Fall TV First Impression: The Mob Doctor Is In... Over Her Head

The broadcast networks have more than 20 shows debuting this fall, including a Revolution-ary drama from J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke, a Nashville home for Connie Britton and a new comedy from Friends‘ Matthew Perry. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions based on the not-for-review pilots. Next up on our list…

THE SHOW | Fox’s The Mob Doctor (Mondays at 9/8c, premiering Sept. 17)

THE COMPETITION | 2 Broke Girls/Mike & Molly (CBS), Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars (ABC), The Voice (NBC), Major Crimes (new, TNT) and Gossip Girl (The CW)

THE CAST | Jordana Spiro (My Boys), William Forsythe (Boardwalk Empire), Zeljko Ivanek (Damages), Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), Jaime Lee Kirchner (Mercy), Wendy Makkena (NCIS) and others

RELATED | Fall Preview: TVLine’s Snapshot Guide to All the New Shows

THE SET-UP | Spiro plays a lawyer for the LAPD. No, I’m just yanking your chain — she’s Grace Devlin, a surgeon compelled to serve as a doctor for a South Chicago mob, to offset a debt incurred by her scalawag brother Nate (As the World Turns‘ Jesse Lee Soffer).

RELATED | Check Out TVLine’s First Impressions of ABC’s Last Resort The CW’s Arrow, NBC’s Revolution and CBS’ Elementary

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | There is a show to be found in this concept, to be sure, but the pilot never quite gave me what I expected. I envisioned vignettes where Grace must report to one sketchy location or another to improv patch-up jobs on assorted thugs — “Look, she’s suturing Vinny ‘No Nose’ with fishing line!” — but the first episode only offers a hint of that and instead plays a huge card right off the bat: What if the mob wanted Grace not to save a life but purposely end one? A provocative (if here dramatically protracted) conundrum, yes, but now what will we do for November sweeps?
     Among the cast, Spiro is alternately plucky and fierce (a bit more Anna Torv than Sarah Jones), and she will — if only because of the Windy City setting — evoke melancholy memories of My Boys‘ PJ. (Spiro, though, has said that Grace more likely cheers on the Sox versus the Cubbies.) Forsythe is suitably domineering as the crime kingpin who (anvil alert!) it turns out has a haunting connection to Grace’s past, and Ivanek is of course solid (but of course has had meatier roles). Kirchner is given something interesting to do, playing neither Grace’s “person” nor a hissy rival but a sometimes-prickly something in between, while Gilford, as Grace’s doctor beau, is likeable but you just know the boy is gonna be lied to and have his heart crushed again and again. Makkena, as the Devlin family matriarch, was relegated to momentum-killing home scenes.

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | The CIA Figure Skater Mob Doctor will need to work hard to properly take the baton from Dr. Gregory House and settle in as Fox’s new Monday medical drama — and in a time slot where the network has had trouble launching series. With the well-watched Broke Girls and those possibly noisy Dancing all-stars commanding returning eyeballs, it could be prudent to keep the paddles handy.

Watch a video preview for The Mob Doctor, then vote in our poll below.

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36 Comments
  1. More like Anna Torv? Maybe I’ll watch for that reason alone.

    • Leah says:

      Anna Torv was criticized early on, but boy did Special Agent Olivia Dunham grow on me. So much so that no matter how interesting it got (which, apparently, it never did?) I could not watch Alcatraz because I could not believe Sarah Jones as a detective.

  2. Michael says:

    This will be one of the first shows cancelled this season.

  3. kikay says:

    sigh! I miss My Boys…

  4. greysfan says:

    I always watch all pilots in a new season as there can be some pleasant surprises, who thought Revenge or Once was going to be as big as they are. Especially Revenge overseas. However this one looks like a miss to me.

    • Gerald says:

      While that’s true, this looks terrible and I just don’t see being a pleasant surprise. From the trailer, it looks like Lifetime movie and it doesn’t help it has that terrible title. Don’t even get me started on Zeljko Ivanek…. He’s great actor and was great on Damages, he even won an Emmy. So why the hell is he doing this crap? He certainly deserves better.

  5. soarin829 says:

    I’m checking it out for the sole purpose of seeing Zach Gilford on my TV screen. And he plays broken hearted well. So if that’s what’s in store for him, I’ll take it.

  6. Templar says:

    Royal Pains meets the Sopranos? Pass.

  7. maltru says:

    I also miss My Boys. I’ll be giving this a chance, because I like Jordana Spiro, Zach Gilford, and Zeljko Ivanek, but I don’t have high hopes for this show.

  8. Mína says:

    I just want Zach Gilford to land a proper show. Friday Night Lights should’ve just run forever

    • Mína says:

      and Zeljko

    • Els says:

      I would most definitely start watching just for Zach. He is awesome. I hopes it leads me to an awesome show, but I doubt it. On the other hand, I started watching Sons of Anarchy only because Charlie was on it and wouldn’t have otherwise and I have fallen in love with that show. So you will never know…

  9. Mary says:

    I feel this show is going to be DOA, Fox has got rid of too many great shows, and with the end of House the final nail is in their coffin. Only Fringe is worth watching on Fox, and that show only has a 12ep season left. No more network drama watching for me, I will go to HBO, AMC or PBS for my drama fix from now on.

    • Katherine215 says:

      13 eps for Fringe, no?

      Anyway, if Fox wanted a show set in Chicago, they should’ve just kept The Chicago Code, which I loved to death. :(

  10. mia says:

    Such a stupid title, but I saw a promo last week on CTV so I might check out the pilot.
    .
    But its going to get cancelled so I won’t get to attached

  11. Renee says:

    Fox should have renewed Terra Nova.

  12. Krissy says:

    Watching for Zach

  13. Mark says:

    I’ve seen the trailer for this show multiple times from watching fox on demand and while at first I was like stupid, now I’m kinda digging the concept. It’s time slot isn’t competitive for me either so I plan on giving it a shot.

  14. Nicole says:

    It looks interesting but how long can it go on with the same idea for every episode. I will check it out but it won’t be on my must watch list.

  15. Webb says:

    Most of these posts have said for me. I just haven’t seen anything – or anyone – on the promos to recommend it, and this overview pretty much caps it off.

  16. Ram510 says:

    I miss My Boys!!!! And as much as I like Jordana I just can’t see myself finding the time to watch this terrible show, not even for her.

    Fox has had a really tough time with their dramas so I don’t see this one lasting long. It’s going to be another long season for Fox in the drama department

  17. daviduter says:

    Too bad. I really dig Jordana Spiro and she is in what SHOULD be a lay up of a time slot. Sure, I will be watching MNF in the fall. But who the hell watches 2 Broke Girls and Dancing with the F Listers. You people make me very sad.

    • mia says:

      2 Broke Girls is really entertaining, I look forward to it every week. There’s so few female-dominated shows on, let alone comedies
      (And my viewing tastes would be classified as ‘snobby’ just to give context)

  18. Raechel says:

    I will no longer watch any new shows on Fox. Once Bones is done I will be done with Fox.

  19. Patrick Maloney says:

    I can’t wait for this one

  20. madbengalsfan85 says:

    I only knew this show as “the one that comes on after Bones”

  21. nick1372 says:

    I will definitely check this out.

    FOX’s drama pilots this year are kinda lame comared to last year. All its dramas last year were heavily hyped (a Bones spinoff, Keifer Sutherland’s return to TV, a JJ Abrams production with a ton of similarities to Fringe, and a dino show) and Touch, Alcatraz, and Terra Nova were the three shows I was most looking forward to last year. Now Mob Doctor is like tenth.

    I noticed you’ve only reviewed the dramas I’ve been looking forward to this year. A happy coincidence. :-)

  22. Jill says:

    Too bad it’s in this time slot. I like Jordan and would watch for her alone. Up against the competition, like Alcatraz was, will make this show fail, unfortunately.

  23. My posts in the Arrow thread aren’t showing up. Testing to see if they show up here.

  24. sue maxwell says:

    We like the mob doctor we just cant wait for the next show. We enjoy it a lot hope they keep it. We try to guess what is going to happens before it does .Thanks

  25. Drpepmom says:

    I tape it. Love this show!

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