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

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Norman Reedus and Ryan Hurst'The Walking

    Norman Reedus on 'The Walking Dead' Without Andrew Lincoln: 'He's With Me Every Day'

    After saying goodbye to most of the original cast on “The Walking Dead,” Norman Reedus still feels his former co-stars with him during each episode. “I’ve seen so many people come and go,” he said during a “Walking Dead” panel on Friday at PaleyFest. “Right now on the show, the ghosts of all those guys [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content