the patient

Hulu’s ‘The Patient’ Is a Timely Reminder That Therapy Is For Everyone (Even Serial Killers)

If by some happy accident, you have never felt the need for therapy, well, it must be nice to be you. For the rest of us, we have been therapized beyond belief, spending as much of our time on the proverbial couch as we do trying to apply the skills we learn on it to other areas of our lives. But never before has therapy been so terrifying and engaging as depicted in Hulu’s new thriller series, The Patient.

The story is, on the surface, simple enough. A patient named Sam (Domhnall Gleeson) starts seeing Dr. Strauss (Steve Carrell) under a pseudonym for a problem he can’t quite articulate. It isn’t until Sam kidnaps Dr. Strauss and chains him in the basement of his mother’s house that Sam is able to get to the root of his issues: he’s a serial killer otherwise known as the John Doe Killer.

The series is already garnering rave reviews, with critics praising the multifaceted characters – even that of a serial killer.

“Most of the time he’s not a serial killer, like he’s not killing, you know what I mean?” Gleeson explained in an interview with Decider about the character of Sam. “Working in all the lighter aspects of his character to make him a bigger thing than just one thing all the time … it would be bizarre if in a show about therapy you only showed one aspect of a person’s character. That would be such a mistake.”

Joe Weisberg, who created The Patient with Joel Fields, told The Daily Beast: “It’s funny, you often hear with serial killers that the neighbor is so surprised. But we delved a little deeper into that and learned that these people can sometimes be quite successful in their work lives and even getting along with people,” he said. “So it’s pretty interesting to think of it. Because once you say that these are humans and not just sociopaths, then we as writers are able to start digging in to create a human.”

The series is being released week by week (just like real therapy!) and we can’t wait to see how the story unfolds. Let this be a good reminder that if therapy can be beneficial for a fictional serial killer, surely it has something to offer you, too!

Cover Photo: Hulu

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