One of the thing about the basic cable channels is that I’m not alway checking them for new shows. If I’m not watching anything on TNT, then I’m missing the ads for the new shows on TNT. So while I’d heard somewhere out there that something called HawthoRNe was coming up, I missed its premiering (and, for that matter, the start of a new semi-season of Saving Grace.
Now I’ve tried a HawthoRNe, and, well, I’ve survived it, but I don’t feel the need to choose more (even in these lack-of-new-fiction-TV days). It seems to be Upbeat Hospitable Drama 101. The episode had three storylines:
- One patient-related drama that focused on the emotional relatioship of the patient, rather than the medical details.
- One nurse-dealing-with-bad-patient, it’s-hard-not-getting-respect storyline
- One lead-character-and-her-kid storyline, not particularly tied to it being a hospital show
None of it is particularly dark or particularly subtle. And in a way, the lack of darkness is a relief. After all of those years of dark hospital dramas, really, everything after St. Elsewhere (which could be dark, but leavened it with other color ranges), and most notable the 300 pound dark gorilla of E/R, seeing anything without a dark heart is a nice novelty. And it also didn’t show any sign of ongoing storylines. Really, if five years from now you run into a rerun at 3 AM on Lifetime, you won’t think “oh, no, I can’t watch that.” You won’t have to watch it, but if you’re awake, it will be an acceptable option.
I have to say, though, that the show’s lead – Jada Pinkett Smith as the titular nurse – felt a might weak. Every delivery was over-perfected, over-slick, like she was playing a business slickster giving a PowerPoint presentation rather than a human being. I’ve not seen Ms. Smith in much else (nothing comes to mind, although I’m aware of her existence), so I really can’t tell if this is her general style or just a poor choice by actor or director.
And it was followed by a new Saving Grace, which seemed to confirm that the show isn’t really going anywhere… but its enjoyable texture remains largely in place.