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In Treatment: Season 1 & 2 by Richard Marvin (Review)

posted Feb 8, 2011, 12:52 AM by Kaya Savas

Richard Marvin's score for the HBO series must have posed a very interesting challenge. How do you compose a score for a show like In Treatment? The sporadic structure of the show doesn't really lend itself to traditional television scoring. It's a unique series and had to have a unique approach. I think Marvin approached and executed in the best way possible.

Each track on this album doesn't present us with anything that complex. They are accents to the characters presented each episode. The themes then have to continue and change for characters we see recurring in later episodes. If you're expecting a traditional approach you may be disappointed. Each track is essentially a character portrait. It's an individual complete piece of music that represents that character at that given moment. The score may work better in the show but as a standalone experience it provides an interesting listen. The music can contrast in certain ways that it enhances the experience. The piano pieces are simple and haunting. They remind me a bit of Thomas Newman, whom Richard played for at points in his career.

This album is a great collection of character pieces. The music may not be as emotionally heavy as you might expect but it has enough human depth to make a connection with the listener. The score may not be for everyone since it's more of an episodic approach to scoring instead of a traditional arcing score. There are building themes but they build differently than you'd hear in traditional storytelling fashion.