First Impression: Do No Harm Presents a Doctor Who Can't Hyde from a Dark Secret

Do No Harm - Season PilotThere are more than a dozen scripted programs debuting in early 2013, including a quirk-free (!?) David E. Kelley dramaFelicity as a 1980s KGB spy and what The CW hopes will become a Cult hit. To help you re-prioritize your DVR, TVLine is offering First Impressions of several of the new shows. Next up on our list…

THE SHOW NBC’s Do No Harm (Thursdays at 10/9c, premiering Jan. 31)

THE COMPETITION | Elementary (CBS), Scandal (ABC), Suits (USA Network) and Archer/Legit (FX)

RELATED | Horror Story’s James Cromwell Joins NBC’s Do No Harm Thriller in Pivotal Role

THE CAST | Steven Pasquale (Rescue Me), Steven Pasquale (Rescue Me), Alana De La Garza (Law & Order), Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show), Lin-Manuel Miranda, Samm Levine (Freaks and Geeks) and others

THE SET-UP | Pasquale pulls a double shift as Dr. Jason Cole (say it aloud: “Doctor J-Cole”), a neurosurgeon who struggles to contain a dangerous alter ego (dubbed “Ian”) that threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and professional lives. (The rule book: Jason turns into Ian at 8:25 pm every night, and they switch back exactly 12 hours later. So… Jason has been missing out on all the 30 Rock tags?) Rashad plays Cole’s boss, Dr. Vanessa Young; De La Garza is Dr. Lena Solis, a colleague/romantic interest; and Miranda plays Ruben, a lab whiz who labors to help the good doc “hyde” his bad secret. There’s also some business about Jason’s ex/baby mamma and the son he’s not allowed to see.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | If you were among the 17 people who watched Christian Slater’s My Own Worst Enemy (also on NBC) and can get past Do No Harm‘s similar devices (e.g. Jason and Ian update/taunt one another via iPhone videos), you may opt to take a leap with this unarguably guilty pleasure and cue up the premiere with the most open of minds. Episode 2, I believe, will be the dividing line for anyone on the fence, since it opens with a montage of the men Do No Harm - Pilotmeddling with one another’s lives/livelihoods; it’s meant to be darkly amusing, yet it underscores what a complete and total [expletive] Ian is. Also, I wish the show was shot with some — meaning any — flair to match its far-out theme, instead of being presented as a straight hospital drama, which it is not.
    Among the cast, Pasquale makes for a solid series lead and has his best moments as conflicted, brilliant Jason, while the writing finds Ian falling juuust shy of mustache-twirling. The luminous De La Garza ably bears the second-largest cross here, playing a smart woman drawn to Jason despite his intermittent, “inexplicable” bouts of [expletive]ness; their first “date” is quite the nightmare, even more so now that a line intimating that Lena likes it rough has been scrapped. Rashad is charming in a thankless role; Levine offers comedic relief as Jason’s oblivious assistant.

RELATED | Hot for Winter: Your January Premieres and Finales Calendar

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | As a peer (I forget whom) quipped when Do No Harm got assigned its time slot: “An NBC drama about a guy living two lives, airing Thursdays at 10? What could go wrong?” (Sigh. Awake.) Leading out of 1600 Penn (aka the weakest link in the Peacock’s Thursday sitcom block) and premiering opposite fresh episodes of Scandal and Elementary, Do No Harm will surely test the network’s threshold for so-so vitals.

Watch a video preview for Do No Harm, then vote in our poll below.

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  1. Maggie says:

    I watched the first ep via i-tunes, mostly bc I’m a huge Steven Pasquale fan (ps gosh I miss Rescue Me!). It takes a while to get used to seeing Pasquale as a bad guy (Ian) bc he seems to always be playing the good guy. I’ll give it an ep or two, but I’m a big fan of Scandal & Elementary so this one may get relegated to “well I guess I’ll watch if i’m home on a Saturday night”

  2. Joe says:

    Saw it on iTunes ill dvr it , it on against scandal an elementary , so I doubt it will last

  3. wrstlgirl says:

    Well it certainly doesn’t help a shows chances if it is considered to be a dud before it even airs. A lot of people are easily influenced by the words of others.

  4. Name(less) says:

    Ugh! Steven Pasquale is such a talented hottie – WHY NBC, WHY would you schedule this against Scandal & Elementary?!

  5. kite says:

    It faces an uphill battle as it airs against Elementary which will have aired post-superbowl and will most probably rate higher than usual.
    Guilty pleasure, am in!

  6. nitemar says:

    Worst day and time. Good luck!

  7. MaryAnn says:

    I really liked “My Own Worst Enemy” — both alter-egos were viable characters in their own right, just very different. If this one is going to be a really nice, normal guy, versus a 2D, evil mustache-twirler, then it has limited interest. I want to see both personalities as 3D and well developed, just very different. (Will Ian’s personality fill out as he gets past the first edge of anger and revenge for being cooped up and not allowed to live his life for so long?)

    At any rate, I will watch 3-4 episodes and give them a chance to develop Ian’s character and for the show to find its footing before making a decision. Good thing I watch things online though, because if I had to make a decision between this one and “Scandal”, “Scandal” would definitely win. I am betting that “Do No Harm” does not get a renewal though, given the vote for how excited people are about it, and its placement opposite both “Scandal” and “Elementary.” I just hope that the network runs all the episodes it ordered and does not leave the viewer hanging at the end so that those of us who *might* get interested can watch without worrying about being left in mid-storyline.

    • Cyn says:

      Why didn’t anyone tell Christian Slater they revived his old show with rewrites? I’m sure he could have used the work. lol I really liked My Worst Enemy.
      I wonder if NBC learned how to promote this show this time around.

  8. Michele says:

    Its essentially another Steven Moffat show (ala Elementary being Sherlock) ripped off by Hollywood and watered way down…. yawn!

  9. TVDIVA says:

    You can catch the pilot for free on ITUNES.

  10. meem says:

    I’m still bitter that Awake got cancelled. Pass.

  11. Sam says:

    Judging by the poll results here this won’t last long at all. The commercials make it look AWFUL.

  12. Tran says:

    Don’t know if Do No Harm is not like My Own Worst Enemy (same network: NBC) but in a different version of it.

  13. Dr. Opossum says:

    Some shows go too far in expecting you to sympathize with their protagonist. The lead character is crazy – why should I want him to keep his doctor’s job? He should be locked away. I feel the same way about The Americans coming up – arrest Keri Russell and her fake hubby because they deserve it if they are Russian spies.

  14. N says:

    Dr. J. Cole HeeHee!

  15. apps says:

    What i don’t realize is actually how you are no longer really a lot more smartly-appreciated than you might be right now. You are so intelligent. You know therefore significantly in terms of this subject, produced me individually imagine it from numerous various angles. Its like women and men are not interested until it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. At all times maintain it up!

  16. cara says:

    I saw it on itunes and I really enjoyed it! On top of that Steven Pasquale is HOT!

  17. Amilah says:

    Ugh, can’t stand this dude and have no intention of supporting it because it knocked Grimm back until March. Plus, DVR is already committed to Elementary and Scandal. All I can hope is that this show lasts one or two eps and they bring back Grimm.

  18. Dizzle says:

    I really want this to do well, but it seems to be targeting a similar audience to Scandal and Elementary. I don’t know why NBC doesn’t flip this with Deception, nobody’s watching that show anymore!

  19. Alice says:

    So basically it’s an American version of Moffat’s Jekyl?