Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pilot Review: Mary Kills People

Mary Kills People (Lifetime)
Premiered April 23 at 10pm

This show, which I remember hearing about back when it premiered on Global in Canada in January, was a show I wanted to make sure to watch with my wife. She has what I would call a healthy but very strong obsession with physician-assisted death (that’s apparently the preferred term since it’s not quite suicide), and has in fact tackled the moral question of whether it should be permitted in a number of essays and papers. This show doesn’t sugarcoat much, showing just how clear and explicit the doctors helping patients find ways to end their lives have to be about what they do and say and what the patients themselves do and say. Throwing in a former drug addict who is getting the toxin from his supplier, who already suspects that he isn’t the one using it, and a police sting that’s way too close to nailing Mary for anyone’s comfort help to make this a procedural television show with all the drama and intrigue necessary to balance out a show about life and death. Naomi trying the concoction herself was an unfortunate step, and you’d think that would give Mary some pause, but instead she just keeps on going doing what she’s doing and sleeping with a would-be patient who’s actually an undercover cop. I’m a big fan of Caroline Dhavernas from her work on “Wonderfalls” over a decade ago, and I hardly think that this role, which is meaty on paper, gives her ample room to demonstrate her talent. The show is decent but doesn’t feel nearly as urgent, exciting or compelling as I had hoped it would.

How will it work as a series? Only six episodes were ordered, which means that seeing Mary under surveillance and nearly apprehended in episode one makes some sense, and ensuing installments will move along quickly (or very slowly to drag it out). I could be convinced to stick with the show for the remaining five episodes, but that’s more likely if my wife wants to keep watching it, which I believe she does.
How long will it last? This show wrapped its run on Global back in February, and will soon be over here in the United States, especially since I’m so far behind on all my shows. The reviews are pretty good and apparently a second season has already been discussed, so I’d go with this show’s future looking relatively bright.

Pilot grade: B

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