Review: Hulu’s ‘The Patient’ is unique, eerie


Courtesy of Hulu

Hulu’s new show “The Patient” first episode premiered August 30. TRL’s Audrey McCaffity shares her thoughts on the psychological thriller.

Psychological thrills and slow build ups come together to create Hulu’s new show “The Patient.” The first episode released on August 30, and the series follows a weekly release schedule. 

Alan Strauss (Steve Carell) is a psychotherapist who has built quite a reputation for helping even the most helpless of cases. At the beginning of the pilot, he has just lost his wife and begins to learn what day to day life is like without her. Quickly after the start of the episode, he gets a new patient Gene, who comes to Strauss after finding his previous abuse affects his daily life. They have several sessions, and then there is a turn. Strauss tells Gene that he feels he has not been completely honest with him at the end of a session. 

The next thing that the audience sees is Strauss waking up chained to a bed. He starts freaking out, and then Gene walks in and attempts to calm him. He begins to explain that the only way he could truly open up is if Strauss couldn’t turn him in, as he admits to being a serial killer. Strauss tries to tell him that as long as he is not planning on committing another crime everything is confidential, but Gene says that he will commit more crimes without Strauss’s help. The series is set up to follow the rest of Gene’s (now known as Sam’s) story.

First of all, this role is the last thing that I would expect Carell to take on. Although he has worked on a drama like “The Morning Show,” his usual comedy roles suit him perfectly. This is not to say that he doesn’t fill the role well, but knowing just how much comedy he has done in the past makes it harder to take him seriously throughout the episode. It seems as the series progresses, this feeling will go away but only time will tell.

Psychological thrillers often have a fast pace to begin with before it begins to slow down and set up the classic scares. “The Patient” however, takes almost the entire first episode before anything other than some eerie music is added. I think this was a good decision on the writers part, as it will let the audience decide if the show is a must watch for them. Anyone who wants a bit of mystery and suspense will want to keep watching and those that might not handle horror well will know to turn it off. 

Sam, played by Domhall Gleeson, pulls off the creepy serial killer role perfectly. In his first session with Strauss, it is clear that there are going to be some major issues brought up. While he makes jokes and attempts to seem a little personable, Gleeson is able to show the audience that something is missing within the character without outwardly saying it. 

Overall, viewers who love psychological thriller films will be captivated by the series. While I would never watch this before going to sleep at night, it is a great change of pace from the average dramas and sitcoms that are common on streaming platforms today. 


Rating: A