'Monday Mornings' Review: A Dull Medical Drama
Monday, February 04, 2013
At their best, TV
medical dramas can capture America's hearts with tense crises,
compelling characters and action-packed traumas. Monday Mornings, TNT's new series premiering Monday, February 4 at 10pm, is not in that category.
Instead it's a painfully dull, by-the-book series that adds nothing new to the genre. When one of the doctors is nicknamed "007" and he's asked to explain it, there's no need because we all remember George O'Malley getting the same "License to Kill" moniker in the series premiere of Grey's Anatomy.
Monday Mornings comes from CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and award-winning producer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Legal). Clearly Kelley should stick to the law, because Monday Mornings lacks the drama and whimsy of his previous shows.
The show seems doomed from the start. The title comes from the post-surgery analysis done in M&M conferences (that stands for Morbidity and Mortality, not that I need to tell you because I'm sure you've seen it on countless other medical shows). The inherent problem is that these conferences are done to look at possible mistakes made when a patient dies. As such, you know that most of the patients featured on the show are probably going to die. That's a real downer.
The other problem is the familiarity of it all. There's a handsome neurosurgeon (Jamie Bamber) romantically involved with a coworker. If only I could think of an example of a "dreamy" neurosurgeon with a great head of hair on another medical drama.
The only slightly noteworthy thing about the show is its incredibly diverse ensemble. The cast includes Alfred Molina (half-Italian, half-Spanish, born in England), African-American Ving Rhames, Korean-American Keong Sim, Indian-American Sarayu Rao, plus Brit Jamie Bamber and Canadian Jennifer Finnigan. It's like the hospital at the United Nations.
However, diversity alone does not make a great show. The characters are all dull and unremarkable, as are the medical cases themselves. If you're really in need of a doc drama, go watch Grey's Anatomy. Or reruns of House, ER, Chicago Hope or any of the hundreds of other medical shows. Just because Private Practice, Emily Owens, M.D. and The Mob Doctor are all ending doesn't mean we need another show to fill the void.
(Image courtesy of TNT)