“Screening the Dark Side of Love – From Euro-Horror to American Cinema”
edited By Karen A. Ritzenhoff and Karen Randell, Palgrave Macmillan
As the history of film and film theory has repeatedly shown, the relationship between cinema and psychoanalysis is a fruitful one. However, the Israeli TV serial drama BeTipul (2005–2008)2 and its American adaptation In Treatment (2008–2010) are the first TV series to be entirely restricted to the conversation between therapist and patient. This chapter will discuss how the narrative of In Treatment focuses on the patient–doctor relationship as a forbidden trope and on how the therapist, Dr. Paul Weston (played by Gabriel Byrne), is caught up in conflicts as a result of his incipient transference love. He feels something for his patient, but he knows that he shouldn’t. This “dark” love story constitutes the linchpin and principal subject of the first season of In Treatment.
At first this essay gives a definition of a TV serial drama as an auteur film; then it outlines the story lines of In Treatment. The essay examines In Treatment from a specific perspective, with an eye to its structure and its filmic and aesthetic means and with special attention to its dramaturgy and the communicative constellation of its narrative. The last two sections of the essay address the subject of transference love and how it is represented in In Treatment.
This edited collection unpicks the ways in which love can be understood globally as a problematic and often violent transgression rather than the narrative of ‘happy endings’ that Classical Hollywood has offered. The contributors utilize varying methodologies of history, textual analysis, psychoanalytic models, and cultural critique and engage with films that have been made from the margins to the mainstream of cinema to explore issues surrounding gender identity and spectatorship.