Saturday, February 9, 2013

“Do No Harm” is “Down the Drain.”

Late yesterday, NBC canceled the series “Do No Harm” after just two episodes.

You may recall that I blogged on January 31st about the comically inept medicine portrayed in the first three minutes of the show’s pilot. The show’s premise that a modern day Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde who had nightly 12-hour blackouts could be a practicing neurosurgeon with what appeared to be the open knowledge and support of his colleagues and the hospital administration was far-fetched, to say the least.

The viewers voted with their feet—making “Do No Harm” the lowest rated debuting series in the history of the big four (NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox) networks.

The second episode, which I’m told featured the neurosurgeon drilling a burr hole (to alleviate pressure in the skull) on a man pinned in a car at the scene of an accident, drew even lower ratings than the first.

Perhaps having an inkling of what was to come, Steve Pasquale, the show’s leading man, told the Huffington Post before the premier “Ultimately in this scenario, I'm just the actor who's saying the words."

My question is who thought this was a good idea? I can try to imagine the meetings where the idea of a modern day Dr. Jekyll who had to be home by 8:25 every night and did medically impossible things during the day was pitched. People with money and experience in television apparently sat there and said “What a great premise.”

Are those who make TV shows and movies so far out of touch with reality?

H. L. Mencken said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” In this case, he may have been wrong. The American public apparently has its limits.


Dr. Rob Oliver Jr. said...

While the medical part of the show is absolutely AWFUL, I actually kind of liked the episode I watched.

The BBC actually did this show a number of years ago called "Jekyll" ( which I think "Do no Harm" was influenced by. You had the same communication by messages b/w the 2 personalities and the medical professional, etc... Jekyll is really good and a good, concise mini-series (I think 8 episodes) that can be streamed with a subscription on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Would highly recommend!

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thanks for commenting, Rob. I will look into that series.

Anonymous said...

Dr. S.S.,

Just thought of a great source for tv series on DVD - the public library. My library system (Los Angeles) has the first 5 seasons of Doc Martin. Also "Jeckyl" which Dr. Rob recommended and I just reserved. Maybe you could check if your library has the online reserving feature too. It's FREE!


Skeptical Scalpel said...

Good suggestion. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dr SS: I took your word and didn't waste time tuning in. Even the promo looked bad to me. You called it. D

Skeptical Scalpel said...

You are welcome. Even in retirement, I continue to sacrifice my personal life for the sake of others.

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