Do No Harm Review: A Mild Premiere
Do No Harm is NBC’s latest drama to occupy the Thursday at 10 slot, and while the pilot does as best it can to set up this retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, there are some aspects that need a good amount of polish to bring the show up to par.
Or any semblance of par, for that matter.
The biggest problem with Do No Harm lies with Ian Price, who is Jason Cole’s meaner and nastier side that comes out to play every night at 8:25. In order for Ian to work, he needs to provide plenty of opposition to Jason - and while he snorts up some coke, punches some guys in the face and has plenty of lady company he’s not exactly mean.
The biggest take away from Ian is that he’s a misunderstood child in a man’s body. The pilot attempts to set him up to destroy Jason’s life any chance he gets, but Jason is either one step ahead of him or Ian is only so cruel as to laugh at Jason’s crush, Dr. Solis.
Do No Harm sets up an interesting premise with dual personalities, not unlike NBC’s past shows like Awake or My Own Worst Enemy, but those shows succeeded (story wise, not ratings wise) by making their constraints and premises drive character growth and drama. Do No Harm attempts this, but in its first inning it can’t score a run.
So what is working in Do No Harm’s favor? Steven Pasquale is a joy to watch as Jason, and he makes the character a fun and interesting person who is trying to deal with the weight of someone that impacts and hinders all aspects of his professional and personal life. Jason is a good man trying to preserve himself and others in an impossible situation; he is literally setting himself up for failure any chance he can get if it means he can deny Ian.
Other areas of fun are the medical side of things. The case and the man who saw unintelligible faces were rather interesting, and the one bright spot of the Jason/Ian dynamic was both of them teaming up to take down the cop who was beating his wife.
I would much prefer Do No Harm head one of two ways. The first would be morphing itself into a medical drama with Dr. Marcado successfully finding a way to permanently kill Ian, like the ending teased; the second would be finding a way to bring both Ian and Jason in line so that, while they are vastly different in personalities, they are both given a way to complement each other’s flaws.
What do you think TV Fanatics? Will Do No Harm book a return visit for you?
Do No Harm: "Pilot"
Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.