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Scrubbing In for “Monday Mornings”

Monday Mornings

A Review of TNT’s “Monday Mornings” by Tiffany A. White

Is TNT’s Monday Mornings the new ER? Probably not…

Created by David E. Kelly (Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal) and based on the book by Dr. Sanjay Gupta (he also serves as executive producer), Monday Mornings follows a group of surgeons at the fictional Chelsea General teaching hospital. The show has an emergency room and surgical setting with multiple doctors and surgeons popping in and out of the scenes, some callous, and some empathetic.

The surgeons at Chelsea General regularly gather in a lecture hall to discuss current and previous cases. These M&M (mortality and morbidity) meetings are called to order and led by the Chief of Staff (Alfred Molina) where he calls out certain mistakes by the group and/or individuals. While humiliating, these sessions serve as a crucial educational tool. This group is expected to check their egos at the door and be the best doctors possible by learning from the mistakes of others.

When an ensemble cast—Ving Rhames, Jennifer Finnigan (Close to Home), Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica), Sarayu Rao (Lions for Lambs), Bill Irwin (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Keong Sim (Glee), and Emily Swallow (Southland)—is involved, one doesn’t quite expect a large amount of character development in the pilot episode. And while Monday Mornings doesn’t quite establish each and every character as quickly as shows like NBC’s Deception did in the first hour, viewers do learn enough to build a small connection with the characters and not feel completely lost in the story.

Like most medical dramas, I would strongly encourage those watching to not do so while eating. However, despite the graphic content and serious subject matter, Monday Mornings does occasionally keep things light with a touch of humor. But since when did it become socially acceptable to “flip the bird” on camera? This series marks the fourth time (twice on TNT and twice on FX) since the winter premiere season began that I have seen actors shoot their middle finger up into the position that undoubtedly means “you’re number one with me.” It’s quite shocking actually, and I’m not by any means innocent of never completing this action myself. But I also don’t believe it belongs on TV.

I went in not expecting to watch Monday Mornings long term… only to write this review. But after finishing the pilot, I pressed play on another episode. I’m not saying I will watch TNT’s new medical drama religiously; however, if you were a fan of and miss ER, this might just be the TV program for you… especially considering there aren’t many medical dramas on TV today.

I watched ER in the early years, and as the original cast members started to dwindle, so did I… I will say this though—ER was groundbreaking, and there hasn’t quite been another medical show on television that could rival it. There were aspects of Monday Mornings that certainly reminded me of ER. Now as to whether or not it will last as long as its predecessor is yet to be determined. But I highly doubt it. Not many TV shows stay on the air fifteen years anymore.

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery “Football Sweetheart” series. She blogs at The Ooo Factor and is available for contact via Twitter at @Tiffany_A_White, Facebook at Tiffany A. White, or by email at tiffany@tiffanyawhite.com.

© 2013 Tiffany A. White. All written content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.


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