So, I decided to watch the pilot episode of 'Monday Mornings', a show about medical surgeons. It's created by David E. Kelley, who's best known for his lawyer shows, like The Practice and Ally Mcbeal.
After I watched it, I thought the pilot was actually really well made, but I'm not sure I'm going to keep watching it regularly. Maybe I will, maybe I won't.
I mean, it's not exactly a secret that I'm a massive fan of Kelley, but at the same time I'm not that much of a fan of medical shows. For example I didn't pay that much attention to Chicago Hope either, a show that he also created. (I guess I like ER the best)
Drama shows are usually about life and death, so naturally you would think that it would make sense to write about something that directly deals with those issues. After all, you need to have high stakes situations in order to keep the audience interested.
Yet, the problem sometimes tends to be that when a show handles these two issues, it turns out that the show is too much about death and not enough about life.
That's how I kinda felt about Monday Mornings. When I watched it, I felt it was a bit too depressing and didn't tell me anything that, well, I really wanted to know. The show tells us that surgeons make mistakes, patients die, and then a head honcho, in this case the great Alfred Molina reviews these mistakes in front of an audience.
David Kelley's shows have always been about showing compassion and about his insight into humans. I guess Monday Mornings is about those things. But every great DEK show has also been pretty absurd, like Picket Fences having cows giving birth to human beings or Ally Mcbeal having dancing babies. Monday Mornings isn't absurd.
There's of course nothing wrong about show not being absurd, but that part has always been Kelley's biggest strength as a writer. Monday Mornings is so serious - I guess the subject matter dictates the tone of the show - that we don't get to see him at his best. This stuff just seems too safe, whereas for example on Ally Mcbeal he decided to be himself and took risks, like he's supposed to.
What I'm trying to say here is that at a lot of other showrunners would be really lucky to helm a show like this, but we're talking about David Kelley here. In all honesty, based on the first episode, I'd probably rather watch a flawed absurdist Kelley show like Harry's Law, than Monday Mornings.