S eason Two of In Treatment arrived earlier today and so, for the first time, I truly took advantage of the mobile viewing options of DVDs. I unloaded everything my bag of tricks at a table with a large iced tea and settle down to a couple of therapy sessions with Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne).
Strange to explore these stories like this, like reading a book in one of the big comfy chairs and greeting the occasional patron/coffeehouse buddy on their way. Surprisingly, it took nothing away from the sessions themselves. Four half-hour encounters with a regular schedule of patients and then one additional half-hour that Weston spends with his own therapist, Dr. Gina Toll (Dianne Wiest).
Watching them is like reading a chapter in a longer novel than you expect when you first crack it open. They are dense affairs, loaded with text and subtext, meaningful glances, pregnant pauses.
I watch the exchanges and am reminded that I am doing something similar in this space. I watch people – those who are alone, like myself, and the others who come in with friends, business associates, study partners, what have you – and attempt to crack the code of their dynamics, much like Weston or his therapist.
It is all entertainment, the narratives onscreen and the ones I create for myself. And I find that I’m looking forward to split-screening a few more of these sessions like this. It is an intriguing way to juxtapose the virtual and the real.