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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.”
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Ok, so the reviews weren't stellar. Nevertheless, our daily TV show pick for tonight, Sunday, December 8, 2013 is still the premiere of mini-series, "Bonnie & Clyde" on Lifetime, History and A&E at 9:00.
- Boardwalk Empire
- Ray Donovan
- Three Stooges repeats
- Breaking Bad
- Black Mirror
- Ray Donovan
- The Mindy Project
- Children's Hospital
- South Park
Morris Levy is the producer of the HBO film, "Seduced and Abandoned" in which actor Alec Baldwin and director James Toback’s attempt to raise financing for a new film. When not busy producing movies, here's what Levy likes to watch:
Check out our interview with Levy for more insights.
Glenn Howerton plays Dennis Reynolds on FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (on which he is also a writer and executive producer). For a guy that funny, you might be surprised (or not) to learn that he's also a fan of dark dramas. Here's what he likes to watch:
More insights on the actor/writer and It's Always Sunny can be found in our interview with Glenn.
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- TV Show Review – Bonnie & Clyde
New on VOD
Here are the new VOD films for the week of December 3, 2013. Click on a movie title for more information, trailers and reviews.
The Wolverine. Rating: 4 (out of 5). Hugh Jackman is back as Wolverine, in this tale that takes him back to Japan where he is forced to face his own demons. Watch for it on VOD starting Tuesday, December 3. The WashingtonPost calls it “A refreshing summer cocktail of action-movie staples.” Reviews, video and more.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Clary Fray, a seemingly normal teenage girl, learns that she is no ordinary human being. Adapted from the book of the same title by Cassandra Clare, she discovers that she is a daughter of Shadowhunters, a race of half-angel beings tasked to protect our world from demons. This film’s VOD will be released starting Tuesday, December 3rd. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “On the surface, Mortal Instruments is a slick teen thriller. Just overbaked and unoriginal.” Reviews, video and more.
Things Never Said. Rating: (3 out of 5). Kalindra Stepney, an aspiring poetess, is having some problems with her marriage and sparks a relationship with a new man, who inspires her to once again find her artistic voice. The film is available on VOD starting Tuesday, December 3rd. The Philadelphia Inquirer says, “The result may not be a big movie, but Things Never Said makes a big emotional impact.” On the other hand, Roger Ebert calls it a“soapy melodrama.” Reviews, video and more.
Crave. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Aiden (Josh Lawson), a crime scene photographer, haunted by the decay and violence around him, retreats into his inner dark world. When he meets Virginia, a younger woman with her own demons, Aiden becomes increasingly emboldened to live out his vigilante fantasies. Crave will be available on VOD starting Friday, December 6th. Reviews, video and more.
Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers. Rating: 3 (out of 5). A documentary about a gang of Balkan jewel thieves known as The Pink Panthers that have stolen nearly a billion dollars worth of jewels from boutiques in the world's most opulent cities, including Geneva, Paris, London, Geneva, Dubai and Tokyo. The film delves into the gang’s incredible history and introduces the viewer to the global police forces who work furiously to stop them. Beyond the glitz of the Panthers’ incredible heists, Smash & Grab exposes dark truths about the illicit diamond trade and the world’s most ruthless mafia networks. The film will be available on VOD starting Tuesday, December 3rd. According to The Washington Post, the director “knows how to get, and hold, a viewer’s attention.” Reviews, video and more.
Jobs. Rating: 2 (out of 5). Ashton Kutcher stars as Steve Jobs in this film that tells the story of Job’s ascension from college dropout to one of the leading technological leaders of our time. The film will be available on VOD starting Tuesday, December 3rd. The San Francisco Chronicle sums up most of the reviews when it writes, , “at its best, it's a good picture, and at its worst, it's almost good.” Reviews, video and more.
The Smurfs 2. Rating: 2 (out of 5). The Smurfs are back, and this time, they are out to rescue Smurfette, who is kidnapped by the evil Gargamel. It turns out she knows a secret spell that can turn the sorcerer’s latest creation, The Naughties, into real Smurfs. The film will be available on VOD starting Tuesday, December 3rd. The Los Angeles Times calls it “a passable mediocrity.” Reviews, video and more.
Live at the Foxes Den. Bobby Kelly has it all: money, women, good looks and a good career. One night, he sings in a local lounge called “The Foxes Den,” and the owner, impressed with his vocal talent, offers him a job as the lounge’s new singer. His life is then turned upside down as he is now forced to decide whether to chase after his lifelong dream of being a singer, or to stay and keep what he has now. The film will be available on VOD starting Friday, December 6. No reviews are available as of writing. Video and more.