Translating the television 'treatment' genre: Be'Tipul and In Treatment

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In Treatment (2008-2010) was the first Israeli series to be remade for US television, and its largely positive critical reception established a reputation for Israel as a home for quality drama - setting the stage for the remake of Hatufim (Prisoners of War, 2009-2012) into Homeland (2011-). This article takes up the case of In Treatment to examine how the process of transnational television remaking can illuminate the concept of US quality television in the millennial era. Arguing that the aesthetic and industrial brand of quality is defined by the theme and device of transformation, the article analyses how the American remake gradually diverges from the original series Be Tipul (2005-2008) to accentuate this concept in its stories and narrative style. The resulting text presents the quintessential contemporary example of what I call the television treatment genre: a mode of programming that operates by centripetal narrative complexity to present serial selves, or characters whose time in therapy produces progressive or regressive modifications in their emotional state. When read against the more halting and circular narratives of Be Tipul, this format demonstrates a clear socio-cultural remapping of its topic: where therapeutic culture in America is presented as a site that is underpinned by contested neoliberal ideologies on the government of subjectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781 - 794
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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