by Shannon Huebscher
Premiering on TNT Monday June 12th—check your local listings.
Film Monthly Home
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
When I hear about a new drama starting on television, I always have high hopes that it’s going to be a refreshingly new and original concept instead of just a copy of other successful shows. Unfortunately, the new drama “Saved” on TNT is really a conglomerate of a few shows, namely “ER”. That isn’t to say that there are no redeeming qualities to it, but rather that the first episode felt more like individual segments that were thrown together – there isn’t a very cohesive feel, yet, at least.
The show follows Wyatt Cole, played by Tom Everett Scott, who is a young guy working as a paramedic who happens to have a gambling problem. The first episode starts with Wyatt playing in a seedy poker game that predictably ends in a fight. We quickly learn that although Wyatt is a brilliant guy, he has absolutely no motivation to pursue being a doctor (much to his father’s chagrin), so he just goes through life not really caring about that much. Haven’t we seen enough of the brilliant-but-unaffected-by-much character?
I think what will make this show survive are the cast of supporting characters. Wyatt’s paramedic partner, John “Sack” Hallon, is a perfect foil and lets the audience witness more depth into Wyatt’s character. We also see that Sack is working to establish a relationship with his estranged young son – a storyline that has lots of room to grow. Another paramedic that works with them, Angela De La Cruz, is fantastically funny – she does a great job acting a strong, stubborn woman with a saucy Hispanic attitude that helps lighten the atmosphere.
Of course, a new drama won’t get any attention unless there’s some sort of sexiness attached to it, and in the case of “Saved”, Alice Alden, played by Elizabeth Reaser, serves it right up. Alice is the former girlfriend of Wyatt, and we just get a glimpse of why they are no longer together – Alice wants someone who is goal-oriented, and surprise, Wyatt doesn’t quite fit the bill. But, that doesn’t mean the sexual chemistry isn’t still there (hint: there is a juicy scene that takes place in an ambulance).
I think “Saved” does have a lot of potential, but because this first episode isn’t quite there yet, I’m not sure how many people will stay around to see it through.
Shannon Huebscher is a film critic and writer living in the Midwest.
Got a problem? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org