"Monday Mornings" Episode 1x02 Discussion Thread: "Deus Ex Machina" - Jamie Bamber News
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"Monday Mornings" Episode 1x02 Discussion Thread: "Deus Ex Machina"
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zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 12th, 2013 07:07 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Commenting on the night-of is really rough for me now that my job requires getting up much earlier. Boo, and also, bollocks. I'll have a LOT more to add in the AM - still have some real issues with a few things but overall the pacing of this episode worked much better for me than the pilot, I have to say. The dynamic of the ensemble felt more at ease, less scrambling to make sure everyone got a proper introduction. Plus one or two REALLY fine Jamie moments, though he didn't have my favorite moment in the episode tonight. ;) Your guesses will be entertained on who did until I get a chance to post tomorrow!

Edited at 2013-02-12 07:07 am (UTC)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 12th, 2013 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Well, my plan was to watch the second airing and then post thoughts, but I fell asleep. Which is actually quite the compliment to the show since I can only fall asleep in front of the TV if I'm enjoying what I'm watching and it relaxes me. :) So, yeah, thoughts have to wait until my lunch break now.

I'm going to guess your favorite moment was something obscure I missed. ;p However, the iTunes gift card scene cracked me up, for many reasons. And, true story, we once had a client pay us in gift cards (not iTunes though).

My favorite Jamie moments involved his facial expressions and reactions to things being said. The boy REALLY needs to do comedy.
Physha1 From: Physha1 Date: February 12th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I loved the scene with the team and the girl, and also with Hooten and the girl. Very moving and well acted on both parts.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 12th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Oookay, I wrote most of this out on my phone while commuting to work this morning, before I read any other comments. I'll chime in with others below on what jived with their feedback and what didn't in a bit!

So... besides what I said last night about the pacing of this episode generally working better for me:

- That opening scene (Even though about two seconds in his cold sweat was a dead giveaway it was a dream!) - while the dream itself was a bit of an easy mark, I felt Jamie played it very well. He was also fantastic in his brief moments with Eden Riegel's character, although I'm *very* iffy on how far they're going to take the hallucination angle. (Believe me, I understand that having something like a kids' death on their conscience can make people's heads go to extremely weird places. But am I the only one who felt like that moment played out way too over the top? He has to OPERATE, how can he do so if he's under that much mental duress? It doesn't make sense… please, show, help me see the sense!) Anyway IMO mostly the quiet, non-center-stage moments are where Jamie really shined this time. That look on Ty's face when he's lost Tina's ear because she's off on a tear confronting Hooten, and he sort of just shuffles back to his desk and sits, silently, at a loss for what to do next. Ouch. Mah heart. ;)

- It did really bother me again, too, that the slow motion and extreme closeups are used more frequently than feels necessary. Look, I get that complaining about extreme closeups of nice bits of Jamie's face might seem off-brand around here ;) - but the way it they were used in a scene like Ty calling Quinn's mother, it just isn't working for me. I get that there's an emotional intent (conveying detachment, uncertainty, etc.) but I want to see the entirety of Jamie's performance in that moment. Tara Summers, too. They are GREAT actors, let *them* drive the emotion in that scene.

- Which is why, hands down, surprise favorite scene of the night was Buck's M&M. Except for the trademark harsh lighting, not much got in the way of a brief, but rather humanizing tantrum and Bill Irwin just KILLED it in that scene. (Buck isn't going to be easy to like but he's been quite nicely emphasized from the role he played in the book. I also appreciated the character ticks they carried over from week, like the way Buck gets antsy and up on the balls of his feet when he's nervous; he did it again when he's waiting for Michelle to declare the patient.) THIS is what I desperately want to see the show do more of: Allowing the cast, who are uniformly outstanding, to bring their A-game and make me feel without the mise en scene dictating too often how I *should* feel. (And yes, I will accept your film-school-reject merit badge for use of the term "mise en scene" with honor ;) )

- She had more to work with this week, but I'm anxious to see them develop Michelle more. Both because Emily's very good, AND because so far she hasn't quite broken out of the role she played in the book, which was mainly to assist in moving the other doctor's plotlines forward. That was an issue I had with the novel, but the tone of the Michelle/Tina scene was so nicely played I get the feeling they might be about to diverge from that and I really hope they do.

- I did feel as though some of the dialogue was unwieldy in the Trisha storyline, and from time to time that took me out of the moment; that said, the little girl was *very* good and Molina was great, especially in that final scene. I do think it was a smart move to put a case that plays to Hooten's soft side into the second episode; striking a balance between that and his hard-assed persona in the M&Ms is important to do quickly. Although I suspect (and am more than willing to be proven wrong) that there won't be any complications arising later in the season in Trisha's case, and it's curious to me that Hooten lead the charge against a patient's will in a way that should something unfortunate happen, it would be precisely the kind of case he might grill another surgeon for in a heartbeat.

(I over-ran the character limit again! OY!... part 2 in a moment)...
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 12th, 2013 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
PART TWO of "Wordy McTalksALot's Comments" ;)

- Jen is delightfully defiant in Tina's M&M scene and I really appreciated that so far it is the female character who has given Hooten the toughest push-back. :) And I thought the dilemma she and Michelle are facing was nicely set up in spite of the fact that we never got any introductory scenes where we meet this patient, etc.; it's all delivered secondhand. Here's my question, though: is the show deliberately being obtuse about the actual status of Ty/Tina or is the writing not being clear? I get the feeling we are meant to wonder because Tina is reluctant to reveal anything and Ty's emotions are elsewhere right now. In both the book and the original pilot script they are explicitly having an affair, but last week I got the impression they weren't quite there yet. Now between the "honey" moment and the leg-touching and the way Tina sort-of confessed to Sydney but not really... help me out here, gang!

- That little wink Park gives Trisha at the end was so, so important; gradually the depth of that character is coming through in increments, largely due to Keong Sim being so good. Although I really wish the scripts would do him a favor and pursue the angle of his difficulty communicating with patients through a broader mix of broken English and not "Not do, dead" EVERY time. They made a little headway with him mangling "hole in one" ;)…hey, I get what they are trying to do, but right now it's dangerously close to a catchphrase, which would count a lot toward arguments of stereotyping. It's a very easy fix to make, I hope they make it.

- At this point, we need to see Sydney in the operating room because I bet it is THE GREATEST THING EVER. :D She's still my favorite.

- Remember how Brad Walsh always wore Ronnie's glasses perched on his forehead and we christened it "Ronniegoggles." I kind of adore that Ving does the same thing. I'm trademarking GATOGOGGLES, okay? ;)

Here's the thing - overall, though I have criticisms that are based on my personal taste, I'm pleased to see that the show is getting a lot of positive feedback on social media. What's not working for me obviously IS working for a lot of people who are tuning in, even if the numbers aren't what we'd ideally like (They seem to have gone up quite a bit with DVR added in though!). And if it's working for more people, that's good news. While for the most part I'm enjoying it, I want to LOVE it… and I'm not there yet. But I'm optimistic. ;)

Edited at 2013-02-12 09:14 pm (UTC)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 13th, 2013 12:59 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I thought of something today that I can't believe I didn't think to mention this last week. At my firm, we have a guy who works in the IT department, who is from China, who has lived here for years, whose English is still not the best and, oh, he's a brain surgeon. However, unlike Park, he didn't want to go through the whole process to become a doctor here again. Hence, now working with computers. I mention all this because, from first hand experience, Park isn't really the stereotype some see him as.

asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 13th, 2013 12:47 am (UTC) (Link Me)
But am I the only one who felt like that moment played out way too over the top? He has to OPERATE, how can he do so if he's under that much mental duress?

No, not the only one. The patient is only thinking her doctor didn't like something she said or is a bit distracted (a doctor lost in his/her thoughts is not uncommon), but we are seeing a surgeon hallucinating and thinking, "OMG! He shouldn't be operating!" Really, they should have just had him flashback to Quinn's surgery and left it at that. It would be troublesome to know his mind is not entirely on what he is about to do, but that's better (and more believable) than seeing people who are not there and thinking they really are. O_o

The most troublesome close-ups to me were on Tara's lips during the phone call. Ty is calling her about her dead son and focusing on that particular part of her face while they are setting up a meeting gave it a romantic vibe which is inappropriate and creepy. And these are actors who I want to see act. Extreme close-ups makes it impossible to tell if they are doing their job well! ;p

The scene with Buck and Michelle in the ER - specifically with with Buck rising on the balls of his feet while the future donor gave him the finger - felt like vintage DEK to me. And I mean that in the best possible way. I want to see some quirkiness. I don't want to see the cast break out into song, but Harding having a piano is a nice touch (and I assume this is in lieu of the extensive art collection he had in the book).
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