Monday Mornings (TNT) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

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On Monday, February 4th, TNT’s medical drama ‘Monday Mornings’ premiered. This show is about the professional and personal lives of the doctors at the fictional Chelsea General Hospital. Every Monday the surgeons have a meeting to discuss the complications and errors during their work. The show is based on a novel of the same name by Sanjay Gupta, a real life neurosurgeon.

The first few minutes of the show are used to introduce all the doctors who play a big role in the show. That Monday, all the surgeons are paged, it’s time for the Monday morning meeting. A patient has died, thus this is the case that will be discussed. It is evident that the doctor who treated the patient made several mistakes in the treatment. It is not the first time that this has happened and he is fired right on the spot, in front of all his colleagues. It immediately becomes clear that Chief of staff Dr. Harding Hooten (Alfred Molina, ‘An Education’) is very hard on his staff.

The rest of the episode focuses on Wilson and his patient, a boy with a large brain tumor. The patient came in because he had a head to head collision with another boy during a soccer match and his mom wanted to be sure nothing was wrong. Everything seemed fine on the surface, but an MRI was made just in case. When the doctors looked at the MRI it was clear there was a very big tumor in the boy’s brain. Dr. Wilson, a brain-surgeon, is called to take a closer look at the MRI. He reckons the boy needs surgery very fast. During the surgery the little boy starts to bleed heavily and eventually dies.

Next Monday this case is discussed in the meeting. Dr. Wilson (Jamie Bamber, ‘Battlestar Galactica’) was neglectful because he didn’t ask for a second opinion and didn’t look at the father’s medical history. It turned out his father had a condition called hemophilia, meaning he bleeds uncontrollably when he has a wound. The boy had a 50% chance to have the same condition. If this had been known before the surgery, the boy’s death could have been prevented. On a side note, how come the boy and his parents didn’t know that he had this disease? Shouldn’t it be obvious someone has hemophilia when they have even a tiny wound, especially when his father has it too? And don’t tell me that this boy has never even had a small wound.

Another case was handled by Dr. Sung Park (Keong Sim, ‘Glee’). Dr. Park is a good surgeon, however, he’s Korean and his English isn’t that good, which may be part of the reason he seems so harsh. He needs to perform a DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) on a patient who experiences uncontrollable trembling, a treatment he has only performed once before. When the patient asked how that patient was doing, he simply responded with: “death”. This is of course quite a shock for the patient to hear, and not very encouraging. However, she agrees to the operation because she desperately wants to get rid of her trembling. Dr. Park is able to cure the woman and during the meeting he gets an applause from his colleagues.

The first few minutes of this episode were a little weird. The scenes did not seem to be part of a larger story. Even though it was probably a way to introduce all the characters and relationships within a few minutes, it was badly done and almost made me stop watching. The rest of the episode it became clear what the show was going to be all about; each episode will most likely feature one or two cases which will be discussed in the Monday morning meetings. Unlike in most medical dramas, the show will mostly feature surgeries that have gone wrong.

If you’re still not tired of all the medical dramas, you might like this show. ‘Monday Mornings’ is a bit different from most medical dramas, but all those surgeries really start to bore me. To be fair, the show does have all the characters; the grumpy big man with a tiny heart, the though boss, the hot doctor, the intelligent but asocial doctor and more. The stories so far are not too far fetched and thus the show is believable. However, too many characters are introduced in this first episode. Because the show tries to give all the characters depth, at the same time, it doesn’t really succeed for any of them. Therefore, it would have been better if they’d focused more on one character’s back story instead.

‘Monday Mornings’ airs on Mondays at 10/9c on TNT.

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Mike Marks profile image

Mike Marks 3 years ago

good review... actually. I'm not burnt out on doctors shows because I never watch them, not since Marcus Welby... I only watched this one because I like Kelly courtroom shows, Boston Legal, the Practice, and Ally McBeal ... although, when I mentioned this Monday Morning show, I was informed that Chicago Hope was Kelly's prior Doctor Show, and I like Saul on Homefront, so I'm two episodees into giving that a shot at the moment..


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 3 years ago Author

Hi Mike,

Kelley already showed us he's a great writer when it comes to courtroom shows. The Monday morning meetings in this show should not be a problem for him, but the question is if he's also good at the medical drama part of the show. It's hard to tell after just one episode, so to be sure he's good at this too you should watch a few more.

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