Mediocre shows kick off mediocre season

It’s not that The Mob Doctor or Revolution are bad shows. They’re just so, well, meh.
The Mob Doctor, which debuts tonight at 9 p.m. on Fox (it snuck on a day earlier on CTV, where it will occupy the old Desperate Housewives slot), has an engaging enough cast. Jordana Spiro (Must Love Dogs) plays Grace, one of, oh, I dunno, 400 doctors coming to TV this season. All of them are young, pretty women. I’m already starting to get them all mixed up.

Jordana Spiro: like her show, she
 looks familiar

This is the one where the lead character looks like CBC boss Kirstine Stewart. Am I the only one who thinks so? Grace should have a sister who plays the head of a network. You’re welcome, Fox.
We learn in the pilot that she made it through medical school thanks to the Chicago southside mob, who very generously paid her tuition. Personally, with two kids in college, this seems like a great deal. If there are any mobsters reading this (real mobster, not network executives), my son at Ryerson can do a killer video for you, call me.
At one point, Grace yanks a screwdriver out of a hitman’s noggin’. Doesn’t even break stride. This girl is tough. We learn right away in the pilot that she already has this deal with the devil. I guess we’re in for plenty of flashbacks.

CBC EVP Kirstine Stewart. CBC exec pics
now look very SCTV “Days of the Week”

William Forsythe plays Constantine, this show’s Tony Soprano. This is known in the trade as really obvious casting. There is a ton of this this season, which features a slate of shows more black and white than the Republican National Convention.
I like Spiro. When she was in Toronto at CTV’s upfront last spring I told her the slogan for this series should be, “Take two bullets and call me in the morning.” She came right back with, “leave the scalpel, take the canolli.”
It is certainly an easy title to digest–there’s no guessing what this show is about, which seems to be the network standard in a season that also brings shows called Guys with Kids and Vegas and following the success last season of 2 Broke Girls and New Girl.
It’s a strong supporting cast, although they didn’t have a lot to do in the pilot. Zeljko Ivanek (Damages) plays the hospital boss. Zack Gilford plays Grace’s doctor/boyfriend.
To promote the series, CTV sent a prescription container filled with chocolate bullets wrapped in gold foil. The bullets were delicious. I can’t see getting hooked on this series, however, although there’s potential for Grace to get a lot darker and things to get much more complicated. Bottom line, The Mob Doctor is engaging but obvious. I worry Mob Dentist or Mob Accountant could come next if this catches on.

Revolution: the tribe has spoken

You say you want a Revolution? This new series, from executive producer J.J. Abrams, premieres tonight on NBC and City at 10 p.m. It’s as close to a Lost as you’re going to find this fall, although it has elements of both The Event and Jericho, too.
It starts with a world wide power out, and not just electricity. Airplanes fall out of the sky, automobiles grind to a halt. Nothing works, not even–gasp–television sets.
Things jump ahead 15 years. The world is one big version of Survivor.
There’s this family that sorta might know what’s going on. They’ve moved to a suhdivision in the country. A roaming band of militia (led by Breaking Bad‘s Giancarlo Esposito) tracks then down. A skirmish ensues, and two teens siblings are split.
One if them, Charley, is played by Winnipeg-native Tracy Spiridakos. I know, Spiros is the Mob Doctor, Spiridakos is in Revolution. Told ya this new season all kinda blends together.
The kid’s got plenty of spunk, and she heads to Chicago to find an uncle (Billy Burke, the Twilight saga) who is apparently some sort of killing machine. Maybe sorta he knows how to turn the lights back on.
There are a lot of cool fight scenes involving cross bows and muskets. It is fun to see Wrigley Field all sad and bombed out and everything, just like the Cubbies. There are some jokes about how Google now is worthless and we see glimpses of things like a Prius being used as a planter.
Revolution has potential to be a cool little survival movie-of-the-week. I showed it to my 19-year-old son and his geek friends, however, and they had issues with the whole power out deal. If you can spark guns and rifles, one figured, why are cars still permanently parked?
If these guys are picking this thing apart, others will too. Still, if you can suspend logic (always helpful with Lost-like shows), you may find this Revolution is something you can sign up for. It is one of the better mediocre shows this season.

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