TV Review - Emily Owens, M.D.

Mamie Gummer (left) and
Michael Rady in "Emily Owens, M.D."
Emily Owens, M.D. is a delightful, medical comedy. It's not as funny as Scrubs. It doesn't have the boldness of Nurse Jackie. It's essentially a watered-down version of Grey's Anatomy or at least a light and fluffier version with a slightly younger cast. I like the show, but I think I liked the show better when it was called Ally McBeal. The tone, the characters and the narration are all reminiscent of FOX's Ally McBeal, except it's set in a hospital, Denver Memorial Hospital, and the show feels content to stay there. Most TV shows about the medical profession are insular or claustrophobic in certain ways. It makes sense because some doctors, especially ones just starting out, do live in the hospital and you do see some sleeping there. I suppose there is value at not giving Emily Owens, played by Mamie Gummer (The Good Wife and John Adams), a life outside the hospital, but I felt like I needed to get a sense of Emily beyond the beautiful halls of Denver Memorial.

Kind of like Felicity, Emily has two men that she's eventually going to have to choose. One is the guy she really wants and wanted first because she had some prior history with him, and the other is a guy whom she just met and who isn't really on her radar but is shaping up to be the guy who will probably be her best choice and the guy with whom she should be.

The first guy is Will Collins, played by Justin Hartley (Smallville and Passions). Anyone who knows Hartley knows he's been a soap opera stud and superhero hunk. Yet, the producers of this show aren't running with that. He's more of an average guy with glasses who just happens to work at the same hospital. Emily's attraction seems to stem less from his looks than from her perceptions of their past relationship, which may or may not hold more value to her than him.

The second guy is Micah Ellis, played by Michael Rady (The Mentalist and House of Lies). Rady also co-starred on the short-lived remake of Melrose Place where he probably could have won the award for most adorable actor ever. He's sweet and he helps Emily when she stumbles. He's more there for her through the various medical cases to offer her advice or be an open ear. Will can be an open ear too, but without the past relationship, Micah is more inclined to see Emily in a romantic light.

The show will no doubt flirt with the possibility of Emily being with either Will or Micah. In the meantime, the audience can enjoy as Emily awkwardly bounces back and forth between the two. This is her key attribute or key flaw. She is or can be extremely socially awkward. She does have an excellent bedside manner. It endears her to her patients but pisses off the rest of the hospital staff. It's not necessarily her bedside manner. It's her socially awkwardness mixed with clear over-reactions by the staff.

Emily winds up being at odds with several staff members. One in particular is Cassandra Kopelson, played by Aja Naomi King. With Cassandra, Emily has a rivalry that is denied yet is as evident as day. Emily and Cassandra could be considered frenemies. It's fun to see them face-off. The scripts from Jennie Snyder Urman are breezy but director Bharat Nalluri doesn't let them get too much up in the air. There is a warm, grounded yet light feeling to it.

Five Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-PG-DL.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Airs Tuesdays at 9PM on CW.


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