Friday, April 1, 2016

Pilot Review: Heartbeat

Heartbeat (NBC)
Premiered March 22 at 9pm

Melissa George is an actress who I’ve known almost since the time that I started really getting into movies and TV. I first remember her from her role as Lauren Reed on the third season of “Alias” and then on “In Treatment” and in the first episodes of “Hunted” and “The Slap.” I’m not always a fan of hers, though I do think she’s a good fit for the lead role on this show. That shouldn’t suggest that this show is a good or interesting one, yet another unnecessary medical drama with a strong lead female character who always gets her way by breaking the rules and intimidating everyone into doing what she wants. Performing surgery on a man who stole her seat on a plane with haphazard tools was an aggressive way to open the show and introduce Dr. Alex Panttiere, who walks around her hospital (or runs, rather) pushing as many buttons as possible while making her mark. None of it enticed me, and as a result I got annoyed by the fact that Alex’s position is the Chief Innovations Officer rather than the Chief Innovation Officer, an obnoxious grammatical pronunciation. I think that says more about this show’s ability to be involving than anything else. I don’t know whose idea it was to have Jamie Kennedy on this show, and Dave Annable is back for yet another TV show after brief recent stints on “Red Band Society” and “666 Park Avenue” after making a name for himself on “Brothers and Sisters” and “Reunion.” Recognizing people was the most worthwhile part of watching this utterly boring and uncreative pilot, and that doesn’t say much.

How will it work as a series? Alex will continue to do as much as she can to operate as she pleases, and I suspect that journey is going to be awfully similar to everything that always happens on other hospital-set TV shows. Alex’s complicated home life doesn’t make things any more appealing; just more compounded.
How long will it last? It seems like the ratings were decent but unspectacular, but NBC also hasn’t had a smash hit in a while, so maybe the standards won’t be as high. Reviews, on the other hand, weren’t great at all, and I can’t imagine anyone will be clamoring to save this series, which I don’t expect to be back for a second season.

Pilot grade: C-

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