"Monday Mornings" Discussion: Chapters 9-16 - Jamie Bamber News
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"Monday Mornings" Discussion: Chapters 9-16
Good Morning! Welcome to Week 2 of our "Monday Mornings" discussion. I've had a houseguest this past week so my reading has been rather sporadic and I didn't bother to jot down any notes. If I failed to recall any significant developments, sorry!



I know it's not entirely fair to judge a novel without having reading it in it's entirety. However, with chapters 9-16, I felt the novel lacked flow and was rather choppy. Tina and Hooten have a significant confrontation in Chapter 9 and I'm still waiting for some sort of continuation (if not resolution - I can see that coming much later) of that. You can't just storm out on your boss even if you think he's wrong.

Then There is Chapter 14 dedicated solely to Dr. Villanueva and his work in the ER. Much of the scene felt like a retread of his earlier introduction and did't provide any new insights into the character. And I know ending the scene with his weight causing the stool under him to collapse was meant to inject some humor, but I didn't find it funny.

I did very much appreciate the twist with Dr. Park (having to deal with a brain tumor and being the patient could potentially give him new insights and humanize him a bit), but I felt his revelation and conversation regarding treatment with Hooten was too rushed.

As my problems with the structure of the novel grew, it occurred to me the story could make a better TV series than novel. ;) Clearly, the material in the novel could be spread out over a 10 or 13 episode season. We know the pilot focuses on Ty's error and his guilt over Quinn's death (and reading more of Ty in the book, Jamie will have some great material to work with and I see him nailing it). A subsequent episode could focus on Park's tumor and, given Alfred Molina is playing Hooten, the Hooten/Park scene would likely be expanded.

We learned more about Dr. Sydney Saxon, who I quite liked. She reminds me quite a bit of Dr. Gregory House, in that they both view illness as a puzzle to be solved and they don't care about pissing off the people they work with if it means saving the patients life. On the other hand, she truly cares about the patients (she's even willing to meet them!) and seems a hell of a lot nicer. ;)

I will admit Sanjay got me with the scene in which Sydney leaves the OR after being paged. When she returned to see a bloody, instrument strewn floor and Monique Tran and Dr. Stanford Williams arguing, I immediately thought poor Sydney was going to be the next up for the M&M meeting. But with Monique hollering as she was at a doctor and Samford going off on her in Vietnamese, I suddenly went, "Baby Daddy!" :) I'm not sure either character will be in CG (the characters don't appear in the IMDB listing for the pilot), but I wouldn't mind seeing them as background characters from time to time.

I don't really have any feelings about Dr. Martin at this time, but I like the inclusion of, if not 'bad' doctor, one that perhaps is not the best at what he does and makes too many errors.

What did everyone else think?


ETA: I forgot to include earlier the link to the previous discussion of Chapters 1-8.

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zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 9th, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I agree that the flow of the book is a little bit too anecdotal at times; coupled with the relatively short chapter lengths, it sometimes seems like a series of anecdotes rather than a novel with a narrative through-line. Ty's experience with Quinn seems to be the main emotional through line, but it doesn't quite have enough weight to definitively be that, though as noted I expect this will change with regard to the pilot, and then moving forward there's a lot here for them to mine for his character struggling w/ getting his zen back. The confidence and occasional swagger of who Ty was before the Quinn incident, then suddenly having insecurities and self-doubt dropped on him - all of which is in the Bamber arsenal, it'd be fab to get to see him do all of that in the context of one character. ;)

I LOVE Sydney. Love love love her so far. Sounds like the doc who asked her out might be adjusted in the show into Jonathan Silverman's character (the names were different, I believe.); more than anything, though, I like her sense of purpose and how confident she is of who she is. It being a DEK show, I don't expect that will remain the norm forever, but she feels like the most fully-rounded female character to me so far.

I'm of two minds about Park's tumor - on the one hand, yeah it's definitely an in-road to making him a more accessible character, possibly more likable once he is forced to stop and smell the roses. On the other hand, though, are they really going to give one of their principals on the show a prognosis of, on average, 14 months to live within the first season? This is a good example of an arc you can give a character in a novel but, IMO, you might have to seriously re-think on a show; unless they give him a different ailment that has a better, longer-term survival rate, OR they delay his discovery for a while, possibly till the end of the first season or later. There are different options. The only thing I would hope for is that it is handled better than it was when they gave Mark Greene a tumor on (here I go again) ER; that was one of the storylines that put me off that show eventually. Then again, it might work better outright if the character going through it could benefit from more sympathy; poor Mark seemed to end up eating a lot of shit for several seasons, so giving him terminal brain cancer seemed so unnecessarily cruel it made me angry. ;) < /rant-off>

The Villanueva scene definitely felt like a re-tread, but on the other hand it definitely adds to my desire to see Ving own that character.

One last note about the anecdotal nature of the book - it would make a lot of sense for the show to have a patient of the week and as such, each episode would be centric to the doctor treating that patient, while also having scenes featuring through-lines for each character's larger arcs. Thoughts?
onlyariana From: onlyariana Date: April 9th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
adds to my desire to see Ving own that character
Yes, a scene a week of him just being large and in charge of the ER would be great. It'd take a while for that to get old.

have a patient of the week and as such, each episode would be centric to the doctor treating that patient
I like that idea. I'm with you on the perpetual ER comparisons. I wasn't a huge ER fan but I've seen most of the eps (primarily in repeats). I think they'd usually have a couple cases per week, does that sound right? I can't remember it seems like there were hardly patients there. It was mostly all the personal drama, but it's been a while since I've watched. Possibly too things that were mentioned but we didn't see (like the chef who lost her sense of smell or the conjoined twins) will happen in real time.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 9th, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
ER had many patients each week, but the nature of it being a county hospital meant they'd deal with more sickies and crazies quicker and on a rotating basis in and around the personal storylines. Less potential to explore problem cases than in a teaching hospital.

Possibly too things that were mentioned but we didn't see (like the chef who lost her sense of smell or the conjoined twins) will happen in real time.

The chef is a good example of a patient of the week who, because of the lawsuit, would end up being revisited in later episodes as it pertains to the doctors dealing with fallout.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: April 9th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Sounds like the doc who asked her out might be adjusted in the show into Jonathan Silverman's character (the names were different, I believe.

Yep, that was my assumption as well. And, last time I saw him, Jonathan had all his hair. ;)

Regarding Park, I'm assuming his and Hooten's initial diagnosis is somewhat off (didn't the radiologist mention it could be benign?), he's the rare case of someone who pulls through with long term survival or he's given a different type of tumor in the series. I'd hate for the storyline to be completely dropped in CG.

I definitely foresee CG being more along the lines of House (I feel like this is going to be my go-to comparison show ;) with a PotW and various character and story arcs carried through the season. One difference is the PotW may be Tina's or Ty's or Park's, rather then one doctor's patients being the center of it all. And as I mentioned last week, I question the M&M meetings being a weekly occurrence. Or, if they are, maybe having the doctors coming out of one at the beginning of the ep or going into one at the end.
onlyariana From: onlyariana Date: April 9th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I loved when Tina walked out of Dr. Hooten's office. They'd told her what they needed and were simply trying to convince her that firing Dr. Robidaux was the "right" thing to do to make themselves feel better. She didn't want any part of it and they weren't listening to her at all so she really did the only reasonable thing. I'm tending to really love Tina despite any fidelity flaws. Next week there'll be more I can add to that.

Park's presentation was interesting. His total lack of regard for unintended side effects is worrying considering he's becoming a patient as well. I liked the brevity of his discussion with Dr. Hooten. Park isn't going to spend a lot of time hand wringing. He had it all worked out. It was the logical choice so there wasn't any need to discuss it.

Ty looking up and eventually going to visit Quinn's mom (Gemma Butler!) was one of those things I just begged the book to not allow. There's just so much potential for horror. Also, please don't put JB on a basketball court. On a motorcycle, racing a helicopter is ok with me though!

I have loved Monique so far. She's a bit awesome. I also love when people accuse pregnant women of being overemotional but they end up being right.

Sydney Saxena is great. It looks like they've changed the character's last name for the show to Napur. I liked her ritual of checking in to see if she felt she was missing out on being a mom every year. That seemed reasonable and logical which fits her personality. I liked how she didn't let the work the previous doctors did influence her diagnosis.

Villanueva did seem like he didn't have much to do in this block. Or everything he did was more of the same. Being a badass doctor in the ER, speaking out of turn in M&M.

I wondered if the "bad" doctor was supposed to be a picture of what Dr. Robidaux would be. I still don't understand what makes her bad, but I feel like Dr. Martin didn't care about doing his best. Like he was bored with being a doctor.

I agree that all these things are happening in quick succession in the book. On TV it could take at least a (cable) season for them to play out. I'm sure it's an interesting job to try to take what's on the page and imagine it in the new format.

I'm really wanting a CG icon to use in these discussions but I don't want to tempt the wrath of whatever from high atop the thing so I'll hold off.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 9th, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
The uncomfortable/awkward nature of seeking out Quinn's mother is absolutely something I expect the show is going to touch upon; I just hope the writing holds up and allows Jamie and the other actors to find the truth in it, rather than make it too melodramatic. Granted, I say this not having read the book yet so I don't know how SG resolves it!

Monique IS great. She's got a good amount of back story here - love the moment between her, Ty and her grandmother - so I'd imagine that she will turn up on the show eventually. There have got to be some well-drawn nurses and support staff too. ;)

Also, please don't put JB on a basketball court.

What, because of his height? Some shorter guys have got game! They just can't get into the NBA is all. ;)

Completely agree with you about racing the helicopter on his motorcycle though. GEE. ZUS. If that scene isn't in the show, I will raise hell. I practically bit my fist while reading it. (BTW, how great is it that this doctor might actually pay off the promise of THIS...)



I'm really wanting a CG icon to use in these discussions but I don't want to tempt the wrath of whatever from high atop the thing so I'll hold off.

It's hard, isn't it? Hell, discussing the book as we are might be seen as tempting fate in and of itself! Everything in moderation though. I know what you mean, though - it hasn't been that long since 17th Precinct, feels like that wound just got done healing. ;)
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: April 9th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Completely agree with you about racing the helicopter on his motorcycle though. GEE. ZUS. If that scene isn't in the show, I will raise hell

Amen Sister, if they haven't filmed that, there will be trouble.
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: April 9th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
The helicopter/motorcycle race would be awesome!

Thank you for the pic! Yum!

I don't want to see him play basketball b/c it's a cliche (in ER and in Scrubs) and I can't escape that scene of him missing the basket in LOUK S01E02. I loved that he missed the basket! I do wonder if they will use it as excuse for him to take his shirt off.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 9th, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Hopefully we won't have to rely on only a handful of excuses for shirtlessness. It is cable, after all. ;)

I didn't watch Scrubs, but re: ER - maybe I would have made that connection if it were depicted as him shooting hoops with a colleague rather than striking out on his own against a bunch of kids. Then I would have been like - hey, Mark Greene and Doug Ross. That was their "thing"! Seen it! XD
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 10th, 2012 02:02 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Re: Quinn's mom and Ty, I should have said "without having FINISHED the book." It's fair to say that any time I reply during lunch at work, I'll goof like that. ;)
onlyariana From: onlyariana Date: April 10th, 2012 02:03 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Can't you see the charming smile Dr. Wilson would give to the tiny grandmother?

But he most certainly does NOT have game in that scene. He's a middle aged guy who is not doing well and he's reaching too hard for it and ends up knocking a kid over. DNW. If it was how he remembers playing before it might not be bad. In fact I wish the Quinn McDaniel thing wasn't going to happen until several eps in. I'd love it if we got the chance to know the Ty from before that big flub. Then his fall from grace and his lack of confidence would be all the more interesting.

I was totally thinking of that *exact* picture with the motorcycle scene. Yeah. There's really not words.

I'm thankful I wasn't really around for the 17th Precinct pilot build up. I'm less than a year into Jamie fandom so I haven't lived through all the ups and downs.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 10th, 2012 02:12 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Can't you see the charming smile Dr. Wilson would give to the tiny grandmother?

But of course. I forgot to mention last week, that I really really hope the show keeps the exact segue from the book's introduction of Ty - going from Villanueva doing his nurses' impression ("Ooh, Dr. Wilson, anything you need Dr. Wilson!") directly into Ty in his zen place prepping for surgery. That segue is ready-made for TV. ;)

But he most certainly does NOT have game in that scene.

That's kind of the point, though - he did, at one point, and I'm sure the show is going to play up to his past glories as a star jock. It's a painful, awkward memory, but it has context in this painful, awkward time in his life, which has knocked him off his *other* game, his professional one. That's how I read it, anyway.

I'm thankful I wasn't really around for the 17th Precinct pilot build up.

It was.... *shudder*. Yeah. NO ME GUSTA.
onlyariana From: onlyariana Date: April 10th, 2012 02:33 am (UTC) (Link Me)
That segue is ready-made for TV
So totally. The hustle and bustle of the ER to the silence of the call room. Also in the M&M when Villanueva pops in and says "Did pretty boy explain how he killed the kid yet?" I read that and thought how you'd obviously go to commercial right after that line. There's a few bits that feel like they were written with the idea of TV. I really like how Ty works hard at being a good surgeon. He comes off looking like he's just blessed with natural talent but really he's planning so much to get to that place of easy confidence.

Maybe the basketball wouldn't be so bad. I just have a strong embarassment squick and seeing characters I care about doing things that aren't going to go well gives me something similar to a very mild anxiety attack. Same thing when he popped up at Ms. McD's house.

But on the shirtlessness front -- I saw articles about how TNT's publicity folks figured that the promo shot for Dallas shoudl have everyone naked (in towels no less) and I'm thinking, "Yes, go with this kind of idea TNT, keep it in mind."
Physha1 From: Physha1 Date: April 18th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Ha! This is the exact picture that came to mind when he hopped on his motorcycle. Thanks for posting it!
asta77 From: asta77 Date: April 9th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I agree. Park is definitely going to want to just push forward and get the treatment as soon as possible. But it just felt like the exchange needed to be longer, especially on Hooten's side. For a man who spends all day pushing his doctors to ask questions, he just went ahead and agreed to the surgery. I would think he'd need at least a day (given his high standards) to be fully prepared.

Ty's interaction with Quinn's mom - I'm waiting to see how that plays out. I, too, had a sense of this could be very, very bad, but I don't think we'll know until they meet for that coffee.
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: April 9th, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm really enjoying the book, although I agree that it does seem to jump around a lot.

Ty is having a really hard time with coming to terms with Quinn's death and Jamie is going to have a lot of material to work with on screen here.
It really seems to have shaken him and his belief that he is somehow invincible as a surgeon. I loved the part with Monique and her Gran and how he was so nice to the old lady.

I'm guessing here but the introduction of Doctor Martin maybe could be to illustrate that it's not just the really good surgeons who get hauled up in front of everyone in M&M.
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: April 9th, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I don't have much to add. I am reading this and at the same time reading two other books. Yes, to answer your question, I'm insane, mostly from not sleeping very much because I am reading all the time. Keeping the characters straight hasn't been that difficult though.

I also got the impression that the book was reading like a novelization of a screenplay. I think I keep seeing Jamie in all the Ty scenes and it makes me look forward to the show. I don't like Hooten or Ridgeway yet. Maybe that's too strong to say, I just don't care about them and since I'm reading so many other characters, they are losing me fast. But, I liked the Dr. Park storyline and see a lot of potential there. the Sydney/Monique scene was the first chapter I enjoyed. I am going to keep plugging along.

Issues: Ving Rhames is not fat, not in the way Dr. V is supposed to be fat and that is sticking with me. I am thinking of a much larger person for that role. Also, I don't like the idea that the doctor would be considering visiting a patient. As an attorney, I'd be talking to the doctor making it clear that until we were sure what she was going to do, he had to stay far away from that kind of situation. Can't suspend disbelief on that.

All in all, I feel like this is just setting me up for the show. I wouldn't have kept going on this book without this group though, the characters aren't really grabbing hold of me. I am looking forward to fan fiction based on this show (doesn't every show have fan fiction?).
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 9th, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I have a lot of admiration for Tina's tenacity w/ regard to the Michelle situation, but I'm struggling to warm to her so far, too. A lot of that could be mitigated depending on how Jen Finnigan plays the character, and I'm assuming the show will give us more opportunities to see ALL of these people interact. How she plays off of Ty, and Hooten, and Michelle would help. (I guess actually, this gets to an aspect I should have mentioned above - there are a lot fewer extended dialogue scenes in this book than in most novels, and maybe that speaks to SG's relative inexperience as a fiction author, but it does feel at times like he does a lot of telling and not a lot of showing w/ regard to character. Hooten I can give a pass for a while because he's sort of a figurehead anyway; you can open up a character like that later in the game, and with Molina I know for the time being he'll be solid.

You're right, Ving is NOT as heavy as the character is depicted, though he is pretty husky. He could definitely be an ex-NFL player. I don't really see that being too much of an issue in the show though; they can always write around that by showing him just being very energetic and barreling around the trauma unit. Slow down, doc, you're knocking shit over. ;)

It does seem like legally, Ty would have been warned against contacting Quinn's mom, but... now that I think about it, the legal aspect of that case hasn't been addressed in nearly as much detail as the chef in Michelle/Tina's case. I wonder if SG will make that reveal in a subsequent chapter. At any rate, yeah it's a bit reckless but given Ty's personality type and how seriously he takes a) this debilitating self-doubt he has now and b) how personally committed he is to serving the patients because of his family history, it's not an enormous leap IMO to see him throwing caution to the wind over this mistake.

asta77 From: asta77 Date: April 9th, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
but it does feel at times like he does a lot of telling and not a lot of showing w/ regard to character

Yes! I have to admit, I started skipping over some paragraphs because it seemed like far too much exposition about the character(s).
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: April 10th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm just speaking from my experience as counsel for health care providers. If you have a death that warrants an official peer review, there is a conversation the lawyers have with the doctor about what he can and can't do; should or shouldn't do. One of the things I know they do at a hospitals is they teach the doctors how to avoid language that creates the impression of wrongdoing. So for a doctor to visit a mother and not to have the discussion of the warning just bothered me. It was the same with all the L&O, sometimes you can ignore things that would never happen and other times, you can't -- you shout at the tv: "That would never happen!" For me, this is one of those things.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 10th, 2012 03:18 am (UTC) (Link Me)
No, I hear you; it's why I wondered about whether or not SG is going to reveal that that conversation w/ a lawyer happened in subsequent chapters, he just hasn't mentioned it yet. It would kind of be an awkward, backing-into-the-story approach; not sure it's worth it, but curious to see if that pans out.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: April 9th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Also, I don't like the idea that the doctor would be considering visiting a patient. As an attorney, I'd be talking to the doctor making it clear that until we were sure what she was going to do, he had to stay far away from that kind of situation. Can't suspend disbelief on that.

I'm not having quite the same reaction you are, but, working in a law firm, it's sending up red flags for me. Right now, as far as we know, he's not suspected of any wrongdoing. My fear is Ty is going to say something to the mother and her next call will be to a lawyer. While he did make an error, I don't see him being fired over it (it seemed to me, while he didn't ask, the mother also didn't share her son's full medical history), but if he opens the hospital up to a lawsuit, THAT they may fire him for.
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: April 10th, 2012 03:24 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Yeah, it's not that he would be fired, it's that he would be sued and the hospital too. The exposure issue is hard for me to stop thinking about. As counsel for these hospitals, you put the doctors on guard: Anything they say could be used against the hospital; there's a right way and a wrong way to say 'sorry' -- and more like that, because wrongdoing has nothing to do with it. Hospitals settle cases where there was no wrongdoing all the time. For me, the idea that he's doing something that I know he would have been *warned* against and he's not sweating the risk . . . doesn't feel real [This from someone who is reading about dragons!].
onlyariana From: onlyariana Date: April 10th, 2012 02:12 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I don't feel like there's a need for a huge suspension of disbelief on him contacting Quinn's mom. He *knows* it's a bad idea and goes to a different department to look up the info trying to cover his tracks and thinking up cover stories for why he was accessing the records. It almost seems like he knows this is crazy but he can't stop himself.

But like I said in another comment I was still cringing like woah. In fact the first time I read it when he goes to her house (Without even calling first? Who does that?) I had to put the book down and walk away to regain enough calmness to find out what happens.
jsjbg From: jsjbg Date: April 10th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC) (Link Me)
It will be interesting to see how the script will be adapted from the book. I agree Ty contacting the mom is gonna be a stretch in beleivability.

Ty's journey so far seems to be the most layered and detailed. Lots of potential for Jamie to shine.

I want to like Tina (after all she has potential to be the character that gets Jamie shirtless) but I haven't taken to her yet. Don't dislike her...just meh.

Oh and heck yeah to the motorcycle scene. From Dr. Matt we already know he does doctor on motorcycle so nicely...

Edited at 2012-04-10 02:38 am (UTC)
Physha1 From: Physha1 Date: April 18th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC) (Link Me)
"get Jamie shirtless" Bwaahahaha!! Love it!
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