From Jeffrey Lieber, the co-creator of “Lost,” and Jerry Bruckheimer, executive producer of “CSI” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, comes “Miami Medical,” CBS’s newest medical drama. The pilot starts with a bang—a restaurant explodes, and a young couple is sent to one of the top trauma hospitals in the country, a place described as the “last seconds for a doctor to save your soul.” The group of expert doctors who comprise the main ensemble, The Alpha Team, must deal with an onslaught of rapid-fire, life-or-death cases. The group is thrown for a loop when Dr. Matthew Proctor (a Dr. House-esque narcissist) comes down from Baltimore, where he had been working private practice. Dr. Proctor, played by the charming Jeremy Northam (The Tudors, Gosford Park), acts as the anchor of the show filled with crazed characters who are otherwise spinning into oblivion. The cast also includes Mike Vogel (of “Poseidon”) as playboy doctor Christopher Deleo, Lana Parillo as Dr. Eva Zambrano, Elisabeth Harnois as Dr. Serena Warren and Omar Gooding (Cuba Gooding Jr.’s younger brother) as Tuck Brody.
There are romantic subplots and battles over territory, but nothing unexpected for the world of medical drama. The best parts of the show are the scenes between Elisabeth Harnois and Jeremy Northam, both in terms of acting and character development. And if Bruckheimer develops the relationship between the two (as I suspect he will), the show has true potential.
At the same time, though, “Miami Medical” is “ER” shot like “24” (one of my main criticisms). The camera work during action sequences is dizzying, reminiscent of the style of the “Bourne” series. Each episode begins like “House” or “Law and Order,” with a short introduction depicting the patient and the reason for his visit to the trauma center.
Beneath its sleek façade, “Miami Medical” has glimmers of a complex drama that explores a life of unrelenting stress. About 20 percent of the show is composed of nonsense medical dialogue, 40 percent is action, 30 percent is melodrama, and 10 percent is poignant, well-written dialogue. But overall, the show covers territory that has already been explored in “ER,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House” and a slew of other medical dramas. As for its popularity, the show is doing well, ratings-wise.
For its April 3 debut, it pulled in 7.6 million viewers, which leads me to believe it will be a hit. I’m ambivalent about whether I myself would watch it. It’s the type of show that you can watch sporadically and still follow without missing a beat. If there were a marathon of “Miami Medical” on a Sunday, and you had some time to kill, I might suggest it. Otherwise, skip it.