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Friday, January 8, 2010

Merci Mercy

    When NBC announced a new medical drama about nurses called Mercy, eyes, including mine, rolled.  Don't we have enough medical shows?  Not only that, but no less than two others were also premiering this fall.  However, Mercy has somehow set itself above and pack, and proved that there can still be fresh, fun medical shows.  I credit the amazing cast, all of which are wonderful, but I'm going to focus on the Top 5, hard as it was to choose 5.  Mercy airs Wednesdays at 8pm, and just returned to the air this past week.

     Virtual unknown Taylor Schilling stars as Veronica.  She is delightful, pretty, and sympathetically human.  The blond is really trying to make things work with her childhood sweetheart, Mike (Diego Klattenhoff), despite his cheating ways while she was in Iraq.  However, she also cheated on him during her second tour.  She is doing a highly entertaining job balancing all the personal crap with her job.

     Fresh off of the canceled Men in Trees, James Tupper plays the aforementioned lover, Dr. Chris Sands, who followed her home and is now a doctor at the hospital where Veronica works.  (Side note, Diego Klattenhoff was also recurring on Men in Trees near the end).  He gets to talk a lot more on this show, and it doesn't hurt.  Unlike many dramas, it does not seem inevitable that he will end up with Veronica.

     I'd never heard of James LeGros (Ally McBeal), but his performance as Dr. Harris has been the most interesting so far.  He started as a total jerk, and then, after his wife's murder, he became a grief-stricken total jerk obsessed with not letting anyone else die.  He manages to convey a character who doesn't fall into stereotypical growth, but gets to explore strong emotion in a very satisfying way.

     Child star Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is also a nurse at the hospital, young, green, and gullible.  Her character, Chloe, is not just the comic relief, however, as her attempts at love have been well performed as well.  She adds an element to the show that is completely necessary to the series's success.

     Kate Mulgrew, perhaps best remembered as Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, is quickly establishing a new character to remember, Veronica's mother.  She plays the alcoholic matriarch of a "white trash" Irish Jersey family.  She has taken to the role with relish, and always steals the scene when she appears on screen.  Hopefully an upgrade to series regular will soon be forthcoming.

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