You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Houston Medical

The summer season's dominant aesthetic trend is clear: the melding of the documentary and the drama series. Just two days after NBC premiered "Crime & Punishment," its real-life "Law & Order," ABC opens "Houston Medical," a six-part docu-series that seeks to craft a real-life "ER."

Narrator: Jeff Colt.

The summer season’s dominant aesthetic trend is clear: the melding of the documentary and the drama series. Just two days after NBC premiered “Crime & Punishment,” its real-life “Law & Order,” ABC opens “Houston Medical,” a six-part docu-series that seeks to craft a real-life “ER.” Memorial Hermann Hospital turns out to have enough soap opera characters among its staff to pull this off, although based on the first episode, we learn a lot more about the structure of hourlong drama series than we do about the realities of working in a hospital.

Show begins with the doctors, starting with a young female pediatrician who’s battling a brain tumor. Marnie Rose, a cheery and likable 27-year-old, shows us X-rays of her own brain tumor; in the first episode alone she begins experiencing complications that require potentially paralyzing surgery.

Then there’s Dr. Mark Henry, a young matinee idol of a hand surgeon who may be too married to his work to make his real marriage last. In the first hour, he assists a woman who has lost her fingers on one hand. His ultra-brilliant solution? He takes off a toe and puts it on her hand. The last scene of the show depicts her boyfriend giving her an engagement ring for that new finger, an obviously staged scene that goes way too far overboard into drama schmaltz.

The third primary focus of the first night is Dr. Terri Major-Kincade, a mother of two and wife of a rap producer. She works in infant trauma, and the first case we witness involves her helping new parents come to terms with the inevitable demise of a baby born two months premature.

Yes, there is something just a bit seedy about this transformation of everything into a form of entertainment. Art and life are, of course, forever imitating each other, but “Houston Medical” takes real life and transforms it into imitation life.

Houston Medical

ABC, Tues. June 18, 10 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Houston by Greengrass Prods. Producers, Tracey Washington Bagley, Janis Biewend, Robin Groth, Mitchell Horn; director, Charles Bangert; writer, Louis Gorfain; music, Scooter Pietsch; supervising editor, Jonathan Moser; editors, George Baluzy, Amina Megalli, David Schewel, Victor Zimet, Bram Harris.

Crew: Camera, Joe Duncan, Jerry Hattan, Dusty Powers, Jack Rayzor, Joel Schartzberg, Stan Taylor; sound, Tomm Dauenhauer, Jeff Duncan, Tracey Duncan, Randy Foster, Brooks Lester, Anthony Rowland. 1 HOUR.

Cast: Narrator: Jeff Colt.

More TV

  • Milo Ventimiglia'Second Act' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Milo Ventimiglia on 'This Is Us' Golden Globes Snub

    “This Is Us” critics and fans were shocked when the NBC hit received no love from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association earlier this week with zero Golden Globes nods. The show, after all, was nominated for three Golden Globes last year, including best television drama. Plus, Sterling K. Brown won the 2018 statue for best [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez 'Absolutely' Wants to Direct Film and Television

    Jennifer Lopez epitomizes the phrase “she’s done it all” — but there’s still more that the superstar would like to do. Lopez recently directed her first music video, “Limitless,” the track featured on her new rom-com “Second Act,” and it seems the multi-hyphenate has caught the directing bug. “Absolutely, absolutely,” Lopez responded when asked by [...]

  • Kaya Scodelario

    Kaya Scodelario Joins Netflix Ice Skating Drama 'Spinning Out'

    Kaya Scodelario has signed on for the lead role in the upcoming Netflix drama “Spinning Out,” Variety has learned. Scodelario takes over the role that was previously held by Emma Roberts, who bowed out in October. She stars as Kat Baker, an up-and-coming, high-level single skater who’s about to turn in her skates after a disastrous [...]

  • Kevin Hill

    Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia's Seven Bucks Productions Names Kevin Hill Head of TV and Digital Content

    Seven Bucks Productions, the production company co-founded by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, has named Kevin Hill the head of television and digital development. In this role, Hill will identify, develop and produce new scripted and unscripted projects for Seven Bucks Productions and Seven Bucks Digital Studios. His background includes a six-and-a-half year stint at WME working [...]

  • Cardi B iHeart Radio Music Awards

    iHeartRadio Music Awards Move to Fox

    iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company today announced the return of the iHeartRadio Music Awards in 2019. The show will air live on Thursday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and will also stream online and broadcast live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide. Performers will be announced in [...]

  • Best TV Shows of 2018

    The Top 20 TV Episodes of 2018

    This year provided TV fans with one of the most promising pilots in years (“Barry”) and an all-time-great series finale (that of “The Americans”), but there was plenty in between, too. The following are 20 of Variety’s critics’ favorite episodes to have aired all year, across genres. Of note: while episodes of “Atlanta,” “Barry,” “BoJack [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content