THE PATIENT (2022)
Aired On: Hulu / FX
Release Date: 08/30/22
"A psychotherapist who recently lost his wife, finds himself held prisoner by a serial killer with an unusual request to curb his homicidal urges."
Not since Dexter has a serial killer been this fascinating, funny or frightening.
I don’t even know what to rave about first with The Patient: the acting, the
direction or the soundtrack.
This 10-episode show had me riveted almost immediately. Rarely have I seen a
better use of music and ambient sounds to ramp up tension and terror.
The acting by Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleason is an absolute masterclass.
Both actors can do so much with a small, nuanced facial movement or
held/exhaled breath. I truly don’t know who is better here; they’re each turning in
the role of their careers.
Carell is instantly likeable and evokes empathy as Dr. Alan Strauss, a
psychologist with adult children who is apparently grieving the loss of his wife. He is clearly a good and caring therapist. Unfortunately, that leads to him being
“chosen” (read: kidnapped and imprisoned) by a psychopathic serial killer in need
of some emotional healing. Carell shines in this serious role, with moments of
dark humor that sparkle as well.
Gleason is equal parts chilling, earnest and subtly hilarious in his disarming role
as Sam the serial killer, who is the titular patient. Sam seems to want to get
better almost as much as he wants to unleash homicidal rage on people who piss him off. I loved Gleason in Ex Machina. How did I not know until now that he was also Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movie series?
I will be on the edge of my seat until the next episode drops Tuesday night. I
watched the two available eps once alone, then invited my tween daughter to
watch them with me, then she and I forced my husband to sit down and watch.
All of us are hooked – and we all like different things about the show.
My daughter loved the horror elements, like a dream sequence that is short but
terrifying. My husband liked the characters and agreed with me that there has not been a serial killer this compellingly watchable since Dexter.
As for me, I love absolutely everything about this show. The acting, sound, dark
humor and superb direction add up to a spectacular watch with cinematography
and pacing equal to any movie. My only complaint is that I wish Hulu would
unleash the whole season so that I could binge my way through it and uncover all the mysteries within.
What a tortured joy it is to find a TV show that is this hard to wait for. Tuesday
night is apparently my new favorite TV night.