Nowadays, I mostly watch TV for current affairs: News at Ten, Newsnight, Question Time and the occasional political documentary. If I miss something, I can spend ages trying to load up my – slow broadband – computer to watch it again, not always successfully: for instance, quite a few people have told me how great the BBC series on Women was, particularly the Libbers episode. I am hoping to load that onto my computer screen soon.
But for drama, I often turn to my box sets; gifts or borrowed. And my current BS passion is In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne as a psychotherapist called Paul, strangely enough. It is quite slow to start with, showing one session a day, over the course of a week, meaning we get to know the individuals ( and in one case, a couple) and their particular ‘issues.’ Then, on a Friday, Gabriel Byrne goes to see his old supervisor, to discuss his own crisis in work and personal life.
Who would think that a show about people sitting in a room talking could be so gripping and, at times, moving?
That it is so good is largely down to excellent acting, a fine script and the incredibly handsome Byrne, who manages to make the art of listening and thinking, dramatically absorbing. Then, on a Friday, he reveals a completely different side of himself in supervision, coming across as rather cranky and dissatisfied, quite at odds with his calm professional demeanour.