HawthoRNe Premiere Review: Pinkett Just Might Sink It - Featured

Everyone jumped on the doctor boat after ER became a huge hit, and now that it's done, it seems everyone is scrambling to be the new ER replacement.

But wait, what is this nurse show "boom" for the summer? Sure, by boom I mean Nurse Jackie and HawthoRNe, but I'll take that as an emerging trend at least.


I was not a fan of the HawthoRNe pilot episode because I found it slow and not that compelling, but I did find it presenting a few interesting issues. It sticks out as a very nurse-focused drama, and not more like ER, Grey's Anatomy, or even Scrubs that's focused on the doctors, but also includes nurses. This show seems to be trying to be unique by not only starring the nurses and having the doctors pop in, but is actually doctor bashing and nurse-glorifying.


Yes, that sounds a exaggerated, and maybe some of that was just pushing the view that Jada Pinkett Smith's character, Christina Hawthorne, works really hard and is important at the hospital, despite the often background roles we see for nurses.


But really? Opening representing doctors as sleeping all day on the job, showing up late to a surgery, reaming out nurses for calling while on call and out golfing (or something of the sort) was giving the impression that doctors are rich elitists who just don't care about patients. Or at least, once they got enough money and authority, they didn't care about the day-to-day care of the patients, and don't respect nurses.


I appreciate an alternative view of hospital life, and I'd be fascinated by this if only they were making a more compelling plot to follow.


We have Christina Hawthorne, the Head Resident Nurse who lost her husband a year earlier which seems to be related to her having to make the decision to pull the plug. She now has to deal with her grief, her teenage daughter acting out, and her obnoxious mother-in-law.


Then we have a few other nurses and doctors who are mildly interesting, the best being Bobbie who we discovered has a prosthetic leg (kudos to the writers for not showing that until a guy rushed into the ER after his wife to stab her and stabbed Bobbie's fake leg instead!), Dr. Tom Wakefield who's pretty to look at, slutty nurse Candy Sullivan, and nervous nurses Ray and Kelly.


Bobbie is fun and interesting, and I liked seeing her decide to date the hottie from Coyote Ugly, and the rest of the nurses are okay too, but they're all going to have to get a lot more interesting for me to keep watching.


Also, besides Christina's trauma of her husband's friend and cancer patient at the hospital trying to kill himself jumping off the hospital roof, the patient drama was not that fascinating. And really, when we had a guy jumping off a roof, the main character getting arrested around that incident, a diabetic patient code, and the homeless woman Christina befriended appear with a baby then later hemorrhage because it was hers, well, that sounds like a great deal of really good drama. Yet, it wasn't.


So maybe they just kept things a little slower-paced because it was the anniversary of Christina's husband's death, so they wanted to develop that story more than focus on rapid ER drama, but they need to find a better balance to make a compelling drama.


Overall, I enjoyed the characters and I think HawthoRNe has potential, but I don't know if that hope will get me to watch. So what did you think? Were you an instant fan of HawthoRNe, or do you think you'll need some big improvements to keep tuning in?

Comments

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Jun 17, 2009 6:01PM EDT

I preferred Nurse Jackie on balance and this is why.NJ is sharp, cynical, outrageous and funny in turn - and that's a lot of drama and emotion for a half hour show.Hawthorne COULD go on to become something better; the plots were good and well-written, BUT it was a bit same-old, same-old, just from the nurses point of view. ER balanced it best - the doctors in it were not secondary to the nurses but then the nurses well every bit as rounded as the doctors. Perfect balance.I'm not going to compare either of these to ER. That wouldn't be fair. Both are just starting out and ER was a seasoned warrior of a tv show. I'm not sure Jada is a strong enough presence to carry the show - she was being swamped by the characters around her fairly regularly, but it was a pilot and she may well come into the role in the next few episodes. I'll certainly watch again.But I look forward to the acidic humour of Nurse Jackie more.

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Jun 18, 2009 5:56PM EDT

loved both shows nurse jackie for its humor and hawthorne for its drama i hope they both do well and will be watching both

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Jun 22, 2009 2:01PM EDT

I really love Hawthorne I hope that it does really well. Great Drama Jada Pinkett Smith does an excellent job. I usually hate Summer TV but this show has caught my attention...

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Jul 4, 2009 5:29PM EDT

No offense to anyone, but HawthoRNe shows much better a nurses role - while there are certainly great docs out there, there are also those ones who act just like those portrayed here, and its nice to see nurses getting a primary role as it doesn't happen very often.

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Aug 15, 2009 3:51PM EDT

I,m not a real Jada Pinkett fan, but I love this show. The pilot was grabbing when first viewed. From there I actually sat and watched all the episodes I did not see in the beginning(I started watching a week ago)and I have been up to day until this week when it seems there was a mix up on Sidereel with showing of the same show twice concerning the mother leaving her baby in the car or it could be Megavisions version of the show. Anyway, Mothers Day and another episode are the same show.

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