Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Monday Mornings on Monday Nights

Television’s winter premiere season is officially here!  We’re currently down to the very last of the new shows premiering this winter season, but Amber West and I still have our work cut out for us.  And we have had so much fun these past few weeks posting dual reviews, we’ve decided to do it again!  Will Amber and I agree or disagree after watching TNT’s new medical drama, Monday Mornings?

Monday Mornings

Created by David E. Kelly (Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal) and based on the book by Dr. Sanjay Gupta (he also serves as executive producer), Monday Mornings follows a group of surgeons at the fictional Chelsea General teaching hospital.  The show has an emergency room and surgical setting with multiple doctors and surgeons popping in and out of the scenes, some callous, and some empathetic.

The surgeons at Chelsea General regularly gather in a lecture hall to discuss current and previous cases.  These meetings are called to order and led by the Chief of Staff (Alfred Molina) where he calls out certain mistakes by the group and/or individuals.  While humiliating, these sessions serve as a crucial educational tool.  This group is expected to check their egos at the door and be the best doctors possible by learning from the mistakes of others.

When an ensemble cast—Ving Rhames, Jennifer Finnigan (Close to Home), Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica), Sarayu Rao (Lions for Lambs), Bill Irwin (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Keong Sim (Glee), and Emily Swallow (Southland)—is involved, one doesn’t quite expect a large amount of character development in the pilot episode.  And while Monday Mornings doesn’t quite establish each and every character as quickly as shows like NBC’s Deception did in the first hour, viewers do learn enough to build a small connection with the characters and not feel completely lost in the story.

Like most medical dramas, I would strongly encourage those watching to not do so while eating.  However, despite the graphic content and serious subject matter, Monday Mornings does occasionally keep things light with a touch of humor.  But since when did it become socially acceptable to “flip the bird” on camera?  This series marks the fourth time (twice on TNT and twice on FX) since the winter premiere season began that I have seen actors shoot their middle finger up into the position that undoubtedly means “you’re number one with me.”   It’s quite shocking actually, and I’m not by any means innocent of never completing this action myself.  But I also don’t believe it belongs on TV.

I went in not expecting to watch Monday Mornings long term… only to write this review.  But after finishing the pilot, I pressed play on another episode.   I’m not saying I will watch TNT’s new medical drama religiously; however, if you were a fan of and miss ER, this might just be the TV program for you.   All of this considered, I’m going to award the new series with the JFTV rating.

I watched ER in the early years, and as the original cast members started to dwindle, so did I…  I will say this though—ER was groundbreaking, and there hasn’t quite been another medical show on television that could rival it.  There were aspects of Monday Mornings that certainly reminded me of ER.  Now as to whether or not it will last as long as its predecessor is yet to be determined.  But I highly doubt it.  Not many TV shows stay on the air fifteen years anymore.

What do you think?  Have you watched Monday Mornings?  If not, does it sound interesting?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about the new medical drama.  Did we agree or disagree?  Trust me; we usually have very different tastes in our television viewing pleasure….

Come back next week when Amber and I review Zero Hour

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

8 Replies to “Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Monday Mornings on Monday Nights”

  1. I love that even if we aren’t in total disagreement on the actual program, our differences still come through. I LOVE the surgery stuff and could eat just about anything while watching.

    And your comment over at my place about Bamber’s hair… Ha!

  2. I haven’t seen this yet. I loved ER and watched it from the start again quite recently. I don’t have any medical drama to watch these days. Scrubs is gone and I’ve lost interest in Grey’s Anatomy. I do want to see Daniel Gillies’ medical show if it ever makes its way over here – I love him as Elijah from The Vampire Diaries.

  3. I have been watching and I really enjoy it. So far, I watch it just to see what Keong Sim says next. “Don’t do, dead.” David E. Kelley is brilliant and Sanja Gupta adds major credibility to a medical drama.

  4. Even though I’m bummed that Emily Owens, M.D. got cancelled, I don’t think another medical drama is what TV needs. Even one with Alfred Molina in it. If TV is going to keep giving us shows with doctors, how about a different location than a large hospital? Maybe a clinic in an economically-disparaged community? A military hospital (like Walter Reid)? A psychiatric unit? As they say…the same, but different!

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