Wednesday, July 14, 2010

TV Series - Transplant Doctors and Amateur Investigators in "Three Rivers" & "The Forgotten"

Two TV series caught my attention last weekend. While I was caught compelled to keep watching one of them, the other left me disappointed.

"Three Rivers" follows the lives of organ donors, their corresponding recipients, and the medical staff in a leading transplant hospital in Pitsburgh called Three Rivers. Heading this amazing set of characters is Dr. Andy Yablonski played wonderfully by Alex O'Loughlin. I've so far finished 6 episodes that had nail-biting and tear-inducing episodes, a great combination of pathos. I was constantly amazed with how, even their daily morning conferences happen with state of the art audio-visual technology. For a while there, I thought I was watching "Startrek - The Medical Episode". Too bad CBS eventually cancelled this show. There are minor gaffes - a woman sues her doctor who saved her life because the latter "saved" her uterus during an emergency operation. How was the doctor to know the patient wanted hysterectomy - knowing fully well that there was no one to consent for the life-saving operation? And the patient is 34 years old - a child-bearing age!

At the other end of the spectrum is the Jerry Bruckheimer produced "The Forgotten". This series concerns about a group of amateur volunteers who go out of their way to identify the John and Jane Does that the police eventually consider as "cold cases", burying their unidentified bodies in unmarked graves and forgotten forever! This group of individuals has little stories of their own - gradually revealed as the stories unravel in each episode. Though the cast is made up of attractive stars, there is something about the script that puts me off. They feel too "self-important" and though they seem to say otherwise ("It's not just us; many people helped!"), the posturings are palpably superficial!

Christian Slater is Alex Donovan - he heads the Forgotten Network, a former cop whose daughter was kidnapped 2 years prior, and was never found. With a few more brainstorming to iron out the kinks, this could have been a lot more compelling.

Between Alex O'Loughlin - who moves on with a high-profile TV remake of "Hawaii Five O" - and Christian Slater, Alex delivers a more earnest characterization, something that its audience can empathize with! I can identify with a not-too-dark character with not so many demons hiding in his closet. He is smart, he is conscientious, and he is cute and sexy! The episodes are intelligent (though not as brilliant as "House"), and obviously better researched than other medical dramas like "Private Practice".

Alex O'Loughlin

I kinda prefer a short-haired Alex better!

"The Forgotten"

Anthony Carrigan is the facial sculptor Tyler Davies in "The Forgotten".

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