Summer Preview: NBC’s ‘Saving Hope’ Shows Promise
Created by: Malcolm MacRury, Morwyn Brebner
Stars: Michael Shanks, Erica Durance, Daniel Gillies
Premieres: Thurs. June 7th @ 10pm (NBC)
It is a common misconception that there is no good television during the summer months. Until recently, I actually believed it myself, only to be pleasantly surprised with cable shows, like Burn Notice and White Collar, along with my personal favorite: SyFy channel originals like Warehouse 13, Eureka, and others. While I am now very much a summer tv convert, I can’t help but notice every year how little time (essentially, none) I spend watching any of the major networks. I’m not entirely sure why, but ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX don’t seem to really bring their A-games during the summer season, whether that be because they prefer to allow their cable affiliates to pull the weight, because they simply don’t want to devote the same resources to shows that will, naturally, pull smaller ratings, or some other, as-yet-unconsidered reason (I don’t purport to read the minds of studio execs, cool as that would be). Regardless of the reason, the fact remains that my energies during the summer are generally spent in a completely different region of my cable box. This year, however, may be different, thanks to a promising freshman series from NBC called Saving Hope.
In Saving Hope, when charismatic Chief of Surgery Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks, Stargate: SG-1) at Torontos Hope-Zion Hospital ends up in a coma, he leaves the hospital in chaos and his fiancée and fellow surgeon, Alex Reid (Erica Durance, Smallville), in a state of shock. Along with newly-arrived star surgeon, Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies, The Vampire Diaries), Alex races to save Harris’ life. As the action unfolds, comatose Dr. Harris wanders the halls of Hope-Zee in spirit form, not sure if he’s a ghost or a figment of his own imagination. Reid, along with her fellow doctors, press on to save his life and those of their other patients, as they deal with the complicated and courageous decisions that are made in their daily struggle to keep hope alive. – IMDb
I first heard about this show in March, when NBC officially picked it up for their summer roster. At the time, I was intrigued by the idea of a major network buying a Canadian import (the entire production takes place in Toronto), and loved the fact that Michael Shanks and Erica Durance were involved, but was hesitant about whether or not I would actively watch it, since the plot seemed … iffy. I was really uncertain as to how a show about a guy in a coma, wandering the halls of a hospital while his fiancée tried to keep him from dying altogether would actually play out of screen. Then, last week, Saving Hope released this promo via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The written synopsis paints a vague picture about the initial events, and, in my opinion, doesn’t do it justice. The promo is what’s gotten me truly interested, as it casts the show as a character piece about what happens when the life of someone you love hangs in the balance, and you are forced to deal with the day-to-day life they’ve left you to lead, while struggling to cope with your sudden transition from doctor, to family of a patient.
Beyond that, I’m intrigued by the fact that this is a medical drama that is actually trying to test the paradigm. They’re doing something different than the medical drama’s we’re used to. Instead of being a “summer” version of ER or Grey’s Anatomy, they’re taking that concept and tilting it slightly, and I am always up for a little deviation from the norm.
That’s not to say I don’t still have my concerns. While I enjoy the premise, and think that it shows some serious potential to be truly engaging and entertaining, I worry about the sustainability of the concept. Eventually, we have to come to some kind of resolution. Charlie Harris can’t stay in a coma forever (I suppose he could, but I think that might get boring), and season finales tend to resolve some major plot point from the start of the season. Obviously, its far too early to pass any kind of judgement, but I will say that I am extremely interested in the course the show-runners will take, should season one be successful enough to achieve season two.
At the end of the day, I know that this will be on my summer watch list, and I suppose we’ll all just need to have a little Hope.
We will have more summer previews coming soon, as well as a wrap up on returning favorites! What is on your watchlist this summer?