Last year, when NBC revealed its fall lineup, nobody thought that an innovative and witty little medicom buried deep within its Tuesday night comedy block on the most competitive night of television would eventually morph into the season’s most surprising hit. But “Scrubs” did just that, and now ABC is trying to capitalize on that success with one of its high hopes for the new season, the medical dramedy “MDs.”
Not a bad place to start, considering last year at this time, the only bright spots on its schedule were celebrity editions of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” The trouble is, “Scrubs” was an offshoot of an already played game, and “MDs” comes off kind of like a “Chicago Hope” for the “Scrubs” genre. What becomes is a cyclical regurgitation of the same characters, same topics, and same problems.
Having said that, “MDs,” which goes up against yet another medicine-themed show, CBS’ “Presidio Med,” enters the hospital scene with refreshing effectiveness, attempting to reveal the absurdity of the American medical structure in amusingly ridiculous fashion. Set in a fictional San Francisco hospital, Mission General, the show follows the lives of two renegade surgeons attempting to buck a merciless HMO system. Played by William Fichtner (“Black Hawk Down”) and John Hannah (“The Mummy”), Dr.’s Bruce Kellerman and Robert Dalgety will make up rules just so they have some to break in order to go face-to-face with the corporate suits of the money-obsessed system.
Both men do fine jobs, interspersing cocky disdain with gentle sensitivity and cunning wit; but the real fun lies in listening to Hannah Dalgety bark orders in his thick Scottish gnarl. While it’s next to impossible to cipher through the therapeutic gibberish he lays on, it doesn’t really matter because he could read a bus schedule to similar effect.
The rest of characters aren’t quite as unique or interesting, including the stereotypical uptight manager, by-the-book attending physician, and ambitiously na