I may be getting soft.
I know that "Do No Harm" (10 tonight, NBC) is ridiculous, and yet I can't beat up on it. Maybe it's because everyone involved is taking it so seriously and I find earnestness endearing.
Yet let's be clear: this is one silly show.
It's the story of a skilled compassionate surgeon Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale) who has dissociative identity disorder; at 8:25 every night, he turns into Ian Price, a hard partying, menacing rogue -- it's your basic Jekyll and Hyde scenario. At the moment, Jason has Ian under control; he's been taking a drug cooked up by a friend and pathologist (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and not having much of a social life. That's hurt his chances with Dr. Lena Solis (Alana De La Garza), a colleague who likes him, and the feeling is mutual.
Because he lives by the clock, Jason must always move quickly. Life is rushed but not bad until it turns out that Ian has become immune to the drug Jason's been using. How does Jason figure that out? He wakes up in a strange bed in the aftermath of an orgy, blood on his shirt, and no idea how he got there.
Now Jason has to figure out how to tame Ian, save lives at the hospital (his boss is played by Phylicia Rashad), and not wreck his life or at least deter Ian from wrecking his life. Ian, by the way, is obsessed with Jason's ex-fiance Olivia (Ruta Gedmintas).
OK, a bit of the silly: Jason gets a cab to a motel at the other side of town because he's going to turn into Ian and he wants to do no harm. He gets his money, ID, credit cards and cell phone messengered to himself at work so Ian can do no harm. When Ian arrives and discovers Jason has left him with nothing, he trashes the room. Luckily, he finds Lena's number. He calls her. She arrives at the rundown motel and sees it trashed and is only mildly curious, when she should be thinking "WTF? Why are you at this dump? Are you on drugs? I'm out of here!"
But then that would ruin this whole conceit -- thinking, I mean. What doctor, for instance, do you know of who is only on call during the day? And God forbid, you're his patient and you get sick at 8:26 p.m. Cuz Ian isn't a surgeon. (That possibility is quickly explored, providing the only real moment of menace in the show.)
"Do No Harm" is a monster mash of ideas. It's a typical medical show mixed with a "Grimm"-like fantasy drama but the parts don't fit well. It might be stronger if Ian was really a Hyde (as in a killer type). Right now, it just seems like Jason needs to up his organizing skills.
I gotta give it to Pasquale; he does a good job creating two characters in one body and you buy it, even as you dismiss the whole thing as plausible.
And that's the thing: "Do No Harm" lives up to its name. It's watchable. It won't kill you but it won't make your brain stronger.