her sister, like their mother, is dying of breast cancer.


9 p.m. Jesse: The HBO write-up for Jesse says he’s “a gay teen, full of creativity and angst” who “wrestles with his identity and his relationship with his adoptive parents.”

9:30 p.m. Paul: The therapist himself submits to his own therapy from Adele (Amy Ryan from The Office) because he wants her to give him a prescription for sleeping pills, only Adele makes him confront the skeletons in his closet.

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