Fall TV Preview: Emily Owens, M.D. Is Not Exactly What the Doctor Ordered

Mamie Gummer is endearing, but is it enough to save this lackluster medical series?

By Jenna Mullins Sep 04, 2012 9:45 PMTags
EMILY OWENS, M.D.Kharen Hill/The CW

Emily Owens M.D. has a lot of things going for it. For starters, Mamie Gummer (the daughter of the legendary Meryl Streep) in the title role is endearing and a likable show lead. And it's a different type of series for the CW, which usually has all its leading ladies looking and acting, well, perfect. Emily Owens is definitely not perfect, in looks or in action, but will that help or hurt the series that lives on a network mostly made up of pretty people? And is the premise strong enough to keep the interest of the younger demo?

Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 9:00 p.m.

Time-Slot Competition: NCIS: LA (CBS), Go On (NBC), New Girl (Fox), Happy Endings (ABC)
Cast: Mamie Gummer, Justin Hartley, Aja Naomi King, Kelly McCreary, Michael Rady, Necar Zadegan
Status: We've seen the pilot episode

Last year, it was all about Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) as the hot doctor on the CW. Now it's Emily Owens' turn. Of course, they are in very different worlds. Emily, who was tormented in high school, is hoping her new life as a doctor will help her overcome the past and make a fresh start. Turns out, her high school bully is working at the same hospital! And is stealing her crush! Sounds a lot like high school still, right?

The premise of your high school days following you around, even when you're a big-shot doctor, is promising, but Emily Owens, M.D. falls flat when it should be soaring with some Mean Girls-Grey's Anatomy crossover-type action. And while the supporting cast (Hartley, Rady, McCreary) fit seamlessly in the pilot, it's King's Cassandra character that really makes us cringe. We get that she's there to remind Emily that your past is always around to torture you, but we could honestly do without her. Maybe Emily Owens will find a way to showcase that message without constantly having Cassandra around. Of course, we find out that the same bully who tormented Emily is also the one stealing her heart's desire Will (Hartley) away. Don't worry, an equally hot and charming guy is there to help pick up the pieces. We smell a predictable love triangle!

Over the course of the pilot, Emily saves a patient's life, gets yelled at by her attending, embarrasses herself with Will, and impresses her superiors during a surgery. The medical situations need some work in the exciting category if Emily Owens wants to be a new Grey's Anatomy, and the comedy-drama mix needs to be tightened if it wants to be a new Scrubs. Unfortunately, it seems that the show doesn't know what it wants, but it still has time to figure it out. And like we said earlier, we adore Mamie Gummer as the awkward Emily, so the potential is there for all the pieces to fall into place. We're just worried the show could fail on the CW, when it might find a bigger audience on, say, ABC. Only time will tell.

Our Review in GIF Form: 

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Verdict: DVR. Give it a chance, but stick to Fox's comedy block for your girl-power comedies.


Emily Owens, M.D.

Emily Owens, M.D.?