TV Show Review – The Mob Doctor

Here Is TVRating:  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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