TV Review: Do No Harm

Do No Harm

I’m so amazed that this show didn’t meet with more success. We only have thirteen episodes and despite low ratings for the first two (which prompted the season to be burned off) I think that it’s a strong show which struggled with a heavy premise and scheduling conflicts.

I think this was a simple case of studio executives not giving the show a chance. Because by and large the season was fairly strong. I’m not saying that it was without its flaws, I feel that at times they weren’t quite clear in their direction but a good story and a strong cast trump a little confusion in regards to where the story is actually going.

The story follows Dr. Jason Cole (played by Steven Pasquale) who is a fantastically talented Neurosurgeon. Good enough that he can choose not to work after eightish every night. The reason why he can’t work late is that come 8:25 each night he is overcome by an errant evil personality which lasts for exactly 12 hours. This personality has its own name Ian Price and whereas Jason is kind and compassionate this other personality is arrogant, hedonistic and dangerous.

In many ways the show is a modern retelling/retooling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde because it deals with both sides of the personality spectrum. The good and the bad.

In the first episode we are introduced to Jason’s little problem and how he’s been managing it. For an unspecified amount of time prior to the start of the plot he’s been dosing himself with a powerful sedative to render him unconscious so that his evil alternate cannot do any harm during the hours he’s in possession of their shared body. Without realising it he’s built up a tolerance to the sedative and Ian has woken up pissed off at being denied his right to live. He then makes it his mission to ruin his counterparts life as payback.

It’s good drama that most of the tension comes from relations between two sides of the coin. The dichotomy of the darkness and light between one person with two minds.

I think that people might have struggled to get this initially which may have added to the cancellation. They looked at their schedule and saw something that didn’t quite fit the cookie cutter and decided to snip it from the line up.

Steven Pasquale does well in his role, he makes decisive choices as both characters and you can tell who he is from moment to moment. Unlike most shows in which the two main characters are in conflict this is unique and challenging because they share the same body and ruining the other’s life can have terrible consequences on both of them. I think as a rational thinker you want the Doctor to survive because he saves lives but you know that it’s unfair to choose who survives.

Side note I’m not sure how many people reading this will know who Lin-Manuel Miranda is (for the record he is the writer behind Hamilton and the songwriter behind Moana) but I forgot he was in this and being reminded of this just makes me want to listen to Hamilton again.

Honesty though it was horrible watching the last episode because I knew that it was over and more importantly it ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger so you receive no resolution to the story. I don’t want to spoil too much though because part of this appeal of this show is the intrigue and story so instead I’ll just say that I give it a 7/10.


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