Joshua Alston, over at 20/10, a Facebook site that looks at the past decade and makes lists, offers a list of the top television dramas. For the decade. That’s the past 10 years, not just one year, or last year. Coming in at #10 is In Treatment. [As of February, 2015 this website no longer exists on the Internet]

Here’s what he had to say:

Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) is the therapist, who like many of his real-life peers, struggles to keep his professional distance from patients dead set on blurring the boundaries of the doctor-patient relationship. Feats of thespian derring-do come faster than you have time to process them all, as the patients lunge and Paul ripostes. For those who live in a town without a robust theater scene, In Treatment is the closest thing to a spectacular off-Broadway play starring name actors.

Thespian derring-do indeed! Congratulations to In Treatment and to Gabriel Byrne for this recognition.

Read the rest here, watch the recap video, check out the other lists on the site (books, movies, etc.), and revel in all the good stuff from the past as we move on to the next decade.

Oh, and boo the Golden Globes while you are at it. Good grief. Mr. Byrne is going to have to be happy with the one he already has, I suppose….

UPDATE: Lara notes in the comments to this posting that others are acknowledging the “millennium-defining” series as well, including the UK Telegraph and the San Diego Union-Tribune. I note that Entertainment Weekly does not have much to say about In Treatment in its year-end review. My subscription to EW is up for renewal. Hmmm. What shall I do? wink

vlcsnap-2009-11-29-11h14m42s79Hi! Can I interest you in a subscription to Entertainment Weekly? No?


  1. Thanks for this news, Stella. I was just wondering how you win the Globe one year, and miss the nomination the next, with essentially the same performance and product? It makes me wonder how political the whole process is and if missing the acceptance last year hurt him, politically-speaking?


  2. I agree with TwoMoons. I was sitting watching the Today show this morning, excited to hear the name, GABRIEL BYRNE, being called out. I honestly thought I must not of heard the announcer! How the hell could he/the show not be nominated?! Oh well, I know which show I will not be bothering to watch at the beginning of the year!!

  3. the award season in like running a campaign. and I think it’s more HBO’s fault, that didn’t push the show, than Gabriel’s. not going last year did not harm him I think. but maybe he didn’t go to enough VIP parties the last couple of months…
    of course there is a part of talent, but also a big part of business…

  4. I think we should take out a massive full-page advertisement in the Irish Times that says “Dear Gabriel Byrne, To hell the Emmies and the Golden Globes. Know that you will always win the prize of our hearts and our minds. With love from your fans all over the world.”

  5. hey that would be great !! ;-)

  6. I totally second Lozzie’s idea about taking out an Ad. If nothing else, GB might be so touched by our gesture, he may even post a comment to Byrneholics suggesting we meet him in person so he can thank each and every one of us. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?!

  7. arlene coyne

    Interesting that on newsweek’s best fiction books that number ONE is by one Gabe’s favorite authors John McGahern “By The Lake”. Now I have to read it, of course!

  8. Tina, sometimes I think Byrneholics IS a big ad. If you search Gabriel Byrne in Google, you will see Byrneholics right there on the first page of results. Go, GB! Go, Byrneholics!

    Still, print is good. I wonder how much an ad in the Irish Times costs?


  9. IT Season 1 just made UK Telegraph’s Top 10 TV shows of 2009, at #8

    “8. In Treatment, Sky Arts

    In this classy drama import from HBO Gabriel Byrne played a therapist, treating a different patient on each of four nights, before seeing his own shrink on the fifth. The returning, episodic rhythm was pure TV; but the wordy, one-on-one dialogue came straight from the theatre. The most innovative scripted show to hit British screens in 2009.”

  10. Effusive though we are in singing the man’s praises, I don’t think Gabriel Byrne is the kind of fellow to Google himself, and so is unlikely to be reading this. However, he DOES read the Irish Times! :)

  11. what about his kids ? they are from the google generation… ;-)

  12. Ok. Ok. You’ve convinced me. Now provide the details, Lozzie, please! :-)

  13. In Treatment has been included in another ‘Best of the Decade’ list. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, IT is one of the 10 shows that ‘defined the new millennium’.

    5. “In Treatment” (2008 to present, HBO): Absorbing and heart-wrenching, HBO’s marathon psychological drama is also totally addictive. And Gabriel Byrne does more with silence than Marcel Marceau.

  14. Karla Peterson, of the Union-Tribune (see above), apparently has a soft spot for In Treatment. :) On another feature, she has listed “Week 5: Oliver” as #1 in her list of Seismic Episodes of 2009, “television episodes that helped make the best out of a very bad year.”

    1. “Week 5: Oliver” (“In Treatment,” HBO)

    When a bully vandalizes his locker, young Oliver (the priceless Aaron Shaw) ditches school and heads to his therapist’s office, where Dr. Paul Weston (the peerless Gabriel Byrne) makes his young patient a sandwich and we are treated to a scene of such gentle intelligence and empathetic beauty, we could feed off it for years.

  15. so true !!

  16. I’m delighted to see all this critical acclaim. I just hope Gabriel’s agent prepares a regular folder of press-clippings for him to look over.

  17. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly listed his top 20 TV shows of 2009 and included IT in his list:

    17. In Treatment: Gabriel Byrne’s soft-voiced therapist returned for a second season. He, not the season, was significantly more downbeat: now divorced and lonely, Paul presided over a new roster of patients. The stand-outs were Alison Pill, playing a cancer-stricken architecture student, and Hope Davis as a former patient of Paul’s, returning to tidy up some messy unresolved issues. Best of all, Dianne Wiest was back as Paul’s therapist, taking no guff from the sad-eyed man with the open heart and tamped-down anger.

  18. Hi, it’s me again :) More praise for IT, this time from

    The best TV of 2009

    3. “In Treatment”

    No sooner had HBO’s “Tell Me You Love Me” demonstrated that almost nothing under the sun could be more tedious and unbearable than a TV show about therapy than HBO’s “In Treatment” arrived to prove just the opposite. In the show’s second season, the offices of therapist Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) once again unveiled a steady flow of tense scenes and characters so deftly scripted that they had audiences sniffing and weeping their way through big boxes of tissues right along with them. How could therapy be so riveting? In part, “In Treatment” works because the show’s writers acknowledge the limitations and frustratingly distancing language of therapy even as they explore its benefits for the emotionally shell-shocked clients who find their ways to Weston’s door. As tough as it was to invent a worthy follow-up to “In Treatment’s” dynamic first season, all of the new clients were compelling, from retiring business executive Walter (John Mahoney), with his alternately infuriating and heartbreaking self-protective tics, to biological time bomb Mia (Hope Davis), who may be my favorite complicated, conflicted female character ever to appear on a drama other than “Six Feet Under.” And of course, Byrne was utterly believable as the sensitive professional who remains confused about his own issues. “In Treatment” offered the immediacy and emotional impact of an engrossing play, while showcasing the most intricately drawn, exquisitely performed characters on TV this year.

  19. Best of 2009 in TV – Sepinwall on TV
    By Alan Sepinwall/The Star-Ledger

    “In Treatment” (HBO): The drama about sessions between a therapist (Gabriel Byrne), four of his patients, and his own shrink (Dianne Wiest) was compelling enough in 2008, but had some weaker storylines. There were no weak spots in the season two roster, with all four guest actors – Hope Davis as a brittle lawyer regretting her single life, Alison Pill as a college student refusing to get treatment for lymphoma, Aaron Shaw as a bewildered kid caught in the middle of his awful parents’ divorce, and John Mahoney as an embattled CEO confronting a lifetime of repressed pain – doing extraordinary work, and Byrne and Wiest topping it at the end of each week.

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