Tag Archives: Emily Owens

Fall 2012 Review: Emily Owens, M.D.

19 Nov

Most shows, at least what you get from the pilot episode (Last Resort aside), can be summed up pretty quickly.  Emily Owens, M.D. can be summed up even quicker than that.

Being a young doctor right out of med school is just like being in high school.

I’ll say more, but there you have it.  You could read that line and have a pretty good idea what the show is about.

Here’s another way that I think is fairly good to sum it up.  It’s like Scrubs without the jokes.  It actually has a pretty similar sensibility to the with the camaraderie between doctors and the high school drama matched up with the seriousness of illness and death the doctors deal with every day.  There’s even a speech given to Emily by another character about which doctors represent which high school cliques, and I really felt like I was watching Scrubs.

The main character is unsurprisingly Emily Owens (played by Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep, and yes, you can totally see it), a high school nerd/loser/choose your adjective here who thought that her life would turn around and she’d become who she always thought she would be and bloom post-high school, only to find out, yes, that doctoring is just like high school.  This isn’t just me saying it by the way; multiple characters express this to her within the first few minutes of the show.

She’s spending her first year with a motley crew of colleagues including her med school crush, her old high school nemesis whose appearance unnerves her, and a friendly lesbian who turns out to be the big boss’s daughter.  Owens spazzes constantly (spellcheck does not pick up spazz, but screw that) making lots of little, and one or two big, mistakes along the way, pissing off the doctor she came to this hospital to work under, but also making a couple of friends and partly redeeming herself along the way.  All in her first day too, which the entire episode takes place during; I doubt that every day as a doctor can be quite this meaningful and frantic, but what do I know.

The boldest move, for both her and the show, in my opinion, which I appreciated the most, and will probably be the only thing I really remember from the show, is that she basically comes out and confesses her love for her crush (yes, we’re using crush; this is high school) right in the first episode, and gets rejected in the absolutely nicest way possible making it incredibly awkward for both her and the guy, which makes you feel terrible for both parties (worse for her, but still).  As an awkward person, I did appreciate her completely believable amount of awkwardness, which seemed true to life rather than person-who-clearly-doesn’t-live-in-society level.

Other than that, well, there was nothing memorable about it.  Nothing made my irritated or angry or offended or any of that bad stuff.  There just wasn’t really much good stuff.  It was a show, and well, if you liked Scrubs without the jokes, maybe you’ll like it (actually it was still less self-righteous and lesson teaching than those Scrubs monologues – boy did I hate those).  You’ll probably forget about it within a couple of days of watching it though, like I’m predicting I will.

Will I watch it again?  No, it wasn’t execrable by any measure, but it was forgettable, and for getting lost in a crowded fall schedule, that’s almost as bad.

Fall 2012 Preview and Predictions: The CW

24 Sep

(In order to meld the spirit of futile sports predictions with the high stakes world of the who-will-be-cancelled-first fall television season, I’ve set up a very simple system of predictions for how long new shows will last.  Each day, I’ll (I’m aware I switched between we and I) lay out a network’s new shows scheduled to debut in the fall (reality shows not included – I’m already going to fail miserably on scripted shows, I don’t need to tackle a whole other animal) with my prediction of which of three categories it will fall into.

These categories are:

1.  Renewal – show gets renewed

2.  13+ – the show gets thirteen or more episodes, but not renewed

3.  12- – the show is cancelled before 13)

It’s easy to forget that the CW still exists.  It does, though, and it, like last year, has three new fall shows, and like last year I doubt more than one will survive.  Let’s see, though.

Emily Owens, M.D. – 10/16

Owens is a first-year intern at some hospital in Denver where she realizes that both her medical school crush and her rival from high school both work. It’s like high school all over again, but in a hospital, which sounds about perfect for the CW. They really, really play up the just-like-high-school angle on the CW about page, and Owens looks pretty frazzled in the promotional poster (note: wikipedia has been sadly lacking in information about CW’s new shows so I’ve been spending more time than usual on cw.com).  Also noteworthy, series star Mamie Gummer is the daughter of Meryl Streep.

Verdict:  Renewal – the most generic sounding of the three CW shows, but, first of all, it sounds right up CW’s alley, and second of all, it’s most analogous to the CW show that eventually made the cut last year, Hart of Dixie.  In a complicated and mostly unnecessary analogy, Emily Owens is equivalent to Hart of Dixie, a show about a doctor which is mostly good spirited and has personal drama, Arrow is Secret Circle (this is the worst comparison), a show about people with abilities and possible conspiracies involves those people’s parents, and Beauty and the Beast is Ringer, a more hard-boiled action thriller.  Anyway, the entire analogy only serves the minor point of explaining why I’m choosing Emily Owens to be renewed over the other two CW shows.

Arrow – 10/10

Having raked in cash from ten seasons of Smallville, the CW tries to duplicate that success with a show about a less popular member of the Justice League, Green Arrow. Green Arrow is a bow and arrow slinging hero who in this incarnation is far more analogous to Batman than  Superman. He’s a billionaire playboy (CW’s words) who disappeared at sea for five years, and after finally returning has developed his Green Arrow alias, a vigilante persona, while being chased by a policeman.  Also, there may be sinister motives behind is disappearance at sea.

Verdict:  14+  It’s a superhero show, and superheroes are still pretty in, so it has that going for it.  It doesn’t look all that good though, and Green Arrow, while I’m personally a fan, is definitely a couple of rungs below Superman and Batman as far as comic book heroes go.    CW, since the ratings are even lower than NBC, is mostly a crapshoot, but I’ll say they give it the season and then give it the boot.

Beauty and the Beast – 10/11

An extremely random quasi-remake of the CBS ’80s series of the same name, Beauty and the Beast starts erstwhile Lana Lang from CW series Smallville Kristen Kreuk as, uh, the beauty, Catherine Chandler, a homicide detective (CW’s show page describes her as “smart, no nonsense” and “strong and confident”). When she was a teen, her mom was killed in front of her, and she was only saved by a mysterious human creature, which you may correctly guess, is the titular beast. Chandler has a partner and a boss but becomes unmoored when she discovers that a murderer that they’re tracking is a dude who has been off the official radar for years, presumed dead, and turns out to be what saved her from being murdered. He also turns Hulk-like into a beast sometimes for some reason. By the way, these CW about pages are just a treasure trove of tropes (say that three times fast), for example, describing her boss as “tough but fair” and describing her relationship with the friendly M.E., as “a fun, flirtatious relationship that could easily turn into something deeper – if Cat would let that happen.”  Maybe she will!

Verdict:  14+  I have no fucking idea.  It sounds highly forgettable, which leads me to not pick renewal, but I’m guessing that CW will be slow, like last year to cut bait on its shows, preferring to wait until the end of the season, even when the result is nearly inevitable.  It’s just a guess.