So I've noticed that the comments for the "Cupid" posts have been dwindling as we've moved along, and I'm wondering why. Are people just not that into the show? Or is two episodes a week too many, even during the strike?
The reason I ask, in part, is because Monday brings the debut of "In Treatment," the latest in a long tradition of HBO shows about people in therapy (see also "The Sopranos," "Tell Me You Love Me," "Sessions," etc.). What makes this one unique is that it's a five night a week show. On each of the first four nights, Gabriel Byrne's shrink sees a different patient (including Blair Underwood, Josh Charles and Melissa George), and on the fifth night, he goes to see his own shrink (Dianne Wiest).
Now, admittedly, I'm the guy who got all sucked into "Tell Me You Love Me" and watched all 10 episodes in a day and a half or something, even though I hated two-thirds of the characters, so take this opinion for what it's worth. But after starting off somewhat cool to "In Treatment," I'm really enjoying it, and the only thing preventing me from watching more (HBO has already sent out seven of the nine weeks of the first season) is the number of hours in the day and the other stuff I have to do. Byrne is brilliant, as he almost always is, and the format (all therapy, all the time) is surprisingly engrossing. A few of the characters have problems similar to the people I hated on "Tell Me You Love Me," and I'm much more into it here; I wonder what that show would have been like had it all taken place in Jane Alexander's office without all the genitalia.
But even I recognize the kind of commitment you need to make with this show. I know daytime soap fans watch their shows every day, and fans of shows in other formats ("Jeopardy," Conan, "The Daily Show") do that, too, but it still feels like a lot. There's some modularity to it -- if you only care about Blair Underwood, you could probably just watch his episodes -- but there's enough crossover from patient to patient (something that happened with George may affect Byrne's behavior with Underwood the next day, that kind of thing) that you'd feel like you were missing out if you didn't watch it all.
I'm going to deal with this more in my column review of the show on Monday, but I'm wondering how many people are going to want to put in the time for this, even with little other scripted programming at the moment. I'm not even sure I'll have the patience to blog it five nights a week; since HBO is airing it in a variety of formats and platforms, including a Sunday marathon of the previous week's episodes, maybe I'll just hit it at the end of each week. I don't know.
Just thinking out loud. Don't mind me.