Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pilot Screener Review - Mercy

MERCY (script review: Mercy)
Status: Premiering Wednesday, September 23rd @ 8pm on NBC (tonight!)



I'll write up this review.

Here's the thing you need to know about Mercy's pilot. I was supposed to be reshot. I don't think it was supposed to be rewritten, which means that some of the problems in the pilot would still exist... but it was going to be reshot.

Because, from a pure filmic standpoint... there's no style to Mercy. There is absolutely nothing about it, visually, that astounds or amazes... or even, y'know... catches the eye. The lighting is drab. The actors (let alone the characters) don't really pop.

And that's a problem.

And it was going to be fixed because Mercy was supposed to be a midseason show.

Unfortunately, both for Mercy and Parenthood, Maura Tierney got sick (GET WELL SOON, MAURA) and Mercy was rushed onto the air, rushed into production, scripts pushed through quickly in order to make airing deadlines.

It's all a very unfortunate situation.

Which doesn't entirely give the Mercy pilot a pass... just an asterisk.

Plenty of reviews are out there that unfavorably compare Mercy to Showtime's Nurse Jackie, and it's a valid comparison. From the strident / bitchy (yet somehow sympathetic) lead character to the bumbling newbie nurse underling, to the not-quite-main-character ethnic gay nurse, to the opinion that doctors are idiots... it's cut very much from the same stuff.

On the "doctors are idiots" thing... I yearn for the days of County General, where people made mistakes but, in general, everyone - doctors, nurses, and staff - had a basic level on competency. It doesn't have to be doctors versus nurses.

I still believe that Taylor Schilling as lead character Veronica Callahan is a true find for the show (she has virtually no credits) and that there is potential in this series that many critics are missing by comparing it so wholeheartedly to Nurse Jackie (which, as a show, was waaaaaay overpraised in my opinion). But besides Taylor's fresh face... there really isn't anything new in this pilot. It is still Grey's Anatomy with nurses as the focus instead of surgeons (don't get me started on the ridiculousness of the love triangle plotting) using Nurse Jackie's characters.

However, my plate for this season is entirely full (really, too crowded if I'm being honest), so I won't be checking back into Mercy.

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