The Patient is an American 10-part psychological crime drama miniseries by FX, now streaming on Hulu. The miniseries stars Steve Carrell and Domhnall Gleeson as the two key characters in the storyline.
S P O I L E R S
Alan Strauss, a psychotherapist (Carrell), who recently lost his wife, finds himself held prisoner by Sam Fortner, a serial killer (Gleeson) with an unusual request – for Dr. Strauss to curb his homicidal urges. (IMDb)
The Patient Eps 1 – 2 is rather light on plot overall. That’s because of a couple of factors. One, each episode is only 20 minutes long – you blink and it’s over! Not much time to develop a serious dramatic narrative at all. Two, both episodes primarily feature the two main characters and nobody else, save for a minor sequence with Alan’s sons and a couple of flashbacks with his deceased wife.
The way the story is told through the interaction of the two key characters with only one main setting i.e. Sam’s house, makes The Patient feel like a stage play. There are hardly any other locations – apart from the minor deviations mentioned above – and this means that the dialogue becomes hugely important to carry the story. Sadly, the dialogue is so poor that nothing is actually happening, resulting in the narrative being very boring.
Dr Alan Strauss is typical morose Carrell in serious dramatic fashion. Somehow, that is seldom an interesting look for Carrell. At the beginning, there was a possibility that perhaps The Patient was a black comedy but nope, as Dr Strauss is depressed and in a terrible situation. No laughs from Steve Carrell? What a waste.
Gleeson is unrecognisable as Sam Fortner and not entirely convincing as a serial killer seeking redemption. His bad wig is distracting and Gleeson’s overall performance is under-whelming.
In final analysis, not much to recommend The Patient with – the only direction is up. Wait and see.
Now streaming on Disney+.
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