The person that came up with this idea had a good idea,
but it's been implemented very poorly. I'm not saying it's
not intriguing, but it's a big mess, much like the lead
character herself. It's ultimately unsatisfying because it's
not very realistic. It has fun performances and some good
stories, but it's mostly all flash and little substance.
The show is a bit reminiscent of "House" or "Perception".
It's about this world famous neurologist who runs this
clinic specializing in neurology, yet she herself is
bipolar. This is the description from the ABC web site: "Dr.
Catherine Black (Kelly Reilly), world-famous neurologist, is
at the top of her game. Each week, this beautiful and
brilliant doctor will attempt to unravel the mysteries of
the brain while hiding her own secret: she's bipolar."
The thing is, this is not an honest or accurate description.
Even in the very first episode, she doesn't really hide her
secret. She does a terrible job of it.
Kelly Reilly and the other actors do a great job, but the
writing is not very good. In the first episode, Dr.
Black talks to her shrink (played by the wonderful Vanessa
Redgrave - does she really need the money this bad?) about
how she went off her meds when she presented a paper at this
conference. She then had sex with a stranger and almost
killed herself by falling off the hotel balcony.
Later, she goes off her meds again. She tells her
boyfriend that she's not good at controlling her condition.
So how exactly is she keeping this a secret? And if she's
been doing this for years, how is it possible that she has
this high powered position and no one at her work knows
about her condition? It makes no sense.
From what I understand, people with this condition, once
they learn they have it, either lead normal lives by taking
their medication regularly, or they don't do either and
become homeless. They're not doing anyone any good by having
this type of show. I wouldn't mind if they were misleading
if only the show was entertaining, but it's only nominally
so. As I watched the show, all I could think of was, "I hope
they're using condoms" because she kept having sex with
strangers and then didn't tell her poor boyfriend for a long
time. If she's so out of control, it might be a safe bet
that she's not thinking about protection. Then to make
things worse, at the end of the show, her boyfriend admitted
that he kind of liked the "wild" version of her. So that was
just kind of sick and gross.
The stories about her patients are interesting, but
having her be "crazy" as well just doesn't work. The reason
"House" worked is that the show was very funny. Greg was
entertaining. The medical cases were interesting, too, but
the main fun was watching him say funny-but-nasty things to
people who he self-destructed. It doesn't work here because
it's just not believable and no one wants to watch a crazy
doctor. You wouldn't want to HAVE a crazy doctor, so why
would you want to watch one on TV, especially if they're not
funny and not too entertaining?
Watch at your own risk.
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