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Time for the next “Patient” 


For an actor that built the foundation of his career in comedies such as “The Office” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” Steve Carell has used the past few years to really develop as a dramatic actor. The new Hulu miniseries “The Patient” is a large step forward towards deepening his resume. 

“The Patient” stars Carell as therapist Dr. Alan Strauss, a newly widowed middle-aged grandfather. One of his new patients reveals himself to be Sam Fortner (Domhnall Gleeson), a serial killer obsessed with revenge against those who he feels have done him wrong. Strauss only finds this out after he has been kidnapped by Fortner and locked to a bedpost in his patient’s basement.  

As the series progresses, more about Fortner’s past is slowly revealed, not unlike the way a series of therapy appointments may be structured.  

The show is fast paced, which is somewhat due to the relatively short episodes. Each episode is 21-22 minutes. I also think the pacing and intensity gets interrupted a little too frequently with the amount of commercials and commercial breaks Hulu has. 

The show itself is really good. It’s somewhat a run-of-the-mill psychological thriller, which has become far more common in recent years as pop culture’s interest increases in the dark side of humanity. “The Patient” stands out with its role reversals. The therapist is actually the one facing his fears to fight for his freedom, while his patient holds him captive.  

Carell’s performance in this show is excellent. He shows great restraint as Strauss; very quiet and methodical, unlike many of Carell’s previous roles that were bigger and bolder (i.e., Michael Scott). Gleeson also delivers in this show, but not as memorably as Carell. With a minimal supporting cast, Carell and Gleeson have to drive the entire narrative, and they do so in a captivating way.  

“The Patient” is a great addition to the fall TV lineup, and I highly recommend it for those who enjoy thrillers. 

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