TV Review: Manipulative, Messy ‘Miami Medical’

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CHICAGO – Television drama is usually a formulaic proposition but rarely has a show been more blatantly derivative of other programs currently on the air than CBS’s new hospital drama, “Miami Medical,” a bizarre, ineffective hybrid of “CSI: Miami” and “Trauma”. Buried in the ratings nether regions of Friday nights, this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced show might just barely deliver for viewers exhausted after a long week of work, but they’ll have forgotten it by Saturday morning. Television Rating: 2.0/5.0
Television Rating: 2.0/5.0

Let’s see. “Three Rivers” failed on CBS. If “Trauma” was on any other network than the failing NBC, it would have been cancelled by now. So why should “Miami Medical” be the exception? Well, it is better than the narcoleptic “Three Rivers” and CBS certainly has a more golden touch than the peacock network, but fans of the now-gone “Numb3rs,” which this show replaces on Friday nights, should be angry at this mediocre alternative.

Tuck Brody (Mike Vogel) and Dr. Matthew Proctor (Jeremy Northam) treats a trauma patient on
Tuck Brody (Mike Vogel) and Dr. Matthew Proctor (Jeremy Northam) treats a trauma patient on “Miami Medical,” a new drama series premiering, Friday, April 2, (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network.
Photo credit: Adam Taylor/Warner Bros.

It’s not five minutes into the premiere of “Miami Medical” before the show commits the cardinal sin in this critic’s eyes - blatant emotional manipulation. Hey, look it’s a woman who’s nine months pregnant on a medical show! How do you think this is going to go? Of course, young daddy, mommy, and in utero baby are in a horrible car accident and become the focus of the first story at “Miami Medical”.

Dr. C (Mike Vogel) and Dr. Zambrano (Lana Parrilla, right) treat a trauma patient on
Dr. C (Mike Vogel) and Dr. Zambrano (Lana Parrilla, right) treat a trauma patient on “Miami Medical,” a new drama series premiering Spring 2010 on the CBS Television Network. The series, is about a team of expert surgeons who work at one of the premiere trauma facilities in the country, where only patients with life-threatening injuries are treated.
Photo credit: Monty Brinton/Warner Bros.

Of course, one manipulative plotline isn’t enough for a Friday night medical drama in 2010 and the writers cram in another story about a burn victim trying to stay alive long enough to say goodbye to his fiancee. Neither medical plotline works at ALL, both coming off as generic and cliched to anyone who has seen even a single season of a vastly superior medical drama like “ER” or even “Grey’s Anatomy”.

More successful is the young ensemble of doctors first led by the great Andre Braugher (who has a breakdown in the opening scene as he clearly needed to get back to the set of “Men of a Certain Age” on TNT) and later by the very charismatic Jeremy Northam as Dr. Matthew Proctor. Northam is a fascinating face to see on the small screen as he’s an actor who’s always had more than enough presence to carry the big one and he lends gravity to a piece seriously bereft of dramatic weight.

The young ensemble of doctors certainly aren’t bad and include Mike Vogel (“She’s Out of My League”), Lana Parrilla (“Swingtown”), Elisabeth Harnois (“Point Pleasant”), and Omar Gooding (“Barbershop”). The great Robin Weigert (“Deadwood”) pops up in a role far too small for her talent but maybe she didn’t want to be too closely associated with the show.

As with most inferior television, the problem with “Miami Medical” is the writing. When it’s not wallowing in cliches, it’s simply dull and there’s nothing worse than watching boring characters under the glare of Bruckheimer-vision. You know that sheen that the uber-producer has brought to the “CSI” franchise. It works for those shows but feels like a bad fit with the human drama of a trauma situation. On “CSI,” the flashy style amplifies the show’s setting and incredibly strong pace. On “Miami Medical,” it merely amplifies the show’s flaws.

“Three Rivers” was mercifully canceled and “Trauma” could be by the time you read this review. “Miami Medical” will hopefully follow the trend of the shows that it so blatantly copies.

“Miami Medical” premieres on CBS on Friday, April 2nd, 2010 at 9pm CST. It stars Jeremy Northam, Mike Vogel, Lana Parrilla, Elisabeth Harnois, and Omar Gooding. It was executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. content director Brian Tallerico

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Anonymous's picture

Miami Mediocre

I’ve been in practice more than fifteen years and teaching ACLS more than five and after thirty minutes this has my vote for the worst show ever. At least House doesn’t take itself seriously

Anonymous's picture

Thoughts So Far

So far, I’m not impressed… 1/2 way through the 1st episode and we’ve heard lots of bragging about being the best of the best.. yet the docs freak out about delivering a baby. They’ve done not much more than stitch.. for “Golden Hour” trauma, I’ve not seen much serious medical work done or daring medical procedures to save any lives

Karen's picture

I am a fan of Numb3rs who is

I am a fan of Numb3rs who is extremely angry to see my show replaced with this garbage. Why CBS wanted to replace a truly unique show with excellent writing and interesting characters with this mess s beyond me. I’m hoping it goes away soon and that CBS will wisen up and bring Numb3rs back for a season seven.

joanna's picture

I’m a Numb3rs fan too and

I’m a Numb3rs fan too and I completely agree! What were they thinking?! Ugh!

Anonymous's picture

Miami Medical in critical condition???

I think critics are being way too harsh these days, never giving anything a chance beyond the first half hour. If the Golden Hour is allowed to pay off, I think they will be pleasantly surprised how this show will rise to the mark and keep everyone in stitches… no pun intended. I enjoyed the show as I am a trauma doctor myself working 100 hour work weeks and saving lives is no easy business. I guess neither is coming up with a medical show people will give a chance. I thought the medicine was superb and I would kill to be able to work in a facility with all the bells and whistles these guys have! Whoever the crew is that shot this and designed the sets, should at very best get a nod for delivering that Bruckheimer style to an otherwise mediocre palate on TV these days! Go Alpha team and show them you are indeed the Rolling Stones of medical dramas!

Anonymous's picture

The show doesn’t even

The show doesn’t even represent what accurately happens in trauma rooms. There are strict sterilization rules even for a trauma and you can’t just walk into the room and start performing surgery on a person. Also, there are no windows in a trauma room, so family members cannot see through.

This is one joke of a show.

Anonymous's picture

You are clearly not a trauma

You are clearly not a trauma doc as the medicine in this show was unrealistic and at times completely and utterly false. I’m a medical student and even I was able to tell that after working in the ER and trauma bay for a month. Worst medical show EVER!

Anonymous's picture

Trauma doctor?

I often wonder if the ‘glowing reviews’ of bad shows are written by the show’s writers trying to save a show that is clearly on a respirator. I was a hospital Plant Engineer and trauma and ER facilities do not have windows. Some have observation rooms on a different level for other doctors and med students, but never for visitors.

Lonnie's picture

What's with this c***?

I watched about 5 minutes of this train wreck before turning off the tv. For this Numb3rs was canceled?

Bring back Numb3rs! It’s an intelligent, interesting program with great characters and unique story lines.

Shame on you CBS for this whole fiasco!

Anonymous's picture

Small question.

Should we the readers assume that your “opinion” on this show is right when not all your “facts” are? First you have Mike Vogel mis-credited in your first picture as Omar Gooding. Then you incorrectly identify one of the plotlines as a burn victim waiting for his wife when it’s his fiance. While I admit that I myself am a terrible writer, I failed my first semester of writing in college and barely passed it the second time, I would suggest that if you are going to condemn the writers, you should do so as a better writer than they are. (That run-on sentence proves my futility as a writer.) But, I do agree that Numb3rs never should have been canceled and replaced with this. I leave you now to bask in my statments that you will probably never read, and if you do, not care about, with one last statement: If you want us to take your god-like opinions to heart, than write like one!

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