The Patient will debut on Hulu with two episodes on Tuesday, August 30. The remaining eight episodes will be released weekly, every Tuesday.
The creative team behind The American – writers Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg and director Chris Long – are back with an impressive new series. The patient is smaller in scope but, like Americans, displays what could Being a prequel based on the pulp, packed with cheap thrills, and firmly anchored in slow-burning tension and serious drama. Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson star in the Cure Serial Killer series, but none of them are made for laughs as this hook is played perfectly straight, which makes it all pretty well believable.
While there are other characters, this is really The Carell & Gleeson Show, where Carell dives into a low-key drama, Gleeson portrays a sociopath who desperately wants change, and the script makes all the right moves so we can believe the somewhat horrific anxiety-setting Pierced. It’s not uncommon for weekly broadcast series to give us two or three episodes right out of the gate, so viewers can invest more in the front end and hopefully choose to follow. For The Patient, which goes on for shorter episodes (about half an hour) anyway, it’s absolutely necessary since more than a few metaphorical walls need to be broken in order for Karel’s wizard, Alan Strauss, to agree to help a madman.
Because – not giving up much – Alan didn’t do it of his own volition, at least not at first. Those first two chapters—”Intake” and “Alan Learns to Meditate”—are important in moving him (and us!) to a place where proper manic therapy can begin. You’ll find plenty of modern tricks to trade in the two-part premiere, like opening media, relive many flashbacks, and using dreams as background fillers, but these format cutters are more forgiving here because we’d otherwise just watch a two-person play.
Karel is brilliant as a serious and interested mental health professional, with a recent haunted past (which will certainly be explained over the course of the season), who begins treating a mysterious man for “anger issues”. This guy, Gleeson’s character, can’t share his true nature with Alan, so they deadlocked with therapy. Then the man despairs–and things get dark–when Alan wakes up in the basement, chained to the bed. It’s a crazy start but, as mentioned, the episodes do the necessary work, even though Alan was incredibly terrified, to get them talking.
The key here is that the Gleeson killer really wants to improve himself. And while Gleeson does show hints of a broken mind, he’s great at showing honesty in his character’s efforts to heal and improve. he is Dislikes Living the way he does, feeling the impulses he feels, so one can find a small pocket of sympathy for him while knowing that what he’s doing with Alan is just awful. He’s also become a “foodie,” which is a fun way to illustrate his need for toughness and the ability to appreciate finer things.
Sure, FX on Hulu isn’t a “hub” any more, but The Patient is still an FX-developed series that streams in the same way as Devs, Reservation Dogs, The Bear, and a handful of others. This was brought up just to highlight that FX is where excellent performances are made by both new voices and old favourites (like this American team, or Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine from Black Sails making The Old Man). The Patient is another reminder that those who created some of our favorite shows from the past decade are here doing new and exciting things.
Like Americans, the patient is able to stir up plots of calm and suspense at a slower, deliberate pace. It’s escalated but it doesn’t push us away or separate us from the characters. Carell is our “entrepreneur” here, pushing every man into survival mode but Gleeson is the key to unlocking this. He is exceptional at depicting a man-made beast willing to do the work. If it was too bad, this would become too much of a horror story.
The 25 Best The Office Episodes of All Time