Nurse needs tender, loving care in NBC's 'Mercy'

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THE SHOW "Mercy"

WHEN | WHEREWednesday at 8 on NBC/4

REASON TO WATCH Well, you do get some nice shots of Manhattan from the Jersey side.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Nurse Veronica Callahan (Taylor Schilling) is back from a tour as a battlefield nurse in Iraq, and suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome, but also has an abundance of confidence. As a result, she doesn't suffer gladly the fools she has to deal with at Mercy Hospital in New Jersey. She barks to a colleague, when "you treat an Iraqi kid who got his arms blown off . . . a 75-year-old man with cancer [is like] a trip to Club Med." She gets married, but then a doctor she had a fling with in Iraq, Chris Sands (James Tupper), turns up at the hospital.

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BOTTOM LINE "Mercy" is one of the asterisk shows of the fall season, chiefly of interest for the most dubious of reasons - this not-yet-ready-for-prime-time drama was pulled off the bench in just the last few weeks, when it became apparent that Maura Tierney would not be returning to "Parenthood." (She's undergoing treatment for breast cancer.) With "Parenthood" shelved, NBC needed something fast, and "Mercy" got the call. There's no reason to pile on here, but this show needed many more months of gestation before getting thrown to the wolves.

As it stands, "Mercy" feels gruel-thin. Maybe the wolves will leave it alone.

GRADE I (incomplete)

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