TV MADNESS #10: THE MOB DOCTOR

Based loosely on the novel “Il Dottoro: The Double Life of Mafia Doctor”, Jordana Spiro stars as Grace Devlin, a hotshot surgeon that is flying up the medical chain in a prestigious Chicago hospital. But Grace is holding a deep dark secret.

Her brother (Jesse Lee Sofer) got mixed up with the wrong crowd and to save his life Grace offered her medical services to the mob, particularly a devious gangster named Morretti (Michael Rappaport). She remained indebted to Morretti so that her brother could live.

So one day a witness, who could sink Morretti, is wheeled into the hospital and his life is in Grace’s hands. Morretti puts the screws on her to kill the witness in surgery and make it look like an accident. What is Grace to do?

Jordana Spiro is best known for starring as the lead in the TBS comedy “My Boys” where she played a tomboy with too many men in her life.

She switched to drama by playing a mentally disturbed member of the home invasion team that hold Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman hostage in Joel Schumacher’s “Trespass”.

Now here she is front-lining the latest Fox drama. A medical drama that Fox has dropped into the slot vacated by House.

The pilot has some interesting elements like just how long has Grace been connected to the mob? Furthermore, how did her father end up dead? My biggest peeve with the show were the casting choices.

Is Jordana Spiro ready to headline a series like this? My gut says no. Can Zach Gilford play a doctor? Well he did in that short-lived series “Off the Map” so I guess so but his performance here lacks. Is Zeljko Ivanek ready to play a sort of mentor role? And what about the casting of Grace’s nemesis, Flanagan. That guy is just horrible, why not cast someone known for that role?

The best casting choices were Michael Rappaport and William Forsythe. These guys were born to play gangsters. Forsythe is going to be an intricate part of the series and he is probably the reason I would give this show the four episode test. The guy is unpredictable and I still have fond memories of him playing Al Capone in the 1990’s version of “The Untouchables”, not to mention his tenure on “Boardwalk Empire” last season.

I am going to give the show four episodes and see if Jordana Spiro grows on me. But I really don’t think this is the medical show Fox is looking for. Plus who picked the title for this show? It’s the dullest of the new season.

GIVE IT: 4 episodes

WATCH OR DVR: DVR

PILOT RATING:  3 out of 5

THE MOB DOCTOR airs Monday nights on Fox

& Sundays on CTV.

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