DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
Why I Like CW’s ‘Emily Owens, M.D.’ Enough to Defend It
October 15, 2012  | By David Bianculli  | 2 comments
 

Editor's Note: For another view on Emily Owens, M.D., see Ed Bark's review.

  It turns out I’m in the distinct minority in enjoying CW’s new Emily Owens, M.D. series — but I’m more than happy to defend my qualified yet genuine enthusiasm. Here’s why…

On NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross last month, in my preview of the fall 2012 TV season, I said there wasn’t one new series on broadcast TV that you had to add to your weekly viewing list. I also said, considering what a subpar year it was, the one show that stood above the rest was Emily Owens, M.D., which premieres Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.

Some of my friends and colleagues have questioned that recommendation, and privately accused me of getting it wrong. They say Emily Owens is nothing but an annoying, vapid drama aimed at teens, reducing medical professionals to the emotional level of high schoolers.

But no, I say, it’s more than that.

As I see it, it’s trying to be, in the 2010s, what Ally McBeal and Doogie Howser, M.D. and The Wonder Years all tried to be in previous generations. It’s trying to show us the internal struggles and insecurities of a young person still being formed and shaped — in this case, in the person of Emily Owens, a brand-new doctor at a competitively staffed Denver hospital.

Now, Emily Owens is no Ally McBeal — as I said on NPR, this year’s new shows are being graded on a curve. But the star of this show, Mamie Gummer, is as talented as she is endearing. Fans of The Good Wife will recognize her recurring role as Nancy, the young but shrewd attorney. And the pilot, while definitely making many of its characters seem emotionally immature, doesn’t do so any more than, say, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Or HBO’s The Newsroom.

So give Emily Owens a break.

Actually, it gets one already, thanks to some very canny scheduling by the CW. It’s guaranteed to draw a larger audience Tuesday night than any other scripted drama or comedy in its time slot on broadcast TV — because there aren’t any others.

At 9 p.m. ET on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and even PBS, the competition is the second presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. That’s the thoughtful choice, of course — but for those seeking an alternative, or programming their DVRs, Emily Owens, M.D. is there for the taking.

And the tasting.

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
 Website (optional)
 
BAQAJ
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: 
2 Comments
 
 
Sarah
Ok I will give it a try. My mom and I do like Mamie Gummer so we will support her and as much as I want to watch tonights debate this might be less tense.
Oct 16, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
Benita
I find the idea of a surgical intern who can't put her high school traumas behind her terrifying, not endearing.
Oct 16, 2012   |  Reply
 
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: