God, you guys. This show. THIS SHOW! Would any of us be watching it if not for Daniel Gillies’ hot ass? I don’t know, probably not. Maybe a few of us. But we DO have his hot ass, and face, and accent (good call on letting him use his real one), so here we are. And I have to say … I found this show to be, if not necessarily good, at least hilarious and at best entertaining. So, sort of perfect for summer, no? And DEFINITELY perfect for recapping.
Now normally, Dayna will be your recapper, but I’m filling in this week. I wasn’t really expecting to, so I had to watch it again, and actually rewatching changed my opinions SLIGHTLY. Well … OPINION (singular). When I watched it the first time, I just didn’t think Erica Durance was that good. I thought she was gorgeous of course, and looked younger here than she did on Smallville, but I thought her acting was still at the Smallville level. When I rewatched, I didn’t think she was so bad. I still don’t think she’s as good as either male lead, but she did okay. The sassy, fast-talking, bossy doctor writing isn’t doing her any favors, but it’s a pilot, so maybe they’ll settle it down.
So … you know how I said I thought the show was hilarious? Yeah, so NOT a typo. I mean, it had its intentionally funny moments–the nerdy kids making out at the end (and her earlier admission about the love potion and how NOW she wants to die), Army Arm telling Joel he was gonna sue him and Joel responding only with, “You’ll probably win,” Joel’s grand entrance being rolling into the hospital on all fours in a bed, covered in blood and plaid and scruffiness and doing a drive-by flirting … all great moments of purposeful comedy that actually show some promise for the show’s future.
There was also really a lot of unintentional hilarity that had me rolling. The first thing was, OHMYGOD THIS IS THE WORST HOSPITAL EVER LOLZ FOREVER! Seriously, you guys. They killed the John Doe. They killed I (Sorta) Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. And then they gave a guy a surgery he didn’t want or agree to! I mean, SERIOUSLY, what the fuck? HYSTERICAL! (As long as I never have to be a patient there.) Also, they let bloody, freaking out ladies do doctor stuff before they wash their hands or change clothes. Um, no thank you! Where is this thing set, anyway? Because the cab stuff looked pretty NYC, but they also were apparently close to their own hospital, and her office had a quaint little row of houses out the window that looked decidedly NOT Big Apple. So I don’t know. Did they say? Anyway, the real point to all this is … don’t they have a health department or some shit to say, HEY HOSPITAL, NOT FUCKING COOL!
The other thing that made me laugh was how this show deals HEAVILY in cliches. The characters themselves talk in and are cliches, but let’s start with the cliche medical cases, shall we?
First of all, I (Sorta) Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. This one was wall-to-wall laughs, from the line I used as the title of this post right down to the very end. First of all, if you’ve ever seen TWO SECONDS of TLC, wouldn’t that be the FIRST question you’d ask? Secondly, I know that baby was little, but would she really be able to deliver it in TWO PUSHES? And I guess I don’t know a whole lot about babies, but I didn’t think they’d just hand you a preemie like that, or even that the father could hold it later that day. It just seemed pretty sketchy. I don’t know if this is writers not doing their research, or me being baby ignorant (possible), or just another day at the worst hospital ever made. And speaking of … why DIDN’T anyone call their parents? Good lord.
But I digress. It was also hilarious that the girl managed to stay alive JUUUUUST long enough to squeeze out a, “Do you love me?” and then immediately drop dead. But way MORE hilarious was when her little punk-ass boyfriend was like, “That baby killed Angela! I don’t want it!” and then he stomped out of that room, threw himself face down on a bed, blasted Rage Against The Machine and wrote the lyrics to Radiohead’s “Creep” all over his wall. Or whatever today’s equivalent is. I mean … HAHAHAHA! The baby is a murder! But don’t worry, he came around and decided to love Murder Baby after all, which I’m sure will never come up again in the future when Murder Baby pisses him off and wrecks his car or comes home drunk or screams, “You’re not my real mom!” at punk-ass bitch’s new wife. ”Yeah, she’s not your mom, YOU KILLED YOURS!”
Actually … I would probably watch that show.
That was by far the funniest of the cases. Army Arm was your standard war hero/PTSD/survivor’s guilt jibba jabba that we’ve all seen like, a bajillion times on TV, am I right? And the other was just the John Doe in a bus accident (I know, we’ve seen a bazillion of those too). However, I did laugh when Alex (Erica Durance, in case you missed her name) said he was gonna go boom, but he really more went gurgle gurgle. Seriously, Mentos in a Diet Coke two-liter was way more satisfying and able to live up to expectations. Still, I like some grossness, so I would say … more of that, please!
And now, the characters. We already discussed Alex some at the beginning, so let’s skip ahead to the guys. Charlie is the brilliant chief of surgery, who prefers statistical probabilities to optimistim, and who engages in witty repartee in front of a whole auditorium of people with his fiancee, the chief surgery resident. I … don’t know what that job title means. Anyway, he is in a car accident and bumps his head, stays awake just long enough to MacGuyver a collapsed lung fix out of stabbing and tampons, and then goes into a coma, where he turns into a tuxedo wearing ghost of sorts. He’s not dead, but he IS having an out of body experience. And he never leaves the hospital, which works, because neither does anyone else, especially Alex. I mean, for real, don’t these people have houses? Why would you be getting ready for your wedding at WORK? And also, couldn’t they have just taken a day off? Sweet jesus. And then, The Worst Hospital Ever™ puts poor, grieving, sleep-deprived Alex back to work because she doesn’t feel like going “home” (IF she even has one)? Sigh. Anyway, he goes around commenting on stuff, following Alex around a little, smiling at other dead people now and again, and you know … just kickin’ it in a tux, basically, while saying every cliche JUST SHORT of “Don’t you die on me!” And boy, I was WAITING for it. But I guess that his situation doesn’t really call for that, so he just gets as close as he can instead with things like, “Wake up, you dumb bastard!” and “Don’t you give up on me!”
And then there’s Joel, the bad boy doctor with a heart of gold who plays by his own rules. Oh sure, he was once a manwhore, but now he’s trying to be nice and actually … seems like a pretty legitimately good doctor. And can we really blame him for being a manwhore when he looks like THAT? And I will say for Daniel Gillies that he’s able to rise above the writing. That conversation in Alex’s office (and in case you were wondering, OF COURSE they used to be involved) was rapid-fire cliches, but even in spite of saying things like, “When did this become you telling me how to do my job?” and “It’s gonna be okay,” it sounded like a real person talking. Compare this with Erica Durance, who chewed the scenery with gems such as, “Charlie is twice the surgeon you’ll ever be!”, “This is life and death!”, and the classic, “You’re a lot of things, Joel, but you’re not nice.” I mean …
Here’s the thing. This show could VERY easily come off as a hilariously over-the-top parody of all doctor shows ESPECIALLY where Alex is concerned. It doesn’t quite, but JUST barely, and that’s because it has a few things going for it, the biggest one being that it has an interesting premise. I like the coma/dead people aspect. It adds just a touch of something different and makes the whole thing watchable and, well … if not fresh, then something close to it. I think the premise alone gives the show some interesting potential and room to grow into itself. Secondly, they’ve got a couple of good actors. I felt like Charlie was everything he was supposed to be, and the right amount of charming, and of course, anyone who watches Vampire Diaries knows that Daniel Gillies is a FIND. He’ll continue to kick it in the ass. And really, Erica Durance had some good moments too (particularly when she tried to lay down in bed with Charlie and freaked out), so hopefully there’s more they can get out of her. Third, they’ve set up a secondary character ensemble pretty well for a pilot–the psych resident, the fuck-up underling, the detached neurosurgeon who doesn’t get nervous, and so forth. I feel like good supporting characters are really important to a show’s long-term potential, especially a show like this.
They did dabble a little bit with the optimism/pessimism thing, which was … fine, I guess. I was more interested in things like … what happens when Charlie touches Alex? But that could just be the paranormal TV watcher in me. The love triangle is totally predictable, but who cares, right? It’s like when you go to a Nicholas Sparks movie … you know what you’re getting into, and you’re not there to be surprised. You’re there for what you’re there for, whether it’s sappy romance or Zac Efron in the shower (NICOLE), or just to see how many ways one guy can think of to kill someone tragically in the end for a cheap emotional reaction. It’s cool. Predictability has a certain value, especially in mindless summer TV watching.
So anyway, to wrap this all up, I know I’ve been ripping on the show pretty hard, but I do recommend giving it a watch. It’s enjoyable enough, and you’ll be able to chat with us about it this summer. Plus, holy fucking hotness scruffy accented Daniel Gillies (prepare for this to be Dayna’s favorite subject, BTW). If you’re willing to go in and watch it as fun summer fluff, you won’t be disappointed.
What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments, and also let me know if I missed anything (hilarious or otherwise), and if you’d recommend it to other people. DISCUSS!
Tags: Saving Hope