Not since Bill Murray married Richard Dreyfuss' sister in What About Bob? have the tables been turned so deliciously on the head-shrinking profession as what we find in The Patient.
Audiences may be about to go mad (or maybe just go meh) for the most expensive TV series ever produced with this week's premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, but those less inclined to being bludgeoned about the head by enchanted swords and lavish CGI panoramas may find just the claustrophobia they're looking for in this intense (and much cheaper) FX 10-parter now streaming on Disney+.
It's not too much to give away the simple premise; a serial killer holds a psychiatrist captive, demanding his prisoner cure him of his antisocial tendencies ... or else.
Talk about motivation for a speedy breakthrough.
Putting aside the whole deprivation of liberty/urinating in a bottle issue for a second, the idea of having a psychiatrist of one's very own must be tantalising, particularly for therapy-addled Americans.
For the better part of a century, we've been watching therapists on big and small screens holding chronological sway over their wretched clients.
"I'm sorry, our time is up," they say, omnipotent and glancing at the clock; usually just when the person (often Woody Allen) on the couch is agonisingly close to a self-actuating epiphany.
But imagine if you can throw the clock out the window? Imagine if you could chain your shrink to a bed in the basement of your isolated house in the woods and demand they fix you?
You're not even up for the standard Hollywood $80-per-hour fee, which, given the price of living, has surely ballooned to around the $200-per-hour mark?
This nod and wink to the psychiatric industry's own hostage-taking habits is just one of many asides writers Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg manage to inject into The Patient, while still bringing pretty much each episode in at barely 30 minutes long.
Such lean and mean production is rare in our bloated age of streaming and while it's a bit of a shock to have the credits rolling so soon after pressing play, the machine-gun cadence of The Patient has a certain soothing serialisation quality about it.
And talking of serialisation, the irony continues in The Patient with the casting of Domhnall Gleeson as our villain with compulsion issues.
One of the Irish actor's breakthrough performances was in 2014's Ex Machina, a movie in which he played a rube who ended up being held captive in a house in the woods by a psychopath engaging in a bizarre social experiments.
Again, The Patient turns the tables, and this time it's Gleeson playing the psycho. The victim - Dr Alan Strauss - is played by Steve Carell, the comedic star of The Office, in dour dramatic mode.
How the turntables once again.
Although serial killer Sam insists he's nothing like Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs, he at least shares Hannibal Lecter's extreme aversion to rude people.
All this irony makes The Patient closer in tone to this year's horror rom-com Fresh than, say, 2015's Room, but perhaps the most remarkable thing about its existence is how we never seem to tire of the whole captive-in-a-cellar trope.
John Fowles should probably be credited as kick-starting the genre with his 1963 novel The Collector, the successful film version starring Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar rolled out two years later.
Ever since then, basements have been bursting with hostages, giving filmmakers the opportunity for the kind of one-on-one intensity relished by performers and writers.
This is when The Patient is at its best, the interaction between Gleeson and Carell within the bowels of the serial killer's unassuming house. The character-building flashbacks are not unwelcome but we really are suffering them politely so we can get back to the perverse therapy sessions.
We're reminded of how effective this style of stage-play filmmaking can be - think of the stripped-back, all-script intensity of Rope or The Interview or Death and the Maiden or even Coffee and Cigarettes - films which hold our attention without the need for embellishment.
As the dragons and hobbits and she-hulks continue to rule the studios, it's comforting to see there's still room in the crawl space for dramas like The Patient; solid entertainment for adults.
Maybe our time isn't up yet.
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