Mini-review: Saving Hope (CTV/NBC) 1×1

It's the script that needs saving

Saving Hope

In Canada: Thursdays, 9pm ET/PT , CTV
In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC

I can’t quite muster the enthusiasm to write a full review of this, since it’s quite a bad, quite a boring show. Essentially, you have Erica Durance (Lois Lane in Smallville) and Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1) as irritating, arrogant doctors who work together and are about to get married. Unfortunately, there’s a car crash, Shanks is nearly killed and he ends up in a coma.

You might think that was the end of that, but he then spends not just the rest of the episode but quite probably the rest of the series in an out-of-body experience, moving around, talking to ghosts and anyone else in a coma presumably, mulling over whether he was too much of a dick when he was alive.

Meanwhile, in the background to all of that, you have an incredibly tedious standard medical procedural where every patient has an Issue that needs to be dealt with.

Weirdly, we’ve already seen this done before very recently with A Gifted Man and it wasn’t that good then. What makes this worse is that rather than the lead interacting with the invisible lover as per A Gifted Man, Shanks and Durance don’t actually get to interact at all now Shanks is disembodied. To some this may seem romantic; to others, it means the show is even less interesting than it otherwise would have been. Even the addition of a supposedly hunky, sensitive Australian ex-lover for Durance to triangle with doesn’t lift the script anywhere above forgettable.

Durance is fine, showing slightly more range than she was allowed in Smallville, but only a little. Shanks is very one-note, which is disappointing, given we know from Stargate that he’s pretty versatile. The rest of the cast might as well be made from polystyrene for all they matter, but at least you can like them, unless Shanks’ and Durance’s characters.

Although the central concept is at least interesting, it’s tedious, derivative, shows no sign of getting much better, so don’t bother with it.