TV Review: “Do No Harm” – Do Not Watch

Written by Guest February 11, 2013

do no harm

 

 

Checking for a pulse…

Many of today’s hit-cable dramas feature protagonists living a double-life. “Breaking Bad”, “Homeland” and “Dexter” are entirely based on this premise. “Do No Harm” misses the mark about what makes these types of shows interesting and instead gives us a mediocre “Grey’s Anatomy” episode packaged as a thriller with none of the zippy charm and all of the melodrama.

“Do No Harm” follows the only brain-surgeon to never work night-shifts – Dr. Jason Cole – as he fights against his evil inner-doppelganger Ian Price that he turns into every twelve hours. This modernized version of “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson  polarizes the concepts of good and evil event further than the original through this fight. Jason works in a generic hospital by day, being a brilliant neurosurgeon who bends the rules in order to save everyone with his expertise and critical thinking. Ian Price is a violent druggie who attends orgies and does drugs and is bent on destroying his other-selves career.

The cast is far from remarkable or memorable. Steven Pasquale (“Alien Vs Predator: Requiem”) just acts angry in his dual role as Jason and Ian. The love interest and generic hot doctor Dr. Lena Solis, played by Alana de la Garza (“Law and Order”), is the next most interesting character but even she just portrays her character as either tirelessly happy or relentlessly angry. The rest of the supporting cast fills up the rest of the hospital staff and has yet to be characterized.

The drama focuses on Jason’s fear of Ian taking over and affecting his life. However, the medical babble that Jason spouts out does not match up with his street smarts as the entire pilot leaves you wondering how someone with a deadly split-personality would be able to succeed in becoming a doctor. The morally pure Jason is presented as being worried about those around him, with much of the tension involving him trying to get away from the hospital before he turns. The amount of logic gaps in the plot prevent this from being the smart thriller it pretends to be, as the viewer is left questioning what is going on the entire time with no real pay-off promised.

I bet you can't guess which one is supposed to be evil.

I bet you can’t guess which one is supposed to be evil.

Time of death: pilot episode

“Do No Harm” presently airs on NBC at 10:00pm on Tuesdays. It broke records by becoming the lowest-rated mid-season premier ever. Even the “30 Rock” finale airing before it could not save it. “Do No Harm” is not likely to last long. NBC even cut the episode order from thirteen to twelve, but it is not likely to make it that far.

“Do No Harm” has a premise that could have been played off well, but instead it is overall uninteresting and poorly acted. “Do No Harm” may have worked better as a TV-movie as it does not feel like it has potential to go far on a week-to-week basis. There will of course be a time (providing it does not get axed from NBC’s schedule) where all the coworkers will find out that this morally pure guy they all love is actually evil, but they already did this in the first episode in an unspectacular fashion with Lena. Even if the rest of the cast is fleshed out beyond the generic stock characters they are now, “Do No Harm” does not seem to have the writing capacity to make such a grand reveal interesting.

This show will not go far and may as well already be declared dead for lacking a pulse. “Do No Harm” brings nothing to the thriller or medical show genre. The most entertaining aspect of this show will likely be its historical feat of being a ratings fiasco. This is definitely not a show you are missing out on.

My Rating: 3/10

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