Gabriel Byrne sits well in the therapist's chair as he dissects each of his patient's foibles and problems in a well cast, well written drama that holds the viewer wanting to know more about not only the players but also the process.
It has helped me a great deal to appreciate the rigours of therapy and embrace some of the concepts. The power of the simple one-set format makes for compelling viewing and this is only achieved by the quality actors chosen for each role.
In the Monday-Thursday cycle, Paul is us, asking the questions we ourselves want to ask and then we see him on Friday express his true feelings and reveal how much of himself is shown in the patient sessions when he himself is subject to the same process.
The limitations of the tight office set mean that we are forever discovering more about Paul, his family and his patients and can compare his office to the sterile and almost mordant surroundings of Gina's rooms as if Paul has arrived to the morgue for dissection and analysis.
I was surprised at how Paul finally reacted to his children in Ep31 , expressing irrational and hypocritical indignation to his daughter about her mother/his wife's behaviour, yet with his older son throwing himself on his sword regarding his own behaviour toward Laura. The subtlety of writing caught well how the naivety and innocence of the young, Paul's son and daughter, can reinterpret their view of reality in a different way to the older parents.
This is a series you just cannot put down and one I sincerely hope will have many future series. The quality of each episode is so much better than anything that normally comes from America and I am pleased that this was scheduled by HBO and not NBC, ABC or Fox since it would have been cancelled without it breathing its first breath.
As a UK resident we are spoiled by the quality of drama and yet this series sparkles with creativity and must-see-again drive that should ensure anyone who watches at least five episodes will be hooked. Yes, perhaps a TIVO type series, but one you can recommend to others and get personal emotional "take home pay" for the way people interact. Thank you HBO.