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!"
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
White wine spritzer in one hand, pint of whiskey in the other.
Do No Harm premieres Thursday, January 31 at 10pm on NBC.