CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
TV Review: NBC Stumbles on Thursdays Again with ‘Do No Harm’
CHICAGO – What do “Prime Suspect,” “Awake,” and “Rock Center” have in common? They’ve all aired in what was once the most beloved timeslots on network TV — Thursday nights on NBC. Since “ER” packed up its medical bag, the Peacock Network has seriously struggled to fill its scrubs and so they try again with a twisted take on the medical genre in “Do No Harm,” a variation on “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” about split personalities but doesn’t have enough character of its own. Surprisingly dull given the edge of its concept, “Do No Harm” is yet another concept that could have been a home run on cable, where true risks are being taken, but feels neutered on network TV.
Television Rating: 2.0/5.0
Dr. Jason Cole (the charismatic Steven Pasquale of “Rescue Me”) has a little problem. Every night, well-respected, conservative Dr. Cole turns into Ian Price, a philandering, drinking, borderline maniac. Jason has kept Ian under control for years by sedating himself every night but the sedative he’s been using has started to wear off. Ian is re-emerging and he’s ready to party.
Do No Harm
Photo credit: NBC
It’s a good idea for a show, right? Yes and no. The big problem with “Do No Harm” is that it takes itself way too damn seriously. It’s not until late in the premiere that “Harm” starts to get fun (as Jason realizes he can use Ian in a very specific way) and it needed to be that from the beginning. A show with a concept as out there as “Do No Harm” only works if its creators and producers bury it in style (think “American Horror Story,” a show that knows how ridiculous it is and embraces it). Sadly, “Harm” feels like a generic medical drama half of the time, as if someone wanted to merge “Grey’s Anatomy” or “ER” with the trendy genre of horror shows like “AHS,” “True Blood,” and “The Walking Dead.” The transplant doesn’t take.
It’s a true shame because there is some talent in the case here. John Carroll Lynch has been a great character actor for years, Phylicia Rashad is a welcome presence, and Alana De La Garza, who plays a potential love interest for our conflicted hero, is beautiful and charming. And none of the blame for “Do No Harm” should fall at the feet of Steven Pasquale. I hope he finds a better program soon. Maybe just not on NBCs on Thursday nights at 9pm CST. The timeslot seems cursed.