First Impressions

Revolution / The Mob Doctor

Aired on: NBC / FOX


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

            Two new dramas hit the airwaves a week ago Ė one, a sci-fi action adventure on NBC and the other, a drama heavily steeped in the mafia underworld on FOX.  I decided to take time to check both of them out.

            Revolution aired at 10pm EST on Monday, September 17, 2012.  In the premiere episode, we are introduced to the Matheson family.  As the episode opens, Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee) comes home in a panic and tells his wife (Elizabeth Mitchell) to pack up everything.  His two young children arenít cognizant of his panic, content to watch cartoons.  The audience sees Ben quickly download something from his computer onto a flash drive while he calls his brother Miles (Billy Burke) and telling him itís time.  Before Ben can explain, the call is disconnected as the power is shut down all over the world.

            Flash forward fifteen years and we see the Matheson family, minus mom, living in a much greener community.  With no power, people were forced to grow and hunt their own food, turn to holistic medicine and basically return to a simpler way of life.  They are constantly haunted by the militia who generally only visit to replenish their stores and their supply of soldiers.

            One day, the militia comes for Ben, believing he is the key to turning the power back on.  When his son, Danny (Graham Rogers) attempts to prevent the militia from taking Ben, his father is shot and Danny is taken.  Benís daughter, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), returns from a trek into the woods, she finds her father dying from a gunshot wound.  His last request is for Charlie to find her Uncle Miles in Chicago, believing he can help get Danny back. 

            After her fatherís death, Charlie prepares to keep her promise alone, but is joined by the townís doctor and her fatherís former lover, Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips), and the townís teacher Aaron Pittman (Zak Orth), a former Google employee to whom Ben has given a mysterious pendant containing the flash drive we saw him download data on fifteen years ago.  The unlikely adventurers travel to Chicago, meeting a helpful traveler (J.D. Prado) along the way.  But when they arrive, they discover that Uncle Miles is less than willing to help.  Things go from bad to worse when Nate (Prado) is revealed to be a member of the militia tasked with finding Miles Matheson.

            Based on a novel, The Mob Doctor aired at 9pm EST on Monday, September 17, 2012.  The show stars Jordana Spiro as Dr. Grace Devlin, a promising surgeon who finds herself knee-deep in mob affairs when she agrees to pay off her brotherís (Jesse Lee Soffer) debt to Chicago Southside mob boss Paul Moretti (Michael Rappaport).  Fixing up mob flunkies with stitches, etc. is no big deal, but when Moretti asks Grace to kill one of her patients who just happens to be an informant, Grace isnít quite sure she can comply. 

As if that wasnít enough stress for Grace, she learns that a teenager she used to babysit is pregnant.  If her father finds out, he will be furious and if her school finds out, her scholarship is gone.  Grace knows what to do, but, unfortunately, the patient isnít hers.  In fact, she is assigned to Graceís straight-laced boyfriend (Zach Gilford).  And then there is that young gunshot victim whose life she saved only to discover that another doctorís carelessness has caused his death.  And that other doctor?  Just happens to be one of her supervisors.

Can Grace convince her boyfriend to help his patient cover up her pregnancy, get justice for the error that killed her young gunshot victim and find a way to keep the mob informant alive without getting herself killed?  And whatís with the strange relationship between Grace and former mob boss Constantine Alexander (William Forsythe)?

Although I thought I was going to be bored with The Mob Doctor and really into Revolution, I was surprised to discover the exact opposite.  Well, thatís not entirely true.  I wasnít exactly bored with Revolution Ė there was a lot of action and some pretty cool fight scenes.  But I could tell that this show was trying to cash in on some of the cool elements of The Hunger Games, such as the fight scenes with more primitive weaponry like knives, swords and bows and arrows.  But the fact of the matter is, although there is a secret to solve Ė how and why the power went out and the secret for its return Ė itís not all that hard to figure out some of it already.  That fact makes me wonder how long it can be stretched out for this show to have a long enough shelf life.  As for The Mob Doctor, I found it to have an intriguing story with enough mystery and enough grit to keep me interested.

Of course, I will probably watch a couple more episodes of each show for good measure, but right now, my bet is on The Mob Doctor outlasting Revolution.  In my opinion, the mystery surrounding the events of the mob and the grit of the main character in The Mob Doctor will capture viewerís attention for a longer span of time than the action and adventure of Revolution.

 

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