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Byrne speaks

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  May 4, 2009 05:46 AM

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Gabriel Byrne appeared on the NPR show "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross last week, and it is a really engaging 40 minutes of revelation. They talk about "In Treatment," and the extraordinary way the HBO show unveils the narrative of its characters' lives, and the great art of listening -- by the therapist, by the actor, by the radio host, by the friend. As on "In Treatment," Byrne's voice is hypnotic and persuasive.

Gross gets Byrne to talk about his Dickensian experiences as a child in Ireland with the Christian Brothers and how he finally found the theater. And it's compelling stuff. Byrne speaks of his coming of age with candor and lyrical insight. What also strikes me about the interview, though, is that Byrne has not been in therapy, and neither has Gross, who is clearly a massive fan of "In Treatment." What does that say about them? I can't say, but I do like what it says about "In Treatment."

So many people I try to introduce to the show resist, saying that they are not therapy types. The fact is, "In Treatment" isn't just addressed to therapy junkies; it's for any viewer who is drawn to the stories of people's inner lives, to powerfully written dialogue, and to some of the best acting on TV. Here's a link to the Byrne interview, which can also be podcast through iTunes.

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1 comments so far...
  1. I know I resisted watching last year and went back after the season was over and parcelled out my viewing over some weeks. I've never seen acting of this calibre on television and probably never will again. Gabriel and Dianne are magnificent and the casting is near-perfect. Just watching is an emotionally wrenching experience. Too bad HBO can't cough up more time for rehearsals, a longer shooting schedule, etc.. No one could keep up this pace for long. I'd love to know if therapists ever give explicit advice like that given to Oliver's father to just keep showing up despite the years of anger he will probably endure. Many of us carry our own fear of rejection from childhood and would give up if our children also
    rejected us. Reluctance to go to therapy, I think, comes from the perception that specific advice like that is rarely given. Wonderful work by all. .

    Posted by annamaria May 26, 09 01:44 PM

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