Emily Owens, M.D. (The CW)
Premiered October 16 at 9pm
The last of the three new CW fall offerings to start definitely falls somewhere in the middle of the other two. It’s definitely better than “Beauty and the Beast,” but far soapier and less serious than “Arrow,” which is already soapy enough. Comparisons to “Grey’s Anatomy” are not unfounded – the show is set in a major Western city and features a spunky female doctor narrating her life as pretty much all of her colleagues sleep with one another. The main thing it has going for it over CW’s other Tuesday night female doctor drama is that Mamie Gummer is far more believable as an intelligent physician than Rachel Bilson, her “You are a doctor!” moment notwithstanding. Justin Hartley, far more reserved and bespectacled than he was as playboy Oliver Queen on “Smallville,” and Michael Rady, who has starred in “Swingtown,” “House of Lies,” and “Melrose Place” most recently, are good male foils for Gummer, and both seem to care for her a great deal. I’m less impressed by Necar Zadegan’s icy Dr. Gina Beckett, a far cry from her brave Muslim wife turned politician on “24.” Relative newcomers Aja Naomi King and Kelly McCreary seem able but somewhat annoying as Emily’s nemesis and new best friend, and it’s good to see dependable Harry Lennix in what looks like a scandalous role. The show’s themes and pacing are familiar, but Gummer does seem competent of carrying a show and being immensely likeable in spite, if not as a result, of her flaws. I’m not a member the target audience for this show, and I’d still say that it ranks in the top half of the new series slate this year.
How will it work as a series? A hospital is the perfect setting for intrigue and romance, and so many shows have done it well before that it shouldn’t be a problem at all. Gummer has chemistry with Hartley and Rady, and King and McCreary seem to have a good sense of the show’s tone. It should prove to be good mindless entertainment, with a bit of medical drama mixed in too.
How long will it last? Premiering yet another show against a debate on all the other networks gives the CW a running start advantage, in a sense, but it also confuses things since the competition just isn’t the same. This pilot was the least-watched of the three new shows’ debuts and less popular than “Ringer” last year, but performed better than “Hart of Dixie” right before it. Its fate, at this point, is uncertain.
Pilot grade: C+