Thursday, September 24, 2009

TV TOPIC: NBC's "Mercy" vs. ABC's "Eastwick"

Alright, alright, I know they're not even in the same time slot, so choosing between them is technically pointless. But I beg to differ. Wednesday is a pretty stacked night. What with "The New Adventures of Old Christine" on CBS at 8pm, "Glee" on FOX at 9pm, "The Beautiful Life" on The CW at 9pm, and the ABC comedies "Modern Family" and "Cougartown" on from 9-10pm, there's plenty to TiVo. So at 10pm, when the dust has settled, and you've decided to watch the array of shows you postponed earlier, you can't! Because ABC is now offering you "Eastwick" at 10pm. If you just catch up on what you missed tonight, you could maybe go to bed before 1am. But if you stick around for "Eastwick," you'll never get to sleep in time.

So last night, I thought to myself, Screw "Mercy"! I'll watch that tomorrow on Hulu. Let's see "Eastwick." You can't go wrong with witchcraft! I was wrong. There were a few funny parts, mainly executed by Lindsay Price's ("Lipstick Jungle") character Joanna, who kept humiliating herself in front of the uber hot photographer Will (Johann Urb from "The Mountain"), which they had the audacity of slapping glasses on and calling average. There was also some drama when Tess (Jaime Ray Newman from "Eureka") got in an electrifying fight with her jobless, drunken husband Raymond (Jon Bernthal from "The Class") and devilish Darryl (Paul Gross) had to save Roxie's (Rebecca Romijn from "Ugly Betty") daughter from her impatient, sex-crazed boyfriend. They even tried to keep us hooked with cliff hangers: Darryl, the billionaire newcomer who sweeps them off their feet, isn't who he says he is, drunk-ass Raymond is going to sue for custody if she divorces him, and Roxie had a premonition that some stranger is going to murder her. But for some reason, I just wasn't feeling it. There was something missing. They all seemed...boring.

Roxie is supposed to be this flower, wild child who creates art and sleeps with a guy (Matt Dallas from "Kyle XY") who is much younger than her. But aside from being considered the town slut (for really God knows what), there's really nothing that bad about her. If she were really a bad girl, she would've slept with Darryl the moment she met him. He was already naked. Then there's Joanna. Yeah, she's funny and cute, and you want to root for her. But after learning that she can make people do things just by making eye contact and ordering them to, you'd think she'd use her powers from something a little less trivial than getting the money out of her boss's wallet. True, she did ask for a raise and a promotion, and managed to get him to admit that he always inappropriately brushes up against the women in the office (ill!), but her goal was to reveal the political corruption in the town for a big story. Instead, she walks over to Will and tells him that he wants her and he wants to kiss her, and then bails on the whole seduction thing after realizing how morally wrong it was. What's even worse is that I'm almost positive that half his romantic declarations were coming from his own thoughts, but she was too ashamed to even realize it. Lame! Speaking of lame, why is the hilarious and under-utilized Sara Rue ("Less Than Perfect") playing second fiddle to Price? Then there's Tess. Yes, we should be jumping up and down for the stellar assertion of girl power that occurred when she stood up to her bullying husband. But she's so...bland. I'd drink too if I were married to her. Then again, I guess they have to be boring, so it makes sense as to why these women need the "devil" to spice up their lives. Unfortunately, he can't spice up their personalities.

"Mercy," on the other hand, I pegged as yet another "Grey's Anatomy," and since I already have one of those, I don't need another. I was wrong. You know how "Grey's" can be...depressing and has the oddest ability to champion the notion that doctors compete for surgeries not to save lives but to have the right to say they saved a life? Well, "Mercy" is about nurses who save lives because some doctors tend to suck at it. This should've been the spinoff that Shonda Rhimes did. It would've made for an awesome cross-over episode. Veronica would totally kick Christina's ass for being a surgery hog. lol

Veronica (newcomer Taylor Shilling) is this dedicated nurse who just got back from a tour in Iraq (and somehow still manages to be more cheery than Meredith). She sort of bucks authority, since authority is usually telling her not to save a life because she doesn't have the abbreviation DR. in front of her name. She has a, for lack of a better term, alcoholic family and a rowdy, semi-irresponsible Irishman for a husband (Diego Klattenhoff from "Men in Trees"). And when she's not teetering between divorcing his cheating ass or "doing the right thing" and staying married to him, she's fantasizing about her war hero Dr. Chris Sands (James Tupper from "Men in Trees")--yes, they did give him a pun name--who signed a 2-year contract to work alongside her before he knew she wasn't getting a divorce anymore. She has a drama-filled life, but she still squeezes in time to hang out with her friends and her family. Then there's her bff Sonia (Jaime Lee Kirchner from "Just Legal"), who you could call a sexy and sassy golddigging nurse who is eager to get out of the ghetto. I thoroughly appreciate the lack of a cliched accent, fake nails, and neck swivels. And last, but not least, there's Chloe (Michelle Tratchenberg from "Gossip Girl"), who's at that naive age where she thinks teaching is about playing with children and becoming a musician is about making a difference. Everything is rainbows and sunshine on her planet. Of course, becoming a nurse will surely cause a few stormy days, including one where instead of saving a coding patient, she just screams for help at the top of her lungs. She has a lot to learn, and we have the honor of watching her stumble through it. The series has the right amount of light-hearted humor mixed with potential romances and poignant sad moments. Now that's worth staying up for.
Watch it now!


  1. I think you must have watched all of five minutes of Eastwick. The characters are great. The plot is better. First of Will is never considered average. He is described as looking like a nordic god in the show. It is you who thinks that because he is wearing glasses in the show they think he is "average". The show doesn't treat him as such. I think thats the problem you are having with Eastwick. You are not supposed to be rooting for Tess to stand up to her husband. She always did, and always will stand up for herself. The point is that she learns to not fight him out of anger, but to act rather then react, and do whats best for everyone, especially the kids. Its just not that simple. You like a less subtle show, where theres a bitch to hate, and a good girl to like. Where if a person has the ability to influence people. she would shurely make herself queen of the universe. The show is wonderful, but don't expect tons of angry fights, rapes, and infidelity. It has those, but thats not the point. Eastwick has some wonderful mystery. First of course, what is Van Horne(The sexy Paul Gross in top form) doing in Eastwick? Whats his game? What is Jaimie, the would be murderer of Roxy, really doing ? Why did he brand himself with that weird symbol? What is that weird symbol? Is he Bun's son? Why is he supplying info to Joannes friend and fellow reporter to make van Horne's life miserable? Where did their powers come from? Who are the original three witches, and what is Jaimies connection to them? All great stuff. There are some answers, but Im not going to get into spoilers. I just want to say give Eastwick a try, this review really isn't factually correct. Yo will love it. Do we really need a 15th hospital show? If you want a good doc show, go to House. Mercy is so mediocre it hurts.

  2. 1) This is a review of the pilot, so technically I watched 60 minutes before I ripped into it not 5.
    2) You can delude yourself all you want, but when they put glasses on anyone they're trying to dull their beauty or make them look smart. It's TV Perception 101. So whether they said Will was dorky or not, he's portrayed as such. 3) How are we not supposed to be rooting for Tess to stand up to her husband? And how exactly have you surmised that she always did? Because if she DID, I'm assuming he wouldn't have a drinking problem and the habit of sitting on his ass. The powers gave her the strength to set him strength, not her personality.
    4) I don't like a less subtle show. I like one with substance. I don't need cookie-cutter characters, but unless you're blind, you have to see that that's what they've given us. And I don't expect "tons of fights, rapes, and infidelity." I never wrote that.
    5) Lastly, yes the show has many mysteries in it, and after several more viewings, I can honestly say that they're getting relatively interesting. But they're still not interesting enough for me to mourn its cancellation, if it should get the ax. I am, after all, entitled to my opinion, so stop attacking me.