THE SHOW "Emily Owens, M.D.," Tuesday, 9.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Hospital! It's just like high school, with the gossip, grudges, crushes, cliques, cute guys, girls, and the not-so-cute, or at least the socially inept, like Emily Owens (Mamie Gummer), who is one of the newest first-year surgical interns at Denver Memorial. The incoming class of other residents happens to include a secret crush, Will Rider (Justin Hartley); a former fellow med student; and even a "mean girl" from high school, Cassandra (Aja Naomi King), who knows Emily's high school nickname: "Pitts." Emily does meet a resident, Micah (Michael Rady), who provides a valuable reality check.
MY SAY "Emily Owens, M.D." is one of the oddest birds on any network fall schedule this year. It stars someone who looks strikingly like Meryl Streep -- there is a reason for that (she's her daughter) -- in a show that essentially mimics "Grey's Anatomy." But what's really odd is this: Why is "Emily Owen" even on the CW, land of oversexed teens, in the first place? By CW standards, this is a creaky geriatric -- a placidly paced, good-natured, by-the-book hospital drama that's so far outside the CW "sweet spot" that you start to wonder if it wandered here by accident. ("Emily, you took the wrong turn -- CBS is that way.")
One reason for this is Gummer herself, a talented actress and bit of an old soul who doesn't do "insecure teen" particularly well -- not that she tries. Part of her appeal is that she plays a young adult who can't forget what it was like to be a teen. (She also tells you that in voice-over, via Meredith Grey-styled platitudes that have all the certitude of a Hallmark card message: "We let go because if we don't, we'll never move on.") Gummer doesn't hard-sell the role, almost whispering her lines at times. She's not trying to be a CW cutout, but a multidimensional character.