Review: Miami Medical 1×1 (US: CBS)

Jeremy Northam – good, everything else – awful

Jeremy Northam in Miami Medical

In the US: Fridays, 10/9c, CBS

LES MOONVES: Damn it! I need a producer in here, stat!

Enter JERRY BRUCKHEIMER

BRUCKHEIMER: What is it, sir?

LES MOONVES: Thank God you’re here, Bruckheimer. CBS has no medical shows

There’s a stunned pause

BRUCKHEIMER: No medical shows?

LES MOONVES: That’s right. No medical shows. We just don’t have any. I need you to make me one – now!

BRUCKHEIMER: But, sir, you can’t rush something as important as this!

LES MOONVES: Don’t give me that, Bruckheimer. It’s an emergency! Right now, you’re making CSI, CSI: Miami, and CSI: New York for me, and The Forgotten for ABC. No way you didn’t rush half of those out. So give me your pitch – now!

BRUCKHEIMER gives himself a shakedown and begins to pitch

BRUCKHEIMER: So it’s like ER, in a trauma hospital.

LES MOONVES (warning): Expensive. Contract renegotiation is always a bitch on ensemble shows.

BRUCKHEIMER: Small cast! It’ll be shot in… Miami, so we can have lots of shots of women in bikinis. It’ll be stupid, like CSI: Miami, but life-affirming like The Forgotten.

LES MOONVES: Dialogue?

BRUCKHEIMER: Painful.

LES MOONVES: Plots?

BRUCKHEIMER: Tortured and over-elaborate.

LES MOONVES: Characters?

BRUCKHEIMER: Thin and poorly sketched. Noble, but comedic black orderly. Fiery ambitious Latina. Brilliant but cocky young doctor. Young doctor with a heart. That kind of thing. But there’ll be plenty of blood, explosions, that kind of thing to keep the prurient interested.

LES MOONVES: We need something else.

BRUCKHEIMER: What?

LES MOONVES: A Brit. Like with House.

BRUCKHEIMER: How about that guy who played Sir Thomas More on The Tudors?

LES MOONVES: Jeremy Northam? Excellent!

BRUCKHEIMER: But, sir, I don’t think it’s going to work. Look what happened to Three Rivers. It’ll be just the same as Trauma on NBC but less exciting and less well written and that’s ratings poison!

LES MOONVES: I don’t care! Give me 13!

Plot
MIAMI MEDICAL is about a team of expert surgeons who thrive on the adrenaline rush of working at one of the premiere trauma facilities in the country while drawing upon their wit and irreverence to survive on the edge. As part of the Alpha Team at one of the top trauma hospitals, these professionals exclusively treat patients with life-threatening injuries.

Dr. Matthew Proctor is new to the trauma team after leaving a lucrative private practice following his return from a tour of duty in a MASH unit during the first Gulf War. Dr. Eva Zambrano is a workaholic surgeon who wishes she had more time for a personal life. Dr. Christopher Deleo, “Dr. C.,” is a playboy who thrives on the high-stakes of trauma medicine and is, by his own description, a genius cowboy. Dr. Serena Warren is fresh out of medical school and is quickly learning the meaning of “trial by fire.”

The glue that keeps the team together is head nurse Tuck Brody, who balances the needs of the doctors and their patients’ families in this chaotic corner of the medical profession. Together, this team of doctors excels in the “golden hour,” the 60 minutes after being critically injured when a patient’s life hangs in the balance.

Is it any good?
There’s Jeremy Northam – he’s good – and then there’s everything else. It’s absolutely dreadful.

I can’t say I’m totally surprised, given the show’s checkered history. It started off as Miami Trauma, before NBC scuppered that idea with Trauma. It also had Richard Coyle (Jeff from Coupling) in it (as well as Northam) but he got thrown off during the “Night of the Long Knives” in May last year that ousted most of the foreign actors from pilots. It’s now been marooned on Friday night as a mid-season replacement. I’m suspecting it’s relatively doomed.

What we have though is something that’s somewhere between Trauma and CSI: Miami. We have the same implausible accidents that have innocent people milling around, waiting to be nominated as cannon fodder. They get horribly maimed in horribly implausible accidents, before being rushed off to hospital to be looked after. There, whatever can go wrong happens – as well as a few things that can’t but do anyway. The brave surgeons (since when did surgeons stop wearing masks while operating, by the way?) then act bravely and wisely and arrogantly to save their patients’ lives, while proving they’re the best and getting one over on their colleagues.

But it’s all so dismally stupid. Northam’s obviously English accent – that’s mocked as English – is explained as a result of his being from Maryland. Really? That’s the best you’ve got, writers?

Andre Braugher starts up as the head of the department. He seems fine and groovy. Then he just sort of snaps, takes off all his clothes and walks out. “60% of trauma surgeons can’t hack it” is the apparent explanation.

Note to writers: THAT’S NOT AN EXPLANATION.

He hasn’t come back yet. If I bother with the next episode I’ll let you know if he comes back.

Given that Northam’s been in private practice for ages and he (SPOILER) gets to replace Braugher at the end of the episode over the heads of the better qualified fiery Latina, this strikes me as a great way to get everyone in the audience hating him. I like Northam and even though he was the only good thing about the show, I ended up hating him for being the white male getting the promotion he didn’t deserve simply for being white and male.

The episode is punctuated with ridiculous moments, like an experienced doctor nearly crying because they’ve saved a baby, and Northam stripping off in front of other people purely so they know he has a scar from an operation. Everyone talks very quickly in a quiet voice while they walk down corridors, so you can’t hear what they’re saying, presumably so it appears like they know what they’re talking about when actually the dialogue’s just poor.

I really can’t recommend this show less, so don’t bother with it. The only thing I want to know – what the hell it would have been like with Richard Coyle in it. That would have been a show worth watching.