'Monday Mornings' Episode Discussion Thread: "Pilot" - Jamie Bamber News — LiveJournal
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'Monday Mornings' Episode Discussion Thread: "Pilot"
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kim_j_8472 From: kim_j_8472 Date: February 5th, 2013 07:24 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I haven't read the book, so I apologize right now; other than that, this is pretty much what I wanted out of medical drama. I just went through a whole weekend getting certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and will do it for pediatrics later on in March and everything looks and sounds very real for the pilot. I'm sure there's some license taken for Hollywood's sake, but it's not showing, which is good.

The cast is composed of very specific and distinguishable types; all of whom exist truthfully in the hospital setting. I'm specifically glad that we have two Asian regulars (again, not read the book, don't kill me). The language barrier is a real thing (and I'm Asian). It's cringing to watch and if you're not familiar, it's Mr. Miyagi of Medicine time, but that's Hollywood for you. I do love how level-headed trauma doc Ving is here. That's really how ER guys operate (which is what I want to be). I'm anticipating that he will break down at some point, because this is the only character who I saw as a bit too superhuman at this moment (that and Molina's character). It's a good mix of angst and control. Lastly, I've avoided most medical soaps because I can't stand the ratcheting up of tension at the expense of real science. Everything gets defibrillated in "ER" and "Grey's Anatomy." Ugh. But not here. Asystole and no BP is sadly what it is.

As for our Ty? Poor lovey. I mean it. This character is full of the hard-core angst (with backstory to back it up) that I think is Bamber's mainstay. They cast him perfect. It's awesome. Easiest commitment to DVR I've had since it was invented, truly. Tight pilot. Can't wait for more.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 5th, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I was looking forward to your feedback on the medical aspects. ;) Good to hear!

Since you are such a DEK fan I'm really curious to hear what you thought about the script; being someone who has enjoyed some of his shows but really disliked others, I am somewhere in the middle on expectations. While I was glad to see the show attempt a serious approach, I wonder if perhaps he restrained himself a little too much to the point where the dialogue seems a little safer than strictly necessary.
kim_j_8472 From: kim_j_8472 Date: February 5th, 2013 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I know what you mean. The two DEK examples that I can think of in weighing the script differences is The Practice vs. Boston Legal (and then I feel he repeated himself with Harry's Law, and I won't even go into *that*). The former is legal drama while the latter is very much legal dramedy. So I accept that DEK can easily master both. But you can't do both in one show without giving the audience whiplash, so I'm assuming that with this subject matter being so grave, he's going to go The Practice-style route. And I'm very happy with that, since we need grittier medical dramas that don't trivialize the patient in favor of how the doctors get along.

I think the comedic restraint shown in the Sydney Plot C was something pilot-driven. The pilot has to set the tone for the show. I'm sure we'll get to see more of his sense of humor as we go along, but it would be appropriate if it was black comedy instead of the usual whip-smart banter you expect from DEK. What's awesome is that he's listening to the consultants re medicine so that his style (because he's a lawyer by trade) doesn't overwhelm the material. It's like having John Wells try to do a legal drama. DEK might be a little outside his comfort zone, so I give him some slack.

And to be honest, the Sydney subplot was really the weakest of the storylines. I wish they had concentrated more on what she was doing to arrive at the diagnosis (and thus cement her capabilities by showing, not telling) instead of having her run around like Chicken Little being made fun of by her colleagues. I know he did it to lighten the mood, but there's got to be a better way to do it than that. I think that's my only real script criticism for the pilot. YMMV and I might have to go watch it again to make sure. Too distracted by the awesome differences in this med drama and others to nitpick just yet. :)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 5th, 2013 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Yeah, I am all for giving the subject matter the gravitas that it deserves. I did feel like this script was lacking some of the flourishes that I know he's capable of (there were a few; Sydney's line about circling the drain was textbook DEK. ;) ) It's important to maintain that balance though. Would like to see the future scripts branch out and embrace the oddness that is inherent in the subject matter anyway without contradicting it. And it's there, obviously. The human body is a bizarre and fascinating machine ;) (Black comedy is a fine concept to embrace, agreed; then again, black comedies can often be quite dark and I think it's important not to lose sight of the warmer aspects, either.)

Hey, guess what? I am sure we will do a post about this soon, but if you want to compare what was originally there (since you didn't read the book) and was changed/cut out - the pilot script is online! :D

http://www.leethomson.myzen.co.uk/Monday_Mornings_1x01_-_Pilot.pdf

kim_j_8472 From: kim_j_8472 Date: February 5th, 2013 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I will have to check that out when I have time!

It's funny but I forgot how dark and depressing The Practice was in the first few seasons. And even James Spader (Alan) and William Shatner (Denny) were darker in the final season. If you compare The Practice pilot with this one, you may see some of the same things going on with mood and dialogue. It's been so long, but from what I remember, that could be a good reference point. And The Practice went on for years, so I'm not as concerned if DEK goes heavy for awhile.

Of course, I want the series to survive the this-is-too-depressing-I-can't-watch-this kind of audience. For the sake of reality, I do hope he finds ways to have clever, light Plot Cs. There is a realm of the absurd of working in a hospital - from ER to OR. But so much of it has been explored already in Nip/Tuck and ER itself. So it'll be hard to be original.

I haven't read the book, but I'm hoping that they keep the characters from getting intimately involved with each other. Unresolved sexual tension should remain that way (at least for me; it would be too jarring considering the subject matter). I like the team aspect and hope it stays free from romantic entanglements, but that's just the med person in me.

Edited at 2013-02-05 05:57 pm (UTC)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 5th, 2013 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Interesting. I commented on Twitter last night that MM reminded me of the first couple of seasons of The Practice. ;)
kim_j_8472 From: kim_j_8472 Date: February 6th, 2013 06:30 am (UTC) (Link Me)
It's just good to know someone who *remembers* The Practice! :-)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 5th, 2013 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Glad to hear of the pilot's accuracy from someone with a medical background. I didn't expect 100% accuracy (frankly, that would be very boring in a TV show), but it struck me as more realistic in many ways than other medical dramas I've watched.
kim_j_8472 From: kim_j_8472 Date: February 6th, 2013 06:34 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm not the best person right now to navigate the balance between effective drama and realism in medical shows. I favor the boring stuff and accuracy over the fanciful - and mostly because we get so much of the latter in a majority of med dramas so I crave a difference.

Either way, it's going to be difficult to harness the laymen/women with something that's not too depressing. I'm really hoping that people will take to this the way they took to BSG. It's dark but it's real and more importantly, it's television that makes you think seriously about mortality.
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