Monday Mornings (TNT)
Premiered February 4 at 10pm
I didn’t have high hopes for this show, which I had read about beforehand, described as the next generation of “Grey’s Anatomy” from one of my least favorite TV creators, David E. Kelley. This show doesn’t really feel like some of his past work, namely the detestable “Boston Legal” and “Harry’s Law,” but it still has an irksome quality about it that makes it difficult to watch. Some of the characters are sympathetic, sure, but by sparing none of them the excruciating agony of having to be skewered by Alfred Molina’s cold chief of staff, the show comes off as unlikeable. The first such meeting, which compels Ving Rhames’ Dr. Villanueva to get up and list off the obituary of the victim of the doctor’s incompetence, feels somewhat deserved, but seeing Jamie Bamber’s Dr. Wilson get ripped apart the same way after the death of his patient nearly destroyed him was awful. The casting on this show is theoretically great, but it just goes to show that these actors have had better TV roles before – Bamber in “Battlestar Galactica,” Rhames in “Gravity,” and Jennifer Finnigan in “Better with You.” Bill Irwin is also wasted in a petty competitive part, which is disappointing after seeing his work in “Rachel Getting Married” and on FX’s “Lights Out.” This show’s dialogue and relationships are tired and uncreative, and the stylized cinematography and editing don’t serve to help anything. This is one new version of the medical drama that TV today just doesn’t need.
How will it work as a series? This episode has already gone to great lengths to take down its noblest and kindest character, and presumably we’ll see plenty more of that as time goes on. Some platonic relationships will likely turn into intersections of a romantic nature, and then there are the cases, which will certainly prove trying and, hopefully, somewhat interesting.
How long will it last? This will probably rank as one of TNT’s failures, since its hit shows really take off. It didn’t help that the second season premiere of “Dallas” also performed poorly. If next week’s numbers aren’t any better, this show is going to be definitively cut off after its initial ten episodes air.
Pilot grade: C-