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"Mob Doctor" Review: It's Definitely a Show About a Doctor Who Works for the Mob

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | September 17, 2012 | Comments ()


The-Mob-Doctor-FOX-Pilot-Episode-1-3-550x380.jpeg

Doctor, Cop, or Lawyer Show? Doctor show.

Premise: An attractive thoracic surgeon, Grace, who already has her hands full with a surgical practice in a hospital also has to treat mobsters because the mafia has leverage over her due to a debt her brother owes to the mob. In the pilot episode's A-plot, she is asked to treat an informant in the witness protection program, and has to decide between saving him and killing him during surgery per orders from the mob. Her decision sets something with potentially huge repercussions into motion, but because this is a network show, those repercussions will probably only be dealt with during mid-season and season finales, and season premieres.

Cast: Jordana Spiro ("Harry's Law," "My Boys,") as the Mob Doctor, Justin Rapaport as a mobster, Zeljko Ivanek ("Damages") as the chief of surgery, Zach Gilford ("Friday Night Lights") as a doctor/love interest, William Forsythe ("Boardwalk Empire") as a retired mobster-type slash father figure to the mob doctor, and some blandly recognizable actors as doctors, federal agents, and mobsters.

Sample Medical Case A high-school student who gets pregnant by outercourse, i.e., her boyfriend ejaculated near her, and the girl has a particular kind of thin hymen that creates an air duct that is capable of attracting a sperm even if there's no actual intercourse.

Is It a Procedural? It's a hybrid procedural mixed with a serialized arc, though it's too early to say what the mix will be. My guess is that it will be 80/20 procedural.

If It's a Procedural, Does It Transcend the Format? On the rare occasion, a network procedural transcends the format enough to make it decent background watching ("Castle") a guilty pleasure ("Bones") or something decent to watch with your parents ("Persons of Interest").

"Mob Doctor" actually has the potential to fit into the latter category, but it's unlikely to come anywhere near meeting that potential. The serialized arc -- working for the mob -- has some intrigue, not because of the medical cases but because of her own personal involvement in the criminal activity of the mob. If the show were on FX or AMC, I'd stick with it because the mob doctor might actually travel down a dark, narrative path toward becoming a true anti-hero instead of simply a good person bent over a barrel.

As it is, it's a Fox show, so it will undoubtedly focus mostly on the weekly medical cases, and on Grace's ability to work around her duties to the mob without actually killing anyone or breaking any laws. That's no fun at all.

Should you watch it? It's very unlikely to ever be as good as the pilot episode, and the pilot episode wasn't very good to begin with. If you're a junkie for medical procedurals, it might be worth watching just to see if it improves. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Michelle

    Argh, someone give Zach Gilford something good to do! I want to believe he can be a good actor outside of FNL (sorry, Tim Riggins, you have failed me too many times this year).

  • valerie

    Does everybody realize that in the future, the mob controls time travel? My boyfriend will not stop repeating this line from the Looper trailer and it's starting to saturate my thinking.

  • I_Sell_Books

    Surely I'm not the only one who read the title and though 'Dr Who works for the Mob?!'

  • hapl0

    It's Definitely a Show About a Doctor Who Works for the Mob

    Haha. Burn...

  • So she breaks the law because her brother is in deep with the mob in order to protect him? That is a really stupid reason. Maybe if she lets the mob put him in traction for a few months he'll stop borrowing from mob loan sharks.

  • Oh, Zach Gilford. I so want you to be a success, much as I do Taylor Kitsch. Your Matt Saracen is one of my all-time favorite t.v. characters and I want you to have a successful career filled with interesting, complex parts. This is not that role. I also like Jordana Spiro on My Boys a lot. I thought she was funny and charming. Not so much here, more arrogant and frantically busy. Basically this show is filled with people I like, but I really didn't care for it at all. I won't be tuning back in.

  • bleujayone

    This show would have been cooler if it had been about Doctor Who working for the Mob. I'd pay good money to see a bullet being extracted with a sonic screwdriver.

  • Maguita NYC

    "the girl has a particular kind of thin hymen that creates an air duct that is capable of attracting a sperm even if there’s no actual intercourse"

    Oh so many should have used that much-more believable excuse, instead of angels and unicorns.

  • Godtopus Damn

    Ok. This is not a post about Mitt Romney. This is not a post about religion. This is not a post about anything suggesting religion or politics.
    I just wanted to point that out for the inevitable "You know what to expect on this site so if you don't want to be offended don't read the post" responder.
    Please, Maguita et al., stop using my religion as a punch line. I find it offensive and it makes this site inhospitable to me. I understand free speech, and I understand that Faith is not a particularly popular stance around here but seriously, do you lack the ability to comment on a show about a mob doctor without insulting Christians? Is your imagination and humor so limited that you can't joke about anything else? Are you just playing to the audience, looking for a few easy up-votes? Why are you insulting me like this? How can this type of humor, which chooses a specific group of people and insults them based on their beliefs and choices, be acceptable? Please, just stop.
    If you can't stop yourself from making such thoughtless comments at least get better at it. Show a little imagination, creativity, and humor. Seriously, it's like you're not even trying.

  • anikitty

    How does this insult Christians? There are angels in other religions.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I am really confused here. Is that a serious comment?

  • Maguita NYC

    Yes. But at the end, snark and by Godtopus's last comment, real Jesus-y love, won!

    Ah, peace on earth and dark chocolate for everyone.

  • Maguita NYC

    Pajiba, Sweetened by MOCK, Lightened by droll. Yep, I'm on the right site.

    That's the thing with free speech, I exercised my right to joke about hymen, you exercised your right to disagree and feel personally attacked. No big deal.

    You know what you can do though if you don't like my snark?

    SCROLL. THE. FUCK. DOWN.

  • Godtopus Damn

    Wonderful, Maguita. Brilliant. I see where you used all caps and wrote "fuck" at the end there. Absolutely devastating and wonderfully original......See, Maguita, that's snark. What you wrote is exactly the same hateful, bigoted trash that all idiots spew out. Well done. If you ever figure out how to get your own shoes on you'll be unstoppable.

  • Milly

    Your faith should not be dented based upon what others say. If your beliefs waver under comment, then that says more about you than it does about the commentator. And this can be applied to all forms of faith e.g. religion, sports teams, hangover cures etc etc

  • Not so much here, more arrogant and frantically busy. Basically this show is filled with people I like, but I really didn't care for it at all. I won't be tuning back in...A1Job.notlong.com

  • Maguita NYC

    "...how to get your own shoes on you'll be unstoppable."

    You may be implying here that in comparison you actually know how to get your own shoes on. Hey, I admit, the only thing I do get on lately is my freak.

    And although I do know how to put shoes on, I seem to be doing a lot more damage by simply wearing thong sandals.

    Unstoppable, but with much more liberated toes.

  • Godtopus Damn

    I love you, Maguita

  • AngelenoEwok

    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER ALERT FOR BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

    I'M NOT KIDDING. READ NO FURTHER IF YOU ARE THE 1 PERSON HERE WHO DOESN'T WANT LAST NIGHT'S BOARDWALK EMPIRE SPOILED.

    OKAY, HERE WE GO.

    I saw William Forsythe in the trailer for this, and thought, "Wow, he's going to do two shows at once! What an ambitious guy!" But then his character was promptly killed off on Boardwalk Empire last night, and I thought, "Oh, I guess now he can focus all his time and energy on that Mob Doctor show. Hope that works out for him."

  • TheReinaG

    Was I completely mistaken or was that not *Michael Rapaport* in the commercials? Jeez Dustin, editing much? :D

  • pajiba

    I ALWAYS confuse Michael Rapaport for Justin Rapapport, and the irony is, there is NO Justin Rapaport. The guy just looks like a Justin to me.

  • Justin Rapaport

    I exist, Dustin! And I seethe at my computer every time you get me mixed up with that Michael guy!

    Stop using my name as a punch line. I find it offensive and it makes this site inhospitable to me. I understand free speech, but seriously, do you lack the ability to review a show about a mob doctor without insulting the Justin Rapaports of the world? Is your imagination and humor so limited that you can't joke about anything else? Are you just playing to the audience? Why are you insulting me like this? How can this type of humor, which chooses a specific group of people and insults them based on their name, be acceptable? Please, just stop.

    If you can't stop yourself from making such thoughtless comments at least get better at it. Show a little imagination, creativity, and humor. Seriously, it's like you're not even trying. I'm going back to my Justin Rapaport support group now, where we enjoy complaining about how marginalized we are, especially by bloggers and commentors on the internet.

  • Maguita NYC

    Wait! This is brilliant!!! You actually took @Godtobpus Damn's comment about religious persecution (see further below), and replaced it with Justin Rapaport! But with proper paragraph spacing, and a much better ending.

    I bow to the master. I second @39dd30b1607747909add41f6a3916a7a:disqus and give you ALL the upvotes.

  • RekodeGallo

    ALL the upvotes.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    Pinky Jr. saw a commercial for this during football Sunday. She turned to The Husband and me and said, "You guys, do not buy that show. Okay? It looks creepy and really bad. Just promise me you won't buy it!" She's 8 and I think she's as correct as she's ever been in her life.

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