Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Treatment, week one: Alex

Talk about the second episode of "In Treatment," featuring the first appearance by Blair Underwood as Alex, here.

11 comments:

Theresa said...

I found tonight's episode a lot more engaging than last night's; it didn't hurt that I both liked Alex more than Laura and found him more interesting. I plan on watching this show at least through the first week. After that, I might just watch select patients. It's kind of a hard premise to swallow (two people sitting in a room, talking for half an hour) but it intrigues me. Any idea what kind of reception it is getting?

Anonymous said...

Interesting or disturbing? Alex is a narcissist and therapy will only help him better manipulate people. The next few weeks we'll watch him prey on vulnerable women that are not his wife. The therapist is in dire violation of his hippocratic oath if he participates in coaching a predator like Alex.

As a man, I probably don't share your desire to watch a hot man discuss his feelings !

Theresa said...

I think the fact that I found Alex more interesting than Laura has more to do with the fact that I found Laura's story to be extremely predictable than the fact that I was watching a "hot man discuss his feelings." After seeing more episodes I might like him less than Laura, but as of now I've only seen the two and I'm judging them based on that.

drake leLane said...

Knowing that this is adapted from an original Israeli television drama, the story of Alex's mission (and the repressed feelings about it) had me distracted imagining this character as an Israeli soldier.

I haven't seen Be Tipul, but this story doesn't require much reverse translation to think about what an original script for the show might have looked like.

Anon - most of us aren't privy to what Alex -- or any other character for that matter -- does in the coming weeks (hint, hint)

Anonymous said...

No more spoilers, promise :) In fact I haven't seen any more episodes than you have. But googling and reading an article on slate.com hit me with a detail that made a few things predictable. So don't read slate.com, ok? :)

From watching the first two episodes, it would seem that laura is a person who has moral boundaries that she's crossed and is earnest about coming to terms with them. Alex has no such moral compass and as such I have a hard time giving a damn what happens to him.

Regardless I'll probably be watching all the episodes. It would seem Theresa that this show has me seduced such that I can't look away either. lol. :)

Carlos said...

After the first two episodes, mixed feelings here, although I'm definitely going to continue to watch to give it a chance.

I found Laura #1 to be slow to get going and of course the woman falling in love with the therapist has been done 100,000 times before (best handling of that i've seen is actually in Robertson Davies... and I read that novel, what, 25 years ago?). Honestly, this episode felt like some of the worst parts of the awful Tell Me You Love Me. That said, the episode picked up a bit once she confessed her love and her self-awareness of how frankly pathetic and predictable that is. I'll watch again next week at least.

On the other hand, I enjoyed Alex a lot. The dialogue was much more stylized (it felt much more like a stage play than a TV episode) but I was fine with that. He's an interesting character, with an interesting story that wasn't just the same old tired relationship blah blah we got with Laura.

Carlos said...

Oh, and one request. NO MORE SPOILERS please. I cannot stand how hard it is to come to some piece of film/tv today with no expectations. Please keep the spoiler talk, whether you've seen the future episodes, seen the "scenes from next week" or read about it in Slate or wherever off this board. Thx.

Chris Littmann said...

I'm glad I didn't give up on the show.

Alex was a vast improvement over Laura. I enjoyed seeing the beginning of these two meeting rather than jumping in. Like I said, the Laura story dumped a lot on us, but with no background I felt no reason to care. It all felt very sudden, and not in a good way.

But back to Alex, really enjoyed it. Alan, if you've watched ahead, will it even make sense to only watch select patients, or are we going to need to see 'em all?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, if you've watched ahead, will it even make sense to only watch select patients, or are we going to need to see 'em all?

It's tricky, Chris. First, as will be made clear by the end of the week, the series is really about Paul, not the patients, and important things in his life take place throughout the week. If you only watch, say, the Alex episodes, you're not going to understand why Paul is acting a certain way around Alex.

Also, in the three weeks worth of stuff I've watched, there's at least one instance of patients from different days accidentally running into each other outside Paul's office, which then becomes an issue in both therapy sessions.

Mase said...

Anon @ 1:15 wrote:
"The next few weeks we'll watch him prey on vulnerable women that are not his wife.

I think it is actually the opposite. Alex has some strong feelings for his gay doctor running 'partner.' It appeared to me that he has (homosexual) feelings for the man (who's name I cannot remember for the life of me). His repressing those feelings, along with those he obviously has for the madrassa bombing, makes him as volatile as he is.

Could be wrong, but I've only seen the one "Alex" episode.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it did seem like good old fashioned reaction formation the way he talked about his gay friend, someone who he obviously trusts, and yet is derogatory about when talked about with outside parties.

This episode is the one that really got me in. The first one was decent, but it still felt kind of gimmicky. Not so gimmicky that I was turned off, but not something that I felt that closely tied to. This episode just seemed to go so quickly, and it really did shock me when he said "our time is up", as it just seemed to speed by.

If only the ratings were better, though I'm inclined to think HBO will probably stick with this show, as it's a decent schedule filler.