Fall 2012 Review: The Mob Doctor

2 Oct

The hardest shows to write about aren’t the worst or the best, but the most, well, blah. That’s the level of wordsmithery I’m consigned to. The Mob Doctor isn’t very good, but it’s hardly horrible.  Jordana Spiro plays a young doctor, Grace Devlin, who wants to progress in her medical career, but who is also in debt to the mob. That’s essentially the long and short of it; it’s two different shows that connect at a nexus in an attempt to put a twist on either of those genres, medical and mob, but mostly end up as a generic show that spans two genres rather than one.

Here’s the medical show: Grace is a classic doctor-who-cares-too-much who is trying to move up in the cuthroat world of surgery with a boss she doesn’t like, and who doesn’t like her, and an even higher boss that she both likes and is liked by, played my all-time blog favorite Zeljko Ivanek. She’s got a boyfriend (played by Zach Gilford, Friday Night Lights’s QB1, Matty Saracen), a rival, and angers both by her willingness to break the rules and the law to help someone out of a jam, and by her tendency to whistle blow on her boss, which makes a viewer want to yell a classic The Wire “Chain of command!”  She’s clearly good at what she does but she risks alienating her coworkers with her attitudes and her recklessness.

Here’s the mob show: Spiro agreed to take on her brother’s debt to prevent him from being gunned down by mobster Morretti (The War at Home’s Michael Rappaport). She’s also buddy buddy with allegedly retired mobster Constantine (mob character veteran William Forsythe, who just played Manny Horvitz in Boardwalk Empire), having known him since childhood.  In the first episode, Moretti threatens Grace’s family if she doesn’t kill a patient in witness protection for him.  When she doesn’t, she makes a beeline to her friend Constantine’s house.  It turns out the witness was all part of a set up to take Moretti down so Constantine can reclaim his rightful position as Head of Mob.  He offers Grace a choice; get the hell out of Dodge (Chicago) or if she decides to say, she owes him now, with unspecified mob medical favors.  She, not wanting to leave her life and family, takes the latter. So, she’s torn between the two worlds, and you’ve got what’s likely twin procedural action.  She’ll have to do a surgery for the hospital, and do a surgery for the mob, all while avoiding on stepping on many sets of toes.

Note:  Two characters got to tell Spiro alternately, “we’re done here,” and “this isn’t over,” two phrases I would kill to have a chance to properly roll off in a nautral conversation and then walk away, authoratitvely but smoothly.

Will you watch it again? Nope. Honestly, it was much more blah (that’s that non-word again) than out and out bad, but there’s so many other shows to watch that one has to make their viewing choices carefully, and affirmatively;  when choosing, it makes sense to watch shows that you excited to see the next episode of rather than shows which you finish and merely say, “you know, that really was watchable,” and mean that as a backhand compliment.

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One Response to “Fall 2012 Review: The Mob Doctor”

  1. Steve October 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    For some reason the idea of an average medical drama reminded me of: http://youtu.be/N7yfLwMds5c

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