Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Do No Harm?

By Tim Surette

Jan 30, 2013

Dissociative Identity Disorder doesn't need to do any fun runs or bake sales to raise awareness for the affliction, not when there's TV. The latest television show to center on a character with a split personality is NBC's drama Do No Harm, which debuts Thursday. I've seen the first two episodes, and I'm here to tell you and you whether it's worth either or both of your time in this edition of, "Hey TV.com Tell Me What to Watch!"

Save me a trip to Wikipedia. What is Do No Harm about?

In Do No Harm, a talented surgeon named Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale) has a bit of a hang-up: Every night at 8:25pm Jason Cole goes away and Ian Price, Cole's dangerous alter ego, comes out to play until 8:25am, when they switch back. Cole is a good guy, like Boy Scout good. Price is dangerous, like Pervy Boy Scout Leader dangerous. It's the classic Jekyll and Hyde story about a man battling his own demons, where "own demons" means "occasionally being a total asshole." There's also a heavy medical procedural element, as Cole performs his day job.

Save me a trip to TV.com's television listings page. When does Do No Harm start?

You can watch Do No Harm on Thursday, January 31 at 10pm on NBC. Thursdays at 10pm on NBC during the midseason... wasn't there another show about a guy with a split life in this time slot?

Save me a trip to showcreators.com. Who created Do No Harm?

This one comes from David Schulner, whose previous credits include What About Brian, The Event, Kings, and Desperate Housewives. However, to my knowledge, this is his first show he can call his own.

Save me a night of peeking into people's windows and finding out who watches this show. Who's the target audience?

Mostly people who like a wild ride from the comfort of their own couch. Fans of the medical genre won't get enough scalpels or panic for their taste, and those looking for a Jekyll-and-Hyde tale will wonder why the show becomes a medical drama every once in a while. This is going to be an interesting experiment, actually. Maybe it will find an audience, maybe it will alienate everyone. If I were betting, I'd take flop over hit.

While you're here, can you tell me what's good about Do No Harm?

It isn't dull, that's for sure. Whether Jason and Ian are engaging in a war over one body or Jason is tickling someone's brain as Dr. Jason, Do No Harm rarely takes a deep breath and that's the point. The show wants to be reckless and fun, it doesn't want to win Emmys or be Breaking Bad. And the diurnal battle between Jason and Ian is hilarious; Jason may hide his credit cards before he turns, but Ian will always find some way to make Jason's life miserable at night. Pasquale also looks like he's having a lot of fun in the role(s), especially when he can puff out his shoulders and furrow his brow as Ian, so he's fun to watch. He's no Bryan Cranston, but he has two unmistakable modes.

Since you told me what's good, shouldn't you also tell me what's bad?

Okay, fine. This isn't a good show, per se. In fact, it's kind of hilarious. Whether that's the intention or not is up for debate (but should it matter as long as it's hilarious?). The medical aspects of the series seem to be there in order to satisfy NBC's studio notes and to make the show less ambitious and more standalone, and they don't really fit in among the rest of the madness.

Okay last question, I promise. Should I watch it?

When you don't know whether a show is good or bad yet you're still entertained by it, it's time to stop wondering and just enjoy it. You should watch Do No Harm while your brain takes a nap. If you do that, you'll find it fun and I'm pretty sure the show wants you do that anyway. If you don't do that, you'll hate it. And yes, there's a decent chance you will hate it. Personally, I liked it, though I wouldn't run around telling everyone to watch it even though I guess that's what I'm doing right here. Hey, don't blame me if you hate it!

Do you have a trailer so I can see for myself?

Hey! I thought you said the last question was it! Here's your trailer:

And if you like the trailer so much that you just can't wait, here's the whole first episode:

Now I'm outta here!

Wait one more! What do I drink with this?

White wine spritzer in one hand, pint of whiskey in the other.

Do No Harm premieres Thursday, January 31 at 10pm on NBC.

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  • Fallon21 Feb 01, 2013

    I loved this show back when it was called My Own Worst Enemy...

  • mrjimmyjames Feb 01, 2013

    So let me get this straight. Last year NBC practically ignores, dumps in a bad slot, and eventually cancels a brilliant Thursday at 10/9c show about duality and inevitably replaces it a year later with... a show about a man struggling with duality. Oh NBC! It's run by such intelligent people! Hey, even better! Let's get Leno retire five years in advan... oh wait

  • Notusedname Jan 31, 2013

    Actually i think this is the kind of one-hour shows NBC does best. I really like this show even though i know there is a chance it gets cancelled, so enjoy it while you can.

  • Froops1 Jan 31, 2013

    All i am going to say Christian Slater in My own worst enemy :( and this sounds worse

  • MarlboroMagpi Jan 31, 2013

    The pilot was exciting. I enjoyed it more than I expect myself to. Perhaps because I had low expectation of the show and it turns out to be not bad. I kind of agree with Tim. You probably enjoy it more if you do not over analyze it. Its entertaining. Pasquale did a good job. I am so used to him as the nut nerd from Rescue Me (I am a fan til season 5) but here he managed to convince me he is Dr Cole here which is to say his acting is not bad.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 31, 2013

    That sounds an awful lot like a classic "Tim trying not to offend some viewers by outright saying 'no'," no. So no, I won't watch this.

  • miasma Jan 31, 2013

    I found the pilot incredibly dull and pointless. The watch gazing is tedious, the switch between characters is virtually non-existant both characters seem pretty brain-dead. TV is due a revisit to Jekyll & Hyde but this ain't it. I'll give it the 4 episode test but first impressions very disappointing.

  • AnoukvdZee Jan 31, 2013

    I just don't know. I would have thought this would make a good drama, so to skip to it being fun and hilarious makes me not want to see it, but also makes me curious.

  • troi16 Jan 31, 2013

    i watched the pilot and i liked it what i don't get is why u think it was funny? i watched it as a serious shows because its just that and i enjoyed it and the possibility's its story telling can take i did not turn off my brain and i luved it so can u or someone else explain in what part could u actually think its funny? (aside from the blood test incident in the surgery room with is alter ego)

  • matt3003 Jan 31, 2013

    I don't think what he has is supposed to be multiple identity disorder (in the writers minds) - to me it seems to be of a more "supernatural" nature (or at least "mysterious" lol) - the fact that he switches at 8:25 to the second (plus the potential absence of real sleep) - For me, the only reason he thinks it's m.i.d is because 1°) it's the only logical explanation - if that happened to me I would probably go the m.i.d route ant not the "I must be possessed or cursed or something magic" route 2°) He's a doctor, his friends are doctors, so of course he is even more inclined to think it has a medical origin.
    I liked the pilot - will continue to watch - and as with most shows nowadays, I half expect it to be canceled any second now.
    P.S : Made me want to re-watch "Jekyll" too ... That was fantastic.

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