Thursday, May 28, 2009
I love John Mahoney. In this season's storyline of the HBO series In Treatment he plays almost an extension or riff of the father he played so purely and truthfully in the movie Say Anything. Both characters became involved in corporate coruption and see themselves or their lives irrevocably altered in the process. Mahoney is spectacular as a CEO with sleep problems and anxiety attacks who goes to see Gabriel Byrne's doctor Paul. Mahoney does everything just right and we can see inside the mind of a person who is quite often so socially and intimately locked away from people yet among us in every environment. It's as if we get to the heart of the "hands off father" to the heart of "the callous business man"..."the workaholic, the control freak"...Mahoney tries to hide the heart of these stereotypes and but slowly reveals his characters secrets and helps us feel compassion for his journey. I never thought would be so involved in this series when I first started watching it...and I had no intention of watching it this season...until I saw Mahoney was in it. I can not recommend this series enough. If you have any interest in the what makes us tick, what is the human condition...if yu are a people person...then please check out this series. It will knock your socks off. And season two is even better than season one. At one last moment of the finale Mahoney can't understand why his therapist Paul would want to spend any more time with a useless old man. Byrne says "Because you have spent all your life rescuing others, I want to be there when you rescue yourself"...I melted into a puddle of tears. This is a beautiful show.
Hope Davis plays the character Mia. I probably know half a dozen women just like her in real life. During this season of In Treatment she has been utterly compelling by being so fucked up, so tough, so vulnerable, so humourous and so dam blind to her own patterns and devices that trap her away from happiness and intimacy, you want to shout out to her through the tv "Just be happy!. Go have fun!" I cried in this last episode when she doesn't have any idea what itimacy is but she has just said everything and broken down and exposed all the devices she's used to survive while being their victim without seeing the patterns of behaviour repeated. She says "I don't have intimacy" And Byrne's character says "This is it". Davis's facial and spiritual work is incredible as it surfaces that the way she is speaking in this room with her therapist is a beautiful example f intimacy. We just know she will be able to take this recognition into her daily life. Or we hope she can.
Sherri Saum is really good in this season too. She is so watchable and even with her flaws, we feel for her. Again another rewarding character arc to experience.