To avoid the sluggish TV lull that is the first week of September, A&E premiered a two-part, two-night mini-series event from talented producer-duo Ridley and Tony Scott, director Mikael Salomon and screenwriter John J. McLaughlin. Unfortunately, “Coma” plays out much like being in a coma would feel.



The premise: First-year resident Susan Wheeler (Lauren Ambrose) spends the first two hours ferreting out the truth of the numerous, mysterious patients who fall into comas after routine surgeries.

The next two hours are spent in a mildly hilarious, campy, uninspired mash-up of what feels like every stereotypical “scary” or “shocking” plot device. It’s gently thrilling at best and soap-operatic at worst, a sad story for a mini-series packing this much acting, directing and producing talent.

The updated technology and look of the recreated world — based off the novel by Robin Cook — is the only bright spark in the four-hour snooze, yet simple modernization doesn’t do a whole lot to make up for the other glaring shortcomings.

“Coma” can’t bring anything new to the operating table, and if you manage to stay awake, well, you’ll probably wish you hadn’t.

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