- Special Features
- Log In/Register
TV Show Review – The Mob Doctor
Rating: 2 (out of 5). Partly inspired by the book Il Dottore: The Double Life of a Mafia Doctor, Fox’s Monday night premiere of The Mob Doctor portrays Jordana Spiro as Dr. Grace Devlin. Spiro plays a naïve young Chicago doctor walking the tightrope between the Hippocratic Oath and a deal she struck for her brother with the mob. The show also stars William Forsythe and Zach Gilford of Friday Night Lights. Not quite unanimous in their distaste for the show, most of the reviewers rolled their eyes. Some reserved judgment, seeing the pilot as a mere introduction to a show with a talented cast and potential for real character development.
The New York Times notes that the show is “an odd hybrid, a medical drama merged with a Mafia morality play.” The paper goes on to say that “It’s hard to tell from one episode how sustainable this gimmick will be, but from the pilot one thing is sure: the writers never encountered the adage “less is more.”
The Chicago Tribune said the pilot showed promise but leaves questions, describing one sequence as “Flashdance parody” “showy.” On the plus side, it described “a well-made show, in everything from the fully nourished cinematography to some good, crisp dialogue.”
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer said the seed for the show was planted when writer-producer Josh Berman said found himself wondering “What would have happened if Meadow Soprano had gone on to medical school and become a doctor?”
The Huffington Post implied the pilot episode was “a good start.”
The San Francisco Chronicle unequivocally described the concept as “silly,” saying “a kindergarten class could have fashioned a more credible script, the characters are unbelievable, and the performances are awful.” It described the experience as “constant struggle for a viewer to avoid being bored to tears.”
Admitting the show is somewhat unrealistic and “too ambitious,” Newsday revealed some appreciation for a show that “isn’t like any other show, either, with its mad mix of moral dilemmas, medical crises, family ties, double-life-living and … rubouts …”
The Chicago Sun-Times said despite “some decent twists and turns, particularly in the last few minutes,” ”too many elements of the plot are far-fetched and needlessly soapy. The dramatic tension often feels forced, not natural. And the writing tends to be melodramatic”
USA Today assumed “Fox is joking, right?”
The Kansas City Star noticed about the show “no sense of irony about its own ridiculous premise, and nobody plays against type.”
Utterly unimpressed, Variety said Mob Doctors is “derived from the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup school of development,” when it took “two taste treats – ‘It’s a medical procedural and a mob story!’ — then mashed them together.”
Describing it as “preposterous” with a “ridiculous premise,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said “there’s only one prescription for ‘The Mob Doctor’: fuhgettaboutit.”
The Hollywood Reporter found the Mob Doctor attempt “a truly flat idea.”
The Washington Post said it’s “signing the DNR papers right now.”
The Orlando Sentinel said Mob Doctor “never converts its far-fetched premise into engrossing drama.”
While the LA Times found it “uncomfortable to watch,” saying the “pilot teeters between odd and simply ridiculous,” it did see some possibilities for future episodes, wondering if “there’s a possibility that ‘The Mob Doctor’ is headed toward the kind of complex character development of AMC or HBO.”
The New York Post says of the show, “The patient requires a lethal dose of cancellation.” And continues, “That’s the diagnosis for Fox’s new and very ridiculous drama, “The Mob Doctor,” a show so dopey that the pitch meeting must have required many prescription drugs.”
According to The Boston Herald, “This show almost works, and credit has to go to star Jordana Spiro (“My Boys”), who imbues her Dr. Grace Devlin with equal parts brass and cleverness.”
Get Our Free Newsletter
Our daily TV show pick for tonight, Thursday, April 24, 2014 is the sixth season finale of "Parks and Recreation" on NBC at 8:00.
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
- Game of Thrones
- True Detective
- Orphan Black
- Breaking Bad
- True Detective
- Real Housewives
- Reality TV
What I'm Watching - Graham Yost
Justified creator/show runner/writer Graham Yost has more than enough to keep him busy, But, when he does manage to find some free time to watch TV, here's what he sits down to view:
Check out our interview with Graham to learn more about this very talented writer.
When he's not busy portraying bad guy Darryl Crowe Jr. in this season of Justified, here's what Michael Rapaport likes to watch on TV:
Check out our interview with the actor to gain more insights into Mr. Rapaport.
Featured TV Reviews
TV Show Review – Bad Teacher
Rating: 3 (out of 5). CBS brings the 2011 movie , “Bad Teacher” back to life as a comedy TV series starring Ari Graynor as Meredith, a gold digger who has been dumped by her rich husband. When she finds out that she is not getting any of his money because of a pre-nup, Meredith [...]
TV Show Review – Black Box
Rating: 2 (out of 5). Catherine Black, a brilliant yet troubled neuroscientist, suffering from her mental illness, is the center of “Black Box,” ABC’s newest drama. While a few critics write favorably about the show, most are more in line with Chicago Sun-Times which says, “this drama is not good.” Newsday writes, “”Black Box” creates [...]
TV Show Review – Salem
Rating: 3 (out of 5). WGN launches their first original TV series tonight with Salem which brings us back to the 17th century and the notorious Salem witch trials. At the center of the show is Mary Sibley, played by Janet Montgomery, and John Alden, played by Shane West. The two shared a secret tryst [...]
TV Show Review – Fargo
Rating: 4 (out of 5). FX’s “Fargo,” based on the Coen Brothers’ 1996 movie “Fargo,” is a 10 episode series with a new case and new characters, but one that “channels” the original film. The series stars Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo, a drifter who runs into insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, played by Martin [...]
- TV Show Review – Bad Teacher
New on VOD
Here are the new VOD films for the week of April 22, 2014. Click on a movie title for more information, trailers and reviews.
Bettie Page Reveals All. Rating: 4 (out of 5). The world’s greatest pinup model, Bettie Page, shares the true story of how free expression became the target of government witch-hunts and how she overcame them to help launch America’s sexual revolution. The film comes to VOD on Tuesday, April 22. While some of the reviews note that the film is lacking in production value, virtually all are impressed with the content of the film. As the Los Angeles Times notes, the film is a “highly watchable portrait.” Starring: Bettie Page, Dita Von Tease, Todd Oldham, Hugh Hefner. Director: Mark Mori. Rating: R. Genre: Documentary. Reviews, video and more.
Blue Ruin. Rating: 4 (out of 5). A beach bum finds his quiet life turned upside down by a very upsetting news, and travels back to his childhood home to seek revenge. Proving to be an ineffective assassin, he ends up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, April 25. The critics are very impressed with the film, the majority citing Saulnier’s direction as promising. As ScreenDaily says, “Blue Ruin is distinguished by the way it allies solid storytelling to fine craftsmanship.” Starring: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack, Eve Plumb, David W. Thompson, Brent Werzner, Stacy Rock, Sidne Anderson. Director: Jeremy Saulnier. Rating: Unrated. Genre: Thriller. Reviews, video and more.
Escape From Tomorrow comes to DVD and Blu-ray on April 29. The film tells the story of a middle-aged American husband and father of two who lost his job. To escape from reality and to keep the news from his family, he decides not to forgo their trip to the happiest place on Earth. But things turn bad when his sanity is challenged and their trip is turned into a nightmare. Interesting if, for no other reason, than to see what a film that was surreptitiously shot at Disney World looks like. Best Buy has the Blu-ray (and DVD) or, if you prefer Amazon for the DVD, click here.
Filth. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson is a corrupt cop who desperately wants a promotion. He will do absolutely anything to get that promotion, even stealing his colleagues’ wives and exposing their secrets. But when his past begins to catch up to him, he begins to lose control. Watch for Filth on VOD starting Thursday, April 24. The critics were mixed on the film but many were impressed with James McAvoy performance and, according to The Times, “James McAvoy gives his best performance to date as a morally and physically decaying detective in this hallucinogenic adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel.” Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Jim Broadbent, Joanne Froggatt, Shirley Henderson, Eddie Marsan, John Sessions. Director: Jon S. Baird. Rating: R Genre: Drama, Comedy, Crime. Reviews, video and more.
Gambit. Rating: 2 (out of 5). A remake of the 1966 action film, Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz stars in this film about a British thief who discovers that no plan is infallible after he recruits a beautiful woman to help him steal a statue from a wealthy widower. Although his accomplice resembles the target’s late wife, things start to go wrong once their plans begin. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, April 25, and has not won much (if any) praise from the critics. According to The Guardian, “An awful lot of talent has been put to waste here.” Starring: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Tom Courtenay, Stanley Tucci. Director: Michael Hoffmann. Rating: PG-13. Genre: Drama. Reviews, video and more.