Three Rivers **
This Sunday at 9 p.m., CBS ran the series premiere of the new hospital drama, Three Rivers. The series follows a team of doctors as they deal with the politics and issues involved with organ transplanting. Located in Pittsburgh, Three Rivers is described as the leading transplant institution. The series tries to put a new spin on the all-too-familiar hospital drama by taking a look behind the scenes at the interactions between organ donors, the recipients and the institutions. This relationship inspires the title, Three Rivers, along with its historical reference to the Pittsburgh area. However, this slightly new take does little to inspire any excitement while watching the pilot.
Three Rivers attempts to touch upon moral subjects such as the issue of immigrants in conjunction with the state of organ donor rights. The episode featured an immigrant who was injured and killed on a construction site. The family members were left with the decision whether to allow the man’s heart to be used for a transplant.
Racism and prejudice art major themes throughout the decision-making process which play out in the show. However, this twist in the plot leaves the happy ending very much unscathed.
In the end, the family lets go of their preconceived notions of discrimination, and a fresh heart is delivered to a pregnant woman, who had developed a rare and fatal heart disease due to her pregnancy. By the end of the pilot, all of the problems have been tied up perfectly.
The cast of characters, though played by decent actors and actresses, do nothing to add any flare. The characters are generic, level-planed and idealistic, with little or no range for development. The protagonist, Dr. Andy Yablonski (portrayed by Alex O’Loughlin), is the typical optimistic, passionate, and “perfect” head of surgery. Dr. Miranda Foster (Katherine Moennig) is the straight-laced overachiever with a chip on her shoulder from being in the shadow of her father, who is said to have put his body and soul into erecting the facility. Dr. David Lee (Daniel Henney) is the smooth, playboy surgeon. Ryan Abbott is the wet behind the ears, inexperienced, eager donations coordinator. Then there is Alfre Woodard, who portrays Dr. Sophia Jordan, the stern, but caring, head of operations at Three Rivers.
There is not a single element in Three Rivers that has not already been done or overdone in the hospital TV realm. The dull characters combined with the predictable plotline add up to create more lackluster programming. Three Rivers is not a terrible show, but it does not offer anything special either.