If Mercy is medical workers as tough gals, then Trauma is medical workers as action heroes, and Three Rivers is medical workers as miracle workers.
Trauma is about EMTs, The first episode opens quickly with an action sequence, expensive to shoot, during whic you’re wondering which of these characters are going to buy it. Then halfway through it, there’s another action scene, a freeway accident, during which you’re wondering who is going to get it. And so, we see what will presumably be the center of this series. It’s hard to take the character drama too seriously, since the characters are broady played. I’m not particuarly up for the action, myself, but I can see how this would attract some viewers.
Three Rivers is a show that’s in it for the cultural good. It’s about transplantation, so the show is a not-so-subtle sell job for donating your organs. And even beyond that, it tries to be very pro-social. The show opens with a man of middle eastern background at work, and they go out of their way to show not only that he’s a nice guy, but that he’s specifically nice to a white former American serviceman. It’s done ina very upbeat, hopeful, pro-human manner. And it’s done with Alfre Woodard, which makes everything better. It’s heart is transplanted in the right pace; I’m just not sure that its cases-of-the-week will actually be interesting and fresh without being silly. Watchable, but certainly not a must-wath.