The Mob Doctor | TV Review
Chicago has become a common setting for television these days but perhaps none have been quite so insulting as The Mob Doctor. One part mafia drama, one part medical procedural, it casts the Southside neighborhood of Bridgeport as a mob slum from which no one, not even an extremely talented young surgeon, can escape. But more insulting than its characterization of our fair city is just how horribly bland this show is.
Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro) is a surgeon and, as you may have guessed from the title, she also works for the mob. After her brother Nate (Jesse Lee Soffer) racks up a major gambling debt with mob boss Paul Moretti (Michael Rapaport), Grace asks for his life to be spared in exchange for her medical services. Moretti isn't the young doctor's only organized crime connection, as she also pays house calls to recently paroled don, Constantine Alexander (William Forsythe).
In the midst of all these legally ambiguous connections, Grace is also busy saving the lives of the innocent and burning bridges with her hospital colleagues. She has a contentious relationship with her arrogant boss Dr. Flanigan (David Pasquesi) and fellow doctor Olivia (Jaime Lee Kirchner) and does a good job alienating Dr. Robinson (Zach Gilford), who she's also dating. Grace's work as a surgeon is exemplary and she's good with her patients, but it's her brash, holier-than-thou attitude toward her co-workers that gets her in to trouble.
The Mob Doctor, from the start, feels like two completely different shows. The mob portions are filled with hammy, over-the-top, though not unenjoyable performances from the likes of Rapaport and Forsythe. But these bits also add nothing to the cluttered landscape of mafia-related film and TV that we haven't all seen before and better. The medical drama portions of the show would be laughably bad if they weren't so painfully boring. The show's talented cast is squandered by the choice to tell a tired version of this story: the good doctor who cares for her patients but is stuck in a bad situation. If Grace's morality were more of a question, if she enjoyed playing both sides just a little bit, she would be far more interesting and so would the show.
The Mob Doctor airs Monday nights at 8pm on FOX.