“All you can do is hope.” These are the words spoken by Michael Shanks‘ character Dr. Charlie Harris on the newly premiered NBC show Saving Hope, and it couldn’t be a better description of what the series will inevitably be about. But please don’t be mistaken — this is not another Grey’s Anatomy copycat, trying to continuously pull at our heartstrings. No, Saving Hope’s approach is very subtle, and gives not only the viewers, but the main character himself, a completely different, out-of-body experience… literally.
Dr. Harris is the chief of surgery at Hope-Zion Hospital (note: this is just one out of several not-so-subtle “hope” references), who ends up in a coma after a very serious car accident, leaving his fiancée and fellow surgeon, Alex Reid (Erica Durance) doing everything she can to save his life. However, the unique part of the story is that as Harris’ body remains comatose, his spirit form wanders around the halls of the hospital, taking in everything that’s going on around him.
And while this could, at a glance, seem a little too Ghost-like, this alternate character perspective adds a unique layer to the show, making the main character a bit of an outsider. Harris is no longer interacting with the colleagues and patients around him — he’s simply observing, which in turn makes him grow and develop as a character much more-so than if he was still physically present.
I didn’t really care much for Harris’ character at the beginning, but even after a single episode, it’s clear he’s becoming a better person by taking on this observant role. He’s no longer in charge of the hospital — or his own body for that matter — so he’s seeing things in a different light. In a way, Harris’ catatonic condition is almost worse than death because he’s not gone, he’s just barely out of reach. It’s these redeemable qualities which will help Saving Hope stand out among the other medical dramas, and it should keep fans coming back for more each week. Plus, Daniel Gillies‘ (supporting character Dr. Joel Goran, and Elijah to Vampire Diaries fans) adorable accent should definitely help matters as well.
This series has some definite potential to become a favorite summer show. It may not be boldly risque like True Blood or methodically action-packed like Breaking Bad, but Saving Hope has unique qualities to bring to the table, and hopefully viewers will enjoy them. Hey, if they get to overuse that word, then so do I.
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