Of all the new shows I’ve watched so far this fall season, “Mercy” is easily the worst. It’s a pale, generic shitballs copycat of “Grey’s Anatomy,” that’s already stealing story lines from “Nurse Jackie.” It’s worse than milquetoast; it’s moldy — but inexplicably glossy — toast you find underneath the refrigerator that’s been lying there for years, collecting maggots and smelling up your kitchen.
Taylor Schilling plays
Meredith Grey Veronica, a whiny nurse with post-traumatic stress disorder (she’s jumpy) returning from field work in Iraq. She’s got a heart of Gold! But she’s also miserable. She’s mopey. She has a chip on her shoulder. And she hates doctors — except for the one that she’s fucking behind her husband’s back (referred to as “hot doctor,” because the writers couldn’t even come up with their own version of McDreamy). In fact, she calls out a doctor in front of a patient’s mother after the patient dies of an embolism, which is basically what happens in the pilot episode of “Nurse Jackie.”
“Mercy” opens, as all medical shows open, with a tracheotomy (this one is not technically a tracheotomy, but it still uses a bendy straw to allow a patient to breathe). Veronica saves the man’s life, gets him to the ER, and orders up a series of tests, only to get chewed out by the doctor (James LeGros, wasted again) for ordering tests without his consent. Cue jurisdictional pissing matches.
After that, “Mercy” simply falls into its predictable medical show template. At some point, I may have blacked out, but it didn’t prevent me from following the storylines. There’s a sassy black nurse, who sasses about, and beats the shit out of a patient that attempts to assault her from his bed. There’s also a plucky, young and naive nurse (Michelle Trachtenberg) with an aversion to death, who is second-guessing her career choice. (See also: “Nurse Jackie”). You’d think after nursing school, these nurses would be a little better prepared for, you know, dead people. Also, gay Hispanic nurse, and wise African-American hospital chief (see also: “Grey’s Anatomy.”)
Also, what is it about medical shows that everyone ends up fucking against a wall?
In sum: Terrible writing (“You’re the only thing that made sense”; “I was thinking, maybe you could be my friend.”). Cliché storylines. A soundtrack straight out of “Grey’s Anatomy.” It’s manipulative. There’s no humor. No quirk. Just grim stupidity and the occasional mashing together of attractive bodies.
In a word: Unwatchable.