TV Show Review – Saving Hope

Here Is TVRating: 2.  The new NBC series “Saving Hope” premieres Thursday, June 7, at 9/8c.  Most reviewers do not believe that this Canadian import is worth saving.

Variety calls the show a “’Ghost’-meets-‘Grey’s Anatomy’ medical soap,” adding that the show “wins no points for originality, but boasts a winning lead in Erica Durance.”  Variety also criticizes the shows hackneyed use of certain techniques, such as “an absurd overuse of lens flares that may induce seizures.”

The San Francisco Chronicle basically agrees, saying, “’Saving Hope’ is kind of a lukewarm stew of ideas from other shows…with stock characters and situations that occasionally jerk a demi-tear or two, but with absolutely no authenticity. The sloppy sentimentality is cheap and unearned, greasy camera lenses notwithstanding. The flash may be willing, but the spirits are pretty weak.”

HitFix reviewer Alan Sepinwall makes the same comparisons, noting that “Trying to add ‘Ghost’ to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ could be an interesting solution to the problem of telling stories we’ve seen a million times before. But doing it this way ultimately does more harm than good, because it takes the most interesting actor in the cast and strands him in limbo, wandering aimlessly and telling us platitudes like, ‘I walked these walls a thousand times. I thought I knew them. We all end up here. We come in sick, or broken, and sometimes, we get better’.”  The unfortunate result is that “very little of the series, with or without him, is memorable.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette didn’t have much in the way of praise for the show, either, saying, “As far as medical stories go, there’s not much in ‘Saving Hope’ viewers haven’t seen before (and better) elsewhere, including on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.”

The irony here seems to be that, as Tom Conroy points out in Media Life Magazine, despite the life-after-death presence of certain cast members, “The result…is a strangely lifeless show.”

NBC might be saving hope, but we’re not holding our breath.

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