As Episode 1 of "In Treatment" (2021 release; 24 episodes of about 25 min. each) opens, we are introduced to Dr. Lawrence as she gets a late night call from a patient who suffers from sleeplessness. The patient, a live-in health care provider named Eladio, and Dr. Lawrence have a session the next day, virtual of course as the pandemic is omnipresent. Eladio is hoping to get a prescription for sleeping aids, but Dr. Lawrence resists, for a number of reasons, and much to Eladio's frustration. In Episode 2, we are introduced to Colin, a white collar criminal who was recently released from a 4 year prison term. He meets with Dr. Lawrence in person. What exactly did he do to go to jail? And how is Dr. Lawrence going to help him exactly?
Couple of comments: "In Treatment" originally aired on HBO in 2008-2010, to much critical acclaim and strong ratings. Now more than a decade later comes "Season 4", but that is really misleading and for all practical purposes this is a complete reboot of the series, considering it's been over a decade since it last aired and also as it is starring a new therapist (Orange is the New Black's Uzo Aduba, replacing Gabriel Byrne). I'll be honest, I had a hard time getting into Episode 1 with the young live-in health care provider. I simply could not connect with him emotionally or otherwise. Episode 2, on the other hand, is far more interesting and engaging for a number of reasons. Even though this is an in-person meeting, COVID-19 is mentioned more than once, and other current topics including George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement come up in discussion too. I'm interested to see how this will develop.
"In Treatment" premiered this weekend on HBO and Episodes 1 and 2 are now available on HBO On Demand, Amazon Instant Video, and other streaming devices. New episodes air on both Sunday evenings and Monday evenings at 9 pm Eastern. Episodes 3 and 4 will air tonight, and will feature two more new characters. Even though I was ambivalent about Episode 1, I liked Episode 2 enough that I will check out further new episodes. All that aside, I will admit that I couldn't help but compare "In Treatment" to the recently completed Showtime Season 2 of "Couples Therapy", the real life documentary about, well, couples in treatment, which I found absolutely riveting and top-notch TV viewing.
*UPDATE 5/25/21* I just watched Episodes 3 and 4. In particular Episode 4 ("Brooke, Week One") is of interest as the therapist meets with her sponsor and we are given all kinds of new details as to the erstwhile life of the therapist, and how addiction potentially keeps her from making good judgment calls in her personal life...