Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What I’m Watching: Coma

Coma (A & E)
Aired September 3 and 4

Ill-advisedly, I found myself intrigued by previews for this two-part miniseries while watching basic cable fare last week. Though it appeared to be an enticing thriller, it turns out that it’s highly uncreative, poorly written, and almost entirely uninteresting. Due to some level of curiosity, I watched both roughly two-hour segments to find out how it all ended, which proved extremely unsatisfactory. The problem with a short miniseries like this is that all the characters are vulnerable, which means that they can just be written out of the story simply without any penalty since an end is in sight. That was the fate for James Woods’ seemingly all-powerful do-gooder, who got himself thrown off a highway overpass by forklift, hardly the least memorable way to go. I was glad to see Lauren Ambrose doing TV again, but to think that this and the short-lived “The Return of Jezebel James” define her TV career after her excellent Emmy-nominated performance on “Six Feet Under” is a real shame. This presentation was somewhat useful for getting adjusted to the idea of Steven Pasquale, best known for his portrayal of dim-witted firefighter Sean on “Rescue Me,” as a serious actor, since he’ll soon be playing a version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on NBC’s forthcoming “Do No Harm.” Michael Weston got the opportunity to play yet another deranged psychopath after “Six Feet Under,” teaming with Ellen Burstyn to provide the creepy on this otherwise lackluster production. It wasn’t much of a surprise that Richard Dreyfuss ultimately got to ooze evil as he lectured Susan on the rightness of what he and her grandfather were doing, a less than convincing argument. After being hit by a car, Mark’s cry of “Please don’t take me to Memorial!” suggested a mood far more effective than the one this miniseries provided. The effects used in the showcasing of the bed and blanket being put over the coma patient in Jefferson were especially bad, and this miniseries was a miserable representation of evil corporations and the notion of acceptable loss for scientific progress.

Miniseries grade: F

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