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October 6, 2015

In Treatment returns with a screwed-up schedule

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 4th 2009 10:00AM
Gabriel Byrne in HBO's Last season, Gabriel Byrne, Dianne Wiest and Blair Underwood lead an amazing cast in one of the most daring new projects on television: HBO's In Treatment. For nine weeks, the show aired virtually every night in half-hour installments. Gabriel Byrne was the constant, therapist Paul Weston, and each show featured one of his therapy sessions with a different patient. And with the sessions each happening Monday through Friday on the same day the show aired, the progression of the show felt like real time.

Which is why I don't get HBO's move to jigger with the schedule for the second season of In Treatment, starting this Sunday. Now, instead of getting one session per day throughout the week, we're getting two back-to-back episodes on Sundays starting at 9/8 Central and three consecutive installments on Mondays starting at 9/8 Central. Their reasoning for this change: they found that people tended to watch the show in clumps anyway, so why not air it like that? But honestly, it's so much more intimidating this way. When it's only 30 minutes each night, it doesn't feel like much, but now you're looking at an hour and a half on Mondays!

Shortened from nine weeks to seven for this second season, It looks like things are going to get a lot more serious for Byrne's Dr. Weston. In the first season, patient Alex Blair (Underwood) died while technically under Weston's care. Last year, Alex's father confronted Paul about his son's death, but this year he's taking it a step further and filing a wrongful death suit. Paul's divorced and relocated, thus the patients and set are all new, so it's nice to have that continuation from last season.

And of course, we'll still have Gina (the brilliant Dianne Wiest) as Paul's therapist in his Friday sessions ... airing on Mondays. Come on, HBO, this schedule is stupid. The charm of the show was that it was almost voyeuristic in its presentation. With sparse sets and intimate dialogues every day, it truly felt like we were peeking in on these very private sessions. I found myself wondering what yesterday's patients were doing today and thinking about it all as if these events were real.

With the new schedule, that aspect is gone completely. Plus, two-and-a-half hours over two days, and particularly the odd choice of a Sunday and a Monday, just doesn't make sense. Hopefully, if the ratings suffer they'll consider the schedule rather than just assume we're done with the show and yank it. The show deserves better than that; it really is "appointment" TV (zing!).

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Wow, this is what blogging has come to? You come across as a whinny little bitch who was struggling with 'what should i write about?' Weak.

You have a show... Between replays and DVRs this allows a viewer to watch in clumps or still spread it out over five, seven days. Get over it!

April 06 2009 at 5:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

'In Treatment' is brilliant and I do tend to watch it together so perhaps this will make it easier. I always wanted all of one person's story together... wonder if they would do that for me??

April 05 2009 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

i think this change is ridiculous, In treatment is one of the best dramas ever, but all of the week's shows episodes in two nights what is HBO thinking? the great part about the shows airing mon-fri was there was a timeline you felt that these events happened at a specific time.

April 04 2009 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm glad they are concentrating the episodes over two nights. It's a surprisingly good show, and when last season came out, we usually watched 2, or 3 half hour episodes in a row through video on demand.

There is just no pleasing some people. If they had aired it that way last year (Sunday and Monday), and switched it to 5 nights a week his year, this post would probably be complaining about that instead.

Just get a DVR, and watch it on your terms if it bothers you so much. HBO is giving you that choice now, a choice you didn't have last season, since you had to wait till Friday for the last episode of the week to air.

April 04 2009 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the schedule really is idotic ... i think I'll tape it and watcht one episode per day. :-)

April 04 2009 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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