What if I told you there was a show coming out that had a bunch of good-looking doctors all primed to begin humping each other at any moment? "What else is new?" you would say. What if two of those doctors were Ving Rhames and Alfred Molina? "What!" you would cry. "Like they— to each other?" No! Although, that would certainly make things interesting. Monday Mornings is another medical drama (in a landscape that has definitely become less lousy with them since the decline of House) with the twist of focusing primarily on surgeons and consequences, and not just for their romantic entanglements. Sound intriguing?
The show is centered on the morbidity and mortality conferences so many medical shows like to gloss over and only include as major plot points once in a blue moon. The surgeons of Chelsea General Hospital gather weekly (on Mondays, as it turns out) to discuss a case of questionable medical ethics with the rest of the staff, presumably for learning but mostly so Dr. Hooten (Molina) can browbeat his underlings in a style resembling a very passive-aggressive Gregory House or Perry Cox. Imagine the egos on those men slipped inside the cunning society of a chubby-faced British man. The doctors have to take responsibility for their actions, giving us a more human/flawed stable of characters.
You may have heard of David E. Kelley as the man who's brought you a thousand law dramas (and whatever genre Ally McBeal and Boston Legal were) as well as the guy that introduced you to NPH (with Doogie Howser, M.D.). He's teamed up here with Dr. Sanjay Gupta (the Anderson Cooper of neurosurgeons) to create Monday Mornings based on Gupta's novel of the same title. Kelley is a name you can generally trust (let's just forget that Wonder Woman pilot was ever a thing) and Gupta lends a little bit of medical credibility.
Funnily enough, on a Monday. Not the morning, though. February 4 at 10pm on TNT. Have you heard of TNT? Shows apparently happen there all the time and they insist they know drama.
Monday Mornings is pretty much intended for everyone, at least anyone who's enjoyed a medical drama in the last 15 years. It's a little ER, a little House, maybe even a smidge of Grey's Anatomy. It's broad enough to make itself appealing to a grand swath of people but has enough of a twist to differentiate itself from other currently airing dramas.
Pretty people getting their hands dirty. The surgery scenes appear to be pretty legit, and the characters are fairly Kelley-esque, if you're familiar with his oeuvre, though dialed down a notch or two. For House/Scrubs fans in desperate need of a smug doctor fix, there is plenty to go around (particularly since a major source of drama on the series is egos clashing in front of an audience of peers). Jonathan Silverman pops in and, believe it or not, he's still a single guy after all these years. Oh, and Dr. Sung Park (Keong Sim, Mike Chang's dad from Glee) is that House character without any of the pathetic pretense. It's actually a little refreshing.
I'm not sure how the surgeons are able to lift their scalpels with such heavy hands. The morality is in your face, pedantically so as Dr. Hooten tells the lecture hall what it is. Combine that with dialogue that's leaden with the platitudes and cliches that comprise every medical drama you've ever seen (except not as well-delivered) and you have a show that's hard not to roll your eyes at. Just to pile it on, the style, at least early in the season, is really abrasive and eccentrically styled for style's sake. I had no idea I'd see behind Alfred Molina's ears so often.
It's not something you should immediately turn off, but I wouldn't go out of my way to catch it.
How about a brief overview for you? Or would you prefer to see a bunch of pretty doctors falling from the sky?
I want to say something you can shoot so you can play a drinking game based on how many times you see shots of just lips or eyeballs or hands. But you might be dead by the end of the pilot.
Monday Mornings premieres Monday, February 4 at 10pm on TNT.