You know the usual players when it comes to conversations about HBO’s murderers row of prestige dramas. There’s the holy triumvirate in “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” and “Deadwood” surrounded by their slightly less prestigious contemporaries in “Six Feet Under,” “Big Love,” and “Boardwalk Empire,” as well as more recent editions of the canon, including “The Leftovers,” “The Deuce,” and “Succession.”
But often overlooked when discussing HBO’s great drama series is “In Treatment,” a show centered around a single therapist, Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) and a rotating slate of patients. It was a small show, an unconventional half-hour drama that aired five episodes a week, the better to mimic a therapist’s schedule. But within those half-hour episodes, each representing a single therapy session, “In Treatment” packed a hell of a punch and in its first three seasons earned a Peabody Award, seven Emmy nominations, and two Emmy wins.
And now, as much of the United States nears a full year in pandemic-related lockdown, it only makes sense that people are talking about mental health issues more than ever. With meditation apps and on-demand talk therapy websites and Zoom counseling becoming more common than ever, why shouldn’t HBO be revisiting some of its most timeless intellectual property?
During WarnerMedia’s presentation at the CTAM Winter 2021 Press Tour on Wednesday morning, HBO announced more details about the upcoming fourth season of “In Treatment,” returning more than a decade after it last aired an episode.
The network shared that the series would return in May, with the previously announced Uzo Aduba replacing Byrne at the center of the series. Aduba plays Dr. Brooke Taylor, an empathetic Los Angeles-area therapist seeking to help her patients navigate their trauma and their lives.
“This is easily one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had in my life,” Aduba said of the role, citing the amount of preparation needed for a job in which she appears in every scene.
“I cannot make that statement without saying that it is also one of the most satisfying, fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had,” Aduba added. “This project came into my life at a time that it was needed and really brought an excitement and energy.”
Joining Aduba as her patients are Anthony Ramos (“Hamilton”), who plays a home health aide hoping to find an environment in which he is the one who is cared for, John Benjamin Hickey (“Manhattan”), a white-collar criminal struggling to adapt post-imprisonment, and Quintessa Swindell (“Euphoria”), a jaded teenager looking to make her own way in a world in which she seems powerless.
Rounding out the cast are Liza Colón-Zayas (“David Makes Man”) and Joel Kinnaman (“For All Mankind”) as individuals populating Taylor’s personal life, where issues are often just as complicated as those she helps her patients with while in session.
While HBO has yet to announce when, precisely, “In Treatment” will return in May, it feels like a safe bet to assume it’ll take place in plenty of time for Emmy eligibility, instantly making the show’s cast contenders in all relevant categories.