I was planning to either skip the Pilot of NBC's Mercy with having plenty else I was more excited to watch including Modern Family, Cougar Town, and Glee, or if I did get around to Mercy, as I did, I planned not to like it. But... I kinda did.
I know this one's gotten some bad reviews including my own skeptical NBC Fall Preview of it here on SideReel, but because I expected it to be just awful, I found a lot more redeeming value in it than expected.
First of all, the characters are pretty fun except for Michelle Trachtenberg's character Chloe. Sure, a new girl is needed to add some humor, an aspect of growth, and to relate to the non-medical field viewers who find things in hospitals gross and/or tragic much more than a nurse or doctor used to it all finds it.
But besides Chloe being annoying, I liked nurses Veronica and Sonia much more than I expected to from their very light-looking character profiles in the promos.
I think the show is going too heavy-handedly on the Veronica being back from the war and still getting over it. I understand that would take over your life and make it completely different than before you went, but the way they did it with her obsessing over ways to do things in the hospital differently and having reactions like freaking out at loud gunshot-like noises just seemed like they were trying too hard to continuously remind us she was troubled from her experiences.
I think Grey's Anatomy did, and I'm sure will continue to do, a much better job of showing the aftermath of someone back from the war with Owen, and I think that's because they don't constantly impress it upon the audience, just have big events here and there that show us how deeply troubled he is about it all.
What I did like about the show was, besides not doing a great job with the war aspect of Veronica's character, I liked the rest of the character development for her and Sonia. I felt like they did a nice job of casually letting us get to know both of them well.
It may not have been the best medical show, but I'd watch more episodes of this because I'm already interested in what Veronica will do when it comes to her bad marriage and dealing with her steamy Iraq doctor working at her hospital. I also think the show also did a nice job giving us a feel for Sonia as a very strong woman who doesn't like to show when something has shaken her, and though she's kind of that typical single professional who doesn't have or take much time away from the hospital for her personal life, they made her seem unique enough of a person to keep us interested.
What I wasn't a big fan of, though, in that character development was already introducing Dr. Sands in the first episode and throwing that entire story out on the table. I felt like with this portion of the show, they were trying too hard to get lots of drama and that obviously central love triangle introduced so they'd hook us in. While I was hooked in by that, I was hooked enough when we'd heard from Veronica's conversation with her brother that she and her husband had both cheated while she was gone, but she'd fallen in love.
I feel like that's all they needed to give us. It would've been a whole lot more fun if we'd gotten to hear about this mysterious hottie for a while, and then within a few episodes, he appears! Not he appears via introduction with the show trying to be all tricky about them knowing each other so she had no reaction, then they jump into a room to make out.
That had the "shock" value they were going for, but I don't imagine for a second that a woman could see a guy she'd had some crazy love affair with and she didn't expect to ever see in real life and not have any reaction. I don't care how professional you are. You love the person, they appear in a shocking way, you react.
So now while I wanted to root for Sands and Veronica, I don't really understand their relationship, and I certainly don't feel like this is the true love of her life since they didn't play it right there.
I do really like the relationship forming between Sonia and the cop, though. It seems like typically she doesn't fall for a guy, so she's probably going to fight it in a predictable way, but the guy's pretty adorable and seems like a sweetheart who as a character would add dimension to the show and would add dimension to Sonia's character as we'd get to learn more about her from how she reacts to that possible relationship.
The medical cases were barely notable, but I don't think that really matters. I think we have enough medical shows that give a lot of focus to crazy cases, so I think having a few cases where we can just learn more about the nurses because of them is plenty.
So, overall, I have my gripes, but if they relax the plot development a little bit the next few episodes, I think they might actually have something here. Perhaps the idea for NBC this season was to have Mercy the hospital dramedy, more Grey's-like but with even more character focus, and have Trauma as their crazy intense medical cases show. Now the question is if the more low-key Mercy can survive.
I think it has more of a chance than I expected now having seen the pilot, but what do you think? Are you interested enough to watch more Mercy, or would you rather save your time for something more like Trauma?