The Mob Doctor
Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox
I get what Fox is trying to do here: take a run-of-the-mill doc drama and inject some excitement by making the doctor beholden to mobsters and forced to do their bidding on the side. Unfortunately, the pilot wasn't always as exciting as that may sound.
A very likable Jordana Spiro ("My Boys") plays the Chicago surgeon working off her brother's gambling debt to the Moretti mob family. No one knows she's doing this, not even the shiftless brother.
The pilot opens strong with Dr. Devlin in the back room of a veterinary clinic removing a long screwdriver from a mob soldier's head -- without the benefit of x-rays or diagnostic tools -- while he bites down on a rubber chew toy. Intense.
The action quickly shifts to the hospital, which comes with the requisite office romance and office politics subplots, and that's where the story loses some momentum for me (despite the fact that her highly upright fellow surgeon and boyfriend is played by Zach Gilford of "Friday Night Lights"). The series also stars William Forsythe and Zeljko Ivanek.
The first episode defines the moral lines Dr. Devlin is willing to cross for her powerful bosses, when she's ordered (by mob leader Paul Moretti, played by Michael Rapaport) to not just save a mobster's life, but to take one. If she doesn't off the mob rat, her family gets hurt. What will she do?
The whole "Mafia entanglement" issue does get a very interesting twist at the end of the first episode, so I'm committing to another episode (or two) before I make it sleep with the fishes.