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Herc’s Seen NBC’s Out-Of-Body Hospital Drama SAVING HOPE!!

I am – Hercules!!

A Canadian drama from writer-producer Malcolm MacRury (“Earth: Final Conflict,” “Deadwood”) and Morwyn Brebner (“Rookie Blue”) about a comatose chief of surgery enduring a lengthy out-of-body experience that allows him to see (and speak to) dead people, “Saving Hope” stars Canadians Michael Shanks (“Stargate SG-1”) and Erica Durance (“Harry’s Law”), who played Hawkman and Lois on “Smallville.”

It’s not as bad as “Grey’s Anatomy” and not as good as “Chicago Hope” either. I dare say I enjoyed the first two episodes of “Saving Hope” more than most of the “ER” episodes NBC aired over the last five years. The most innovative thing about “Saving Hope” though, might be the omnipresent “Star Trek”-style lens flares its photography employs.

One reason to tune is a relative newcomer named Julia Taylor Ross ("Silent House"), who is hot as fire and is good enough to strip down to her bra in the second episode.

HitFix says:

... With Shanks off on the margins, Durance is the de facto series lead. She's pleasant, and no more or less believable as a doctor than half the docs on "Grey's," "House" or even "Scrubs," but Alex as a character isn't compelling.…

The New York Times says:

... the life of the hospital goes on in ways that weren’t that interesting the first 10 times we saw them: crash carts roll past in slow motion, doctors have sex in the break room, a woman refuses treatment for religious reasons. These medical scenes are competent but forgettable, while the scenes of Charlie’s peregrinations are sometimes interesting and funny but surprisingly infrequent. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... not the worst show to debut during the summer months — there is a natural curiosity factor built in to the main plot line and both Shanks and Durance are certainly engaging performers. But as "Grey's Anatomy" proved several seasons ago when its lead wandered in death's oddly lit foyer, though there may indeed be more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy, a soapy medical drama is probably not the best venue in which to discuss them. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

... lukewarm stew of ideas from other shows ("Grey's Anatomy," "Touched by an Angel," the finally out of its misery "A Gifted Man") and films ("Ghost," "The Sixth Sense") with stock characters and situations that occasionally jerk a demi-tear or two, but with absolutely no authenticity. The sloppy sentimentality is cheap and unearned …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... there’s not much in “Saving Hope” viewers haven’t seen before (and better) elsewhere …

The Boston Herald says:

... supremely dreary … One way or another, “Saving- Hope” will flatline.

Variety says:

... wins no points for originality, but boasts a winning lead in Erica Durance. …

9 p.m. Thursday. NBC.

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Readers Talkback
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  • June 7, 2012, 3:59 a.m. CST

    Durance bugged me at first. But she grew on me.

    by gotilk

    I'll check this out, absolutely. Medical dramas are kind of a guilty pleasure for me. It all started (in a less traditional way) with Quincy when I was a wee lad. The only one I've been able to watch for many years though was House and for some reason (great cast?) A Gifted Man, which I will be sad to see go. Now those are gone. So I'll give it a shot. But what's with the shows with HOPE in the title. Hope Springs Infernal - A beautiful but unavailable woman divorces her attractive (and plucky) fireman husband but must still come in contact with him on a regular basis due to emergency room duties at Hope Springs Hospital. Hope and Lorie - A young married lesbian couple must deal with the prejudices of co-workers and patients as they work at the hospital together. Hope is a young, plucky and positive intern and Lorie is a young hospital director who finds herself professionally at odds with her idealistic wife almost every day as they try to save lives and keep budgets in check. Hope on a Rope - A young, attractive,plucky and unavailable doctor must deal with a new job as part of a helicopter rescue team in the mountains of Colorado. It's there that she falls for a young, attractive and decidedly not very plucky young rescue team member while rescuing hikers and campers from the mountaintops and canyons of Colorado. Hopie Dopie - An irreverent new comedy that focuses on the quirky doctors and patients at a big city methadone clinic. (no-one appears to be plucky so far, but producers have indicated that plucky is a casting buzzword) The writers are unavailable. Hopes and Dreams - A plucky, young, attractive but unavailable sleep research facility is where many young, attractive doctors fall in love while trying to stay awake all night in this quirky new dramedy from the makers of Hopes on the Slopes. Hopes on the Slopes - A young, attractive doctor becomes quirky while being unavailable to ski with her young, attractive but plucky boyfriend on the slopes of Switzerland. Hopey a copey a schlopeny - Doctors quirk their way through an unavailable synopsis while writing stories about young, plucky restrooms at a truck stop in southern Colorado. Hope you've stopped reading by now - A young, quirky unavailable, plucky Colorado-based talkbacker runs out of young, quirky, unavailable and plucky ideas while posting in a talkback no-one seems to be interested in. Or sowww it wooood seeeym. ...... .. .. .

  • June 7, 2012, 4:25 a.m. CST

    Lucky guy

    by Himbo

    Michael Shanks gets to make out with Durance at work, and then go home to his crazy-hawt wife Lexa Doig. Nicely done. I had no interest in this, but now I must check out because of the leads.

  • June 7, 2012, 4:37 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    He married Doig? Niiihiiice.

  • June 7, 2012, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Shanks, Durance & Elijah from TVD

    by Krangelus


  • June 7, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Erica live-action Lois Lane

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Although the best Lois Lane OVERALL is still Dana Delaney from the 90's animated series.

  • June 7, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    So tired of medical dramas

    by Randy DeLaney

    But if Erica Durance was running around either nude or mostly nude I would DVR it. She is scorching hot.

  • June 7, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST

    begs the question - Where is StarGate?

    by cozy

  • June 7, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Is it a medical show with the cast of Raising Hope a la Scrubs?

    by Dharma4


  • June 7, 2012, 12:10 p.m. CST

    so the Chicago Tribune and Variety have the same writer?

    by soup74

    "wins no points for originality, but boasts a winning lead in Erica Durance." i guess that quote wins no points in originality either.

  • June 7, 2012, 1:45 p.m. CST

    so the show is about a guy in a coma

    by John C. Croker

    I dont see that lasting very long.

  • A great freaking show, by the way. When they had started promoting mention Ghost Whisperer I was worried. But after actually watching it was FAR from that show. And a trillion times better. I like Shanks but can't stand Durance, plus I'm not sure how this show is going to go beyond 1 season.

  • June 7, 2012, 6:03 p.m. CST

    This show looks like dog shit on a sidewalk on a hot summer day

    by SenatorJeffersonSmith

    And I imagine it will be wildly popular and go for at least eight seasons

  • "Doctors! Living! On! The! Edge!" Seriously? I'm already bored.

  • June 8, 2012, 2:54 a.m. CST

    not going to last long

    by Cobb05

    How long can he stay in a coma? Just seems like an idea that can't work for too long. Just like Awake. Better idea for a movie than a series.

  • June 8, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    That was better than expected

    by runrun

    I'll watch the next episode.

  • June 8, 2012, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Michael Shanks

    by EyeofPolyphemus

    Michael Shanks appears happy to star in anything that is not Stargate.

  • June 9, 2012, 9:57 p.m. CST


    by kabong

  • me smart like tv producer

  • Herc's being sarcastic, right? The Lens flares style, like the shaky cam, is best when used sparingly and is all but imperceptible. "Firefly" is a good example of both being used perfectly. On this show the only thing the (excessive) use of lens flares accomplished was to make it look amateurish. The shaky cam at times bugged the crap out of me on "Friday Night Lights" but being such an excellent show otherwise, I could tolerate it. This is no FNL; I'm on the fence regarding the show anyway, but if the lens flares aren't at least toned down significantly next episode I think I'm done.

  • June 10, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    I love Erica, but she deserves a better series

    by Triple_J_72