The last (abbreviated) week of HBO’s In Treatment begins tonight. As much as I’ve knocked HBO around for its programming screwiness lately, this series (much like Tell Me You Love Me) was a prime example of why I’m glad the network exists. There’s not another network in the U.S. that would have attempted it: it’s too slow for FX, not sexy enough for Showtime, probably not commercial enough even for AMC and obviously too raw for PBS. It may have been a ratings failure, but it was an artistic success, and TV could use more programmers willing to fail this well. (In this sense, even the decision to blow $20-odd million on Twelve Miles of Bad Road and then cancel it was principled in its own way. Dysfunctional and messed-up, but principled.)
As for tonight, I won’t give away anything except to say that I hope the show wasn’t so low-rated that Emmy voters will overlook Mia Wasikowska, left, who has been simply astonishing: probably the best raw-nerve depiction on TV of a teenager’s inner life since Claire Danes in My So-Called Life, and then some.