Surprisingly, the premiere of The Mob Doctor wasn’t an absolute bore. Fox’s only new drama this Fall tries to blend two of America’s favorite TV fetishes: crime series with hospital drama.
The story focuses on Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro), a young doctor with the usual TV brilliance – who defies authority and saves lives. Dr. Grace has become indebted to a crime boss named Moretti (Michael Rapaport). In order to save her brother’s life, Grace made a deal with Moretti to work for him as his crew’s private doctor. Unfortunately, when one of Moretti’s former “employees” – turned rat – is brought into Grace’s hospital, her loyalty is put to the test. She must decide between saving the patient’s life and killing him in order to protect her brother.
Rapaport’s role as a crime boss is reminiscent to his time as Don Self on Prison Break – it’s a little too loud and comical. Sadly, that does little to keep you intrigued in the story. Moretti’s role would have been best served by an actor like Kirk Acevedo (Fringe), who could bring a calm terror to the part.
The biggest criminal pull is seeing William Forsythe (Boardwalk Empire) lurk in the shadows as Constantine. His recent run on Boardwalk Empire’s second season makes him the ideal candidate to bring a calculating criminal mindset to this series.
Hospital life is a blend of Grey’s Anatomy and House. Dr. Devlin has a knack of making all the right decisions when it comes to saving lives, but simultaneously has the talent to piss off all the wrong authority figures at her hospital.
Zeljko Ivanek (Dr. Stafford White) appears as one of Dr. Devlin’s superiors. Dr. White may be on Grace’s side, but when it comes to drama Ivanek will always steal the scene. Like Will Arnett in comedy, Ivanek has earned a name as a notorious scene-stealer in any drama. Some of my favorite scenes in both Damages and True Blood featured Ivanek.
The Mob Doctor premiere was more hospital drama than crime show. A few car chases and some gun play tried to add in the criminal element, but the camp music bed made everything feel a little too Dawson’s Creek.
In order for Mob Doctor to succeed, we’ll need to see more of Forsythe. The writers need to quickly develop Constantine’s character into a serious threat – and not necessarily for Dr Grace. We just need to feel as though the walls are closing in on the good doctor to keep us glued week-to-week. After all, the Mob comes first in the series’ name.