Monday, January 28, 2008

In Treatment: Episode Number 1.....the sub-blog

"In Treatment" begins on HBO tonight-- it's a series that will run nightly (and hey, I have no life, what else have I got to do?) . I'm going to try to post either during (can I do that?) or right after. I'll add the time as I write, and feel free to write comments as we go.

9:25 The excitement builds.

The patient cries. It isn't fun. She calls her doctor "Paul." She gets up and stumbles, he grabs her hand. Her nail polish is very red. Where did she leave her car? She sat outside for four hours in the dark before the session. He drapes her in a blanket. She talks about watching the minutes tick by on her cell phone. He is quite. She talks about her ambivalence about the session.
"What happened last night?"

She left Andrew. They drank.

The patient's name is Laura. "I did some terrible things last night."
Paul says it's okay if Laura vomits on his rug. Her phone rings in her very red purse. It's Andrew. Paul is wearing jeans. He doesn't let Laura take the call.
Andrew, it seems, has given her an ultimatum, they get married or he leaves, and she has 2 days to decide. Andrew cried. Laura was scared. Or she was angry. She feels manipulated. She smashed his laptop.

She went for a drink with a friend who dressed her in the little black dress she's worn to the session. Laura drank more and her friend left, and Laura met a guy-- probably a Republican--- he paid for her drinks. He followed her to a unisex bathroom. She had sex in the bathroom with the stranger. Way too many details. Suddenly thought of Andrew and he pees like a racehorse in the morning, sex aborted....more too many details...and then she thought about talking about this in therapy.

"And what did you imagine us saying?"

Patient worried that Therapist Paul would be disgusted. She confesses her behavior and leaves to vomit in his bathroom. Paul makes her tea.

Paul brings Laura back to talking about Andrew and points out to her that she was the one who delivered the ultimatum, "It sounds like you were the one who wanted to bring the relationship into crisis."

Laura gets angry. "I did no such thing." And suddenly Laura confesses to Paul that she's been unfaithful to Paul for a long time, "it's been here all along, you mean you've never noticed it." Oy. Obviously Laura is confessing her feelings for Paul and he doesn't get it. She wants Paul to hug her and confess his love. Paul looks only a little uneasy.

My daughter comments in real life: "These people are really messed up."

Laura is humiliated, Paul sits there like a Buddah. "You've become the center of my life."

"Laura, I'm your therapist, the parameters and limitations are established and ethically defined and not an option." Go for it Therapist Paul.

Laura talks about her fantasies about Paul. "I know it can never happen> I'm not going to boil your kids' rabbit." "The only thing that matters to me is you."

So far: it's not the Sopranos.


NeoNurseChic said...'s...different. (9:50pm)

ClinkShrink said...

I still think we really need a TV series about a mobile treatment unit. There could be a psychiatrist, a social worker and a psychologist or psychiatric nurse going out on the street to get the homeless mentally ill into shelter, or maybe responding to police emergencies involving the mentally ill. Now there's a show about real mental health life.

NeoNurseChic said...

I found it to be rather stereotypical, and a lot in one episode. And is it wrong that I laughed during several parts of it? I agree with the parts where you said way too much information - oy.

Mostly I laughed because it doesn't seem very real. It seems very....very fake. And kinda funny, in a sad way!

Rach said...

See that's why I want to watch the Israeli one (especially if it was subtitled). Israeli's seem to get psychodrama a lot better than north americans.

Anonymous said...

As one who lives on the other side of the world (Australia), it will be ages before we get to see In Treatment. I have read the previews in the NY Times and WSJ with great interest, particulaly the comparisons with the Sopranos (television at its finest). By the sounds of it, the first episode did not quite live up to expectations. But do keep up the sub-blog so that those afar can vicariously experience the series.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you can watch full episodes on HBO's website if you don't have cable (like me). Check it out:

Anonymous said...

I wanted to laugh but like Carrie said it wasn't funny in a funny way. It was funny in a pathetic way. I wanted to vomit as well (on my rug which isn't terribly expensive but still...) but the idea of laughing and vomiting and possibly aspirating some of my own vomit all because of this crap was just so pathetic as well.

Midwife with a Knife said...

I found it to be kind of boring and sort of a rehash of the stereotypes like neonursechic said. Maybe I'll give it another chance...

Anonymous said...

Not sure what this blog is. Kind of a blog for aspiring shrinks?

This show is groundbreaking for American TV. The writing is taught and honest. Might not be your thing. But, I haven't seen one real reason as to WHY people here don't care for it.

Based on my limited experience with therapists, I'm not surprised. About one good one for every 100 out there practicing.