'Monday Mornings' Episode Discussion Thread: "Pilot" - Jamie Bamber News
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'Monday Mornings' Episode Discussion Thread: "Pilot"
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asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 5th, 2013 04:56 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Having read A LOT of reviews prior to Monday Mornings debut, and now having seen the pilot episode, I have to say some of the criticism was completely justified. It only took five minutes for me to find the extreme closeups and camera tricks (mostly lens fair) out of control and completely unnecessary. As the episode progressed, I sometimes felt as if I was watching the work of two different directors. While the 'artsy' stuff was a distraction, I felt the surgical scenes were extremely well filmed. Usually operating rooms look as if they are on a sound stage, but, here, it looked real and made me uneasy when things went horribly wrong.

While the characters were either fleshed out better (Sarayu Rao was terrific as Sydney) or have the potential to be fleshed out better (Bill Irwin was only briefly seen as Buck, but in that few minutes he felt more fully realized than he did on the page) than in the novel, I did feel some plot points were too condensed or overly edited. I wondered if Ty's flashback to his childhood left non-readers of the book confused? Sydney was barely phased from being engaged to being dumped in record time, which seemed weird. And maybe Tina's loveless marriage should have waited until episode two. Yeah, I think even the brief scene made it clear the marriage is no longer a marriage, but simply two people sharing a house, but it seemed rather shoe-horned in.

It seems like the most changes may have been made to Tina's character (not a bad thing since she was my least favorite character in the book). It appears she and her husband have no children. Even if we weren't to see the kids, I was looking for hints - photos or drawings on the fridge - to show they existed, but I didn't see anything. This isn't a bad thing. I felt the the storyline with Tina's kids was one of the weakest, and at times most infuriating, subplots in the book. It also seems that rather than Tina and Ty being involved in an affair, there's a close friendship and perhaps a desire for it to be more.

Overall, I felt the series was well cast. The actors either fit the images of the characters I had in my head well or exceeded my expectations. Sarayu, in particular, I thought was great. She made me chuckle a couple of times and I think levity is going to be an important element to the show (which wasn't so present in the book).

And David E Kelley, when he's at is best, can do a fine job of juggling humor with drama. I was greatly relieved that the excesses of some of his more recent work was not to be seen here. Granted, the show could go off the rails, but I remain optimistic!

Ok, I'm sure I've forgotten some things and I may come back later and add more after a second viewing. I must admit, at times, all I could think was, "JAMIE! On my TV! YAY!!!" ;D
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 5th, 2013 05:50 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I enjoyed Sydney too. But I didn't really feel any sadness for her lost engagement. In the 3 seconds the show dedicated to it she didn't seem too be all that affected by it. So I wasn't either. But the character has potential to be a lot of fun.

Jamie pulled me in though. Ty was so torn at Quinn's death. But it really hit on that podium as the realization came that Quinn's life was cut short because of his error. Nice performance. Jamie uses body language so well in his performances.

And we get to see him next week again. Yay.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 5th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Jamie uses body language so well in his performances.

Totally agree. Even when not in close-up, I loved watching what he was doing with his hands on the podium. It conveyed so much of what he was going through mentally.

Edited at 2013-02-05 07:49 pm (UTC)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 5th, 2013 06:31 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I felt the surgical scenes were extremely well filmed. Usually operating rooms look as if they are on a sound stage, but, here, it looked real and made me uneasy when things went horribly wrong.

Absolutely agree. Just the straightforward shots of the moment where Quinn begins to bleed out, and basically the entirety of Park's surgery scene (more on that in my next comment - see below) were superb. But I do agree that while I completely understand the intention of some of the more emphatic shots and edits, a fair number of them seemed unnecessary. Yes, they are very well framed and lit and all the technical bells and whistles... but my own personal preference, though I do love a visually arresting look, is to allow the script and the performances engage the emotions first. And here's the thing - I know that is hard to pull off in a surgical theater where the doctors (and actors) are 99% shrouded in scrubs and masks! Not underselling that aspect of it at all. But as noted in the comment above, Jamie is SO GOOD at communicating so much through very subtle body language; give him a chance to use it whenever possible. That goes for the everyone, TBH.

Re: Buck - I have a real feeling he is going to draw a lot of the love-to-hate-em ire away from Park, who sort of filled that role at least for a while in the novel; obviously he's been bumped up to principal from the book where he is a minor character.

100% YES to the missing Ridgeway children. Granted, we may get a shocker yet, but I have a feeling you are right and they jettisoned them. For those who didnt read the book: Tina and Mark have three kids in the novel, one of whom is special needs, and IMO one of the hardest things to reconcile her motivations and behavior with in the book is what comes off as selfishness in her career and her affair with Ty vs. making any kind of effort for her husband and children. Here, it is much easier to imagine that a) she is feeling a deep kinship and attraction to Ty while b) she happens to also be growing apart from her husband. Yep, this is barely touched on in the pilot but with knowledge of the alteration from the book, IMO its a wise choice. (And yes, OMG, Jennifer just brings a much-welcome warmth to the character that she needed so much!)

Sarayu is goddamned perfect. ;) Sydney may still be my fave, we will seeeeee...


Edited at 2013-02-05 07:12 am (UTC)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 5th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
and IMO one of the hardest things to reconcile her motivations and behavior with in the book is what comes off as selfishness in her career and her affair with Ty vs. making any kind of effort for her husband and children. Here, it is much easier to imagine that a) she is feeling a deep kinship and attraction to Ty while b) she happens to also be growing apart from her husband.

I understand that it's hard for parents to balance work and family, and even more so with a special needs child. But in the book, Tina came off as SO UNCARING in regards to her family and the fact that her husband was doing all the parenting because she was never home. And part of that was due to her, selfishly, spending time with Ty....to escape her family life. So, yeah, glad they (seemingly) jettisoned the kids and are presumably just going with two people who have drifted apart.
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