Recaps for Saving Hope

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Saving Hope “Ride Hard or Go Home” and “Pink Clouds” Finale Review

As those of you taking the time to read this column are painfully aware,  Saving Hope  saw its last two episodes delayed, and then pulled with the final two episodes put up on the interwebs for those parties interested in the outcome of Charlie Harris and his fiance, Alex Reid. (While I am admittedly not that interested, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to get yelled at by the 17 people who  saw it through to the finish .) I, and several others, spent time  discussing   the show’s   many shortcomings . However, it’s not a show without some merit. The show was never afraid of portraying death on  the show, and it could play the emotional beats really well when they were earned. Unfortunately, an hour long drama cannot be made up entirely of the emotionally-wrenching moments. In the in-between, the show would careen off the rails. While the idea  for the show sounds interesting, it ultimately seemed to cause problems in the writers’ room as they kept searching for more and more plot contrivances to keep the suspense going. Ultimately, NBC spent very little money on a Canadian show that wasn’t very good. No one watched, and now it’s gone. The odds were stacked against it from the get go, and it wasn’t good enough to reverse it. It’s certainly not the first show to suffer such a fate. Read More... //  

Saving Hope “The Law of Contagion” Review

Hello everyone! The regular reviewer for  Saving Hope  is unable to write the review this week, so I amfilling  in for him. Some of you may recognize me from the comments I have written in response to previous reviews of this show, and others might know that I usually write a weekly TV Chat article. This week I am trying my hand at writing reviews. Before I begin, I want to alert viewers that the next episode of  Saving Hope  will be on Saturday, September 1, at 9 pm EDT, 8 pm CDT. Yes, the show is being moved to Saturday for the last two episodes of season 1. As background on me, I have watched this show from the beginning. I also happen to be a huge fan of Michael Shanks, and his presence is what brought me to the show. I do work hard to be totally objective, and as you will see, have no problem pointing out what I feel are shortcomings of the show. Read More... //  

Saving Hope Review: Outbreak

Saving Hope ? In case you were wondering, that's how it's done. That's how you write an episode of compelling television, develop your characters, and leave me looking forward to next week. Several weeks back, when there was a shooting in the ER , I commented that a storyline of that nature felt wasted in the early parts of a series still in its first season. Tonight, however, a hospital-wide quarantine that shut everything down was exactly what Saving Hope needed to move things along. " The Law of Contagion " was perhaps the best yet of this fledgling drama. Read More... //

Saving Hope “A New Beginning” Review

This week was a week of surprises on  Saving Hope . With only a few episodes left in the season, I was happy to see  Saving Hope  take a little time away from the Charlie coma fiasco to focus on a few of their under-served characters. Charlie still figured into the episode , but not nearly as much as we have seen in recent weeks. While that may have been a negative  for some , I saw it as a positive thing. It was good to see Daniel Gillies stretch his acting legs a little, and the (interim) Chief of Surgery’s story arc was an admittedly pleasant surprise. I’ll stop short of saying I enjoyed this episode, but I found myself far morecaught up  in this week’s activities then in previous weeks. Read More... //  

Saving Hope Review: Free Your Mind

Saving Hope has been all over the place this season in terms of story-telling, character development, and the balance between the medical and the supernatural elements. It is not a series that is a breakout or runaway hit. Some weeks are definitely better than others. The aptly titled " A New Beginning " is the kind of episode that makes me think this show has a place on television. And there's one reason for that. Daniel Gillies. Read More... //

Saving Hope “Bea, Again” Review

After an extended Olympic hiatus,  Saving Hope  has once again returned to our television screens. Will the show have an interesting return following its plug-pulling cliffhanger? Will anyone ever check on the mental health of Dr. Joel Goran? Will I be able to  write a review of the show without offending anyone ? Frankly, I’m on pins and needles to find out. Let’s get to it. The issues surrounding the un-ventilated Charlie’s breathing were at the forefront this week, but I found myself more drawn in by Goran’s storyline this week. I don’t think I mean that as a compliment. The idea behind the patient’s story was fascinating and deserving of a large chunk of its own episode. Unfortunately, the writers decide to shoehorn it into an episode that they had to know was going to be hugely Charlie-centric. Therefore, instead of an extended treatment process where Goran slowly earns the patient’s trust before having her confront the death of her husband. Instead, Goran briefly struggles with issues of faith before concluding that her mind is using pain as a way to distract it from the loss of her husband. After resisting dealing with the issue for more than two years, Joel Goran, MD is able to break her down in 2 minutes. Much like many of the stories involving Goran this season, there was a good story in there somewhere, but the writers didn’t see fit to cultivate it. Read More... //  

Saving Hope Review: Miss Diagnosis

Two weeks ago, Saving Hope left viewers on the edge of their seats. Would Charlie die? Would he wake up? Would Dawn change her mind? Would Alex punch Dawn in the face in Charlie's hospital room? And what about Joel's hand? Tonight, " Bea, Again " answered all those questions and asked a few more. All of the present-day events in tonight's episode felt glossed over and somewhat contrived. The previous episode's cliffhangers were turned into non-starters, really. Where there could've been decent drama and serious consequences, it feels like the writers settled for somewhat-happy endings. Or at least quick endings. Read More... //

Saving Hope “Heartsick” Review

With Charlie two months into his coma,  Saving Hope  decided to address the hard questions. Unfortunately, they had to use a horrendous plot device to get us to this place. The ex-wife storyline has never worked. Charlie never mentions her except to talk about how she doesn’t hold a candle to Alex. She’s essentially  been this mystery character who wants to  end the life  of our tuxedoed friend. Despite the fact that her and Charlie are no longer married, she felt content to come by and get involved in his situation for reasons that were apparently  a big secret. This week, she finally revealed the reasons for her actions: She’s still in love with Charlie. While the entire situation opens the possibility of discussion on how loved ones  should people in persistent comas should be handled, I don’t think the show is striving to have that discussion. Instead, she just takes the opposite stance from Alex. Instead of having the struggle being an internal one with Alex, they decided to make the opposing view come from the outside. Read More... //  

Saving Hope Review: Heartless

Just when I'm ready to give up on Saving Hope , an episode like " Heartsick " happens. Now I'm scrambling around looking for a time machine to get me to the next episode. STAT. "Heartsick" was, quite simply, the best episode of the season to date. There wasn't much that I didn't love about tonight's episode. To start, Erika Durance gave her best performance thus far. Alex was vulnerable at exactly the right moments. Seeing her in the scenes with Dawn, begging for Charlie to be kept alive, was heart-wrenching. Her emotion was palpable. I begged for weeks to see emotion from her and tonight, I got all that I wanted and then some. It was perfect. Read More... //

Saving Hope “Consenting Adults” Review

One of things that effective television shows do is put the time in to set up character behaviors. Breaking Bad  gives us all the machinations behind Walter White’s continued descent as a human.  Mad Men  shows us the long-term affect of character actions.  Justified  shows us that Raylan Givens’ high wire act is something that complicates the lives of all those around him. These shows (and shows like them) take our characters to strange and interesting places, but show us the road map for how we got there. In this week’s episode,  Saving Hope  gave us a lot of characters making decisions or behaving in ways that don’t make a ton of sense based on the six hours we have seen before or sometimes even the thirty minutes we have seen before. Among these strange shifts in character was the situation surrounding the treatment of Dr. Joel Goran’s patient. I would never accuse Dr. Goran of being a big sweetheart, but this episode was the first time we have watched him be unnecessarily mean in his attitude towards a patient. I feel like the show wants us to believe that Goran is a shallow, arrogant jerk, but his behaviors haven’t matched that belief. What was more maddening was the fact that Goran completely changes his tune about the patient without having another significant interaction with the patient or anyone else. It’s like he left the screen, thought about it, and decided, "You know what? I like that guy."  Saving Hope  tried to set up a classic TV trope with the opposites coming to understand each other, but we never got the scene where that mutual acceptance would have occurred. Oh well, at least the Goran-centric B story kept Maggie Lin out of the mix for the week. Read More... //