Heartbeat Recap

Heartbeat: Did NBC's Medical Drama Get Your Pulse Racing?

The future of NBC’s Heartbeat likely depends on how viewers respond to the “look at me!” opening minutes of Tuesday’s special preview: Heart transplant surgeon Dr. Alex Panttiere (played by Alias‘ Melissa George) MacGyvers a medical procedure on a plane, gets her blouse bloodied and then speaks at a conference wearing a retro flight attendant uniform. It’s either cute or gimmicky, depending on your tolerance for such things.

Before you weigh in with your snappy judgement, let’s briefly recap the pilot:

Alex, in case you glossed over the show’s marketing materials, is a rebel. As the hospital’s Chief Innovations Officer, she’s all about cutting-edge medicine – and cutting red tape to do right by her patients. As one of the few female heart transplant surgeons in the country, she’s used to fielding sexist pickup lines like, “What does someone like you like to do in her spare time?” Alex’s reply: “I like long walks on the beach, hot bubbles baths… and the sound of cracking a patient’s chest open like a lobster first thing in the morning.”

At home, things are a little different. The mother-of-two is divorced, but she and her gay, musician ex-husband (Togetherness‘ Joshua Leonard) get on like gangbusters. He gives her fashion advice and is even friendly with her current boyfriend, Dr. Pierce Harrison (Brothers & Sisters‘ Dave Annable). Alex, however, is hesitant about her beau. He did once cheat on her, but the real issue is the return of Dr. Jesse Shane (Childhood’s End‘s Don Hany) as Chief of Surgery. Twelve years ago he was Alex’s mentor… and possibly something more. All that is not lost on Pierce, who tells Alex, “I want you to figure out what you want – as long as it’s not a matter of who you want.” (If you ask me, Pierce > Wannabe McDreamy.)

Heartbeat RecapThe dynamic between Alex and Jesse is complicated by the fact that she’s now an impressive surgeon in her own right. So when Jesse steals a heart that she was planning to transplant into a dying patient, she fights back – unsuccessfully. But then Alex is able to turn a terrible situation into a gift when her patient’s ex kills himself so she can have his heart. Going against the hospital’s COO Millicent Silvano (Terra Nova‘s Shelley Conn), Alex performs an unapproved piggyback procedure in which the two hearts are joined to beat together forever. (In case you want to know why the doc is so invested in this patient, who has a devoted sister, it’s because her own sis was hospitalized, of course.) And because Alex is a rock star, she goes straight from work to a glam gala, where she runs into Jesse. “Why did you come back?” she asks, to which he simply replies, “It was a good offer.” With even better… benefits?

What did you think of Heartbeat? Grade it via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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45 Comments
  1. Jack says:

    Why does Dave Anabale always play a young doctor?

  2. BrightLight says:

    I smell a Saturday burn off in some show’s future. I only got about 20 minutes into it before I turned it. It could be because I had other stuff on my mind or it was just that bad. I’m leaning toward the latter. I might try it again on Hulu when I have nothing else to watch.

  3. KLP says:

    For a show with presumably important dialogue, the audio sucked, mumble mumble music swell. Never did understand chief surgeon’s last mumble. Probably won’t matter as I don’t plan on watching again. She doesn’t deserve Anabale’s attention.

    • Sams says:

      The Chief of Surgery did indeed swallow alot of his words. Reminded me of the guy from Blindspot who’s australian too and tends to run out of breath mid-sentence.

      Otherwise i loved it.

    • fiberlicious says:

      I replayed that bit several times so I could read his lips. I think it was something on the order of “pick one.”

      • Martina says:

        It was ‘They’re calling you’ And as a Dr. I didn’t much care for the show, a lot of the medical procedures they talked about just aren’t available and a surgeon would be stripped for doing a procedure they’ve never at least seen performed. Although the pronunciation of medical terms was spot on for a change.

  4. Kristine says:

    The commercial promo for it made me think it was going to be a stinker – watching it confirmed it. Thanks, NBC.

  5. brendamk58 says:

    I liked it a lot! I love all the actors and each seem to really fit their character. I love that it’s based on a real life person too! It’s got spunk! The same kind of spunk that Grays Anatomy & E.R. started out with. I used to love both series, but Grays Anatomy especially got just too weird and ridiculous. For the record, I’m an office/urgent care nurse, and my husband of 26 yrs is an ER physician.

  6. N says:

    I liked it! Glad it’s based on a real Dr.

    • Mary Smith says:

      I doubt the real doctor this is “based on” acts or speaks anywhere near like the Alex character does. Heart surgeons tend to be more serious, reflective and analytical in their thinking, and this manifests in their speaking and behavior. The Alex character was flighty, ditzy acting, babbled and mumbled…and this is all inconsistent with the mind of a brilliant surgeon — unless she’s playing with young children, of course.

  7. Sams says:

    I don’t understand the terrible reviews. It’s as if all critics signed a pact to bash any show that comes anywhere close to Grey’s.

    I didn’t expect much going in but i completely enjoyed the episode.
    Yes, alot happening and some gimmicky stuff which they could tone down abit but otherwise a solid hour of drama. Definitely watching the next ep.

  8. Bob Vanhalder says:

    I had to force myself not to change channels. I see no future for this show.

  9. Mona says:

    I couldn’t stand Melissa George on Grey’s Anatomy so that stopped me from watching the show.

  10. drhenning says:

    Melissa George’s best part IMO was on “In Treatment”.. Looks like it’s taking over Mysteries of Laura’s spot starting tonight…. This is not an awful show as many believe but MOL is much better… Maybe we are going to get a crazy operation of the week instead of murder on this show.

  11. Absolutely no desire to see it. I think the premise looks like a knockoff of so many other shows. (And not good good ones).. that being said, I had no clue Dave Anabale was in it. If i had I may actually have turned it on. I do think he is one of those actors who needs a really good 2nd breakout role cause he is a very good actor.

  12. Mary Smith says:

    “Heartbeat” was LOUSY. I had it on while I was doing exercises — preferable to dead quiet or whatever repeat show was on at the time. I love good medical shows like the new “Chicago Med.” But “Heartbeat” had only a few serious, believable scenes. The rest were an attempt to be comical (big fail), with an unrealistic portrayal of a cardiothoracic surgeon. No person on this planet, who behaves ON THE JOB as silly and giddy as this woman, is capable of being ANY surgeon. I can understand if you’re silly and giddy with your kids at the playground or even at a holiday party…but ON THE JOB IN A HOSPITAL DEALING WITH OTHER DOCTORS?? And the gimmicky, silly music in the background didn’t help. I turned it off about three quarters through. And I don’t believe for a second that the real surgeon that this show is supposedly inspired from, behaves anywhere near like the Alex Panttiere character. Very poor script writing.

  13. Steve says:

    Normally disinterested in this sort of show, but it was new, so thought I’d give it a try. I found the actors (particularly the lead) to be appealing and the show to be well-written. The pilot did telegraph upcoming reveals, but hey, they’re trying to establish things here. I’m cool with that. Wednesday at 8 seems like a good slot counterprogramming-wise. However, as the pilot didn’t get that strong a start, I wonder how many will find/chase it here. I don’t see it as appointment TV, but rather something I’d watch if there weren’t something else I found more interesting. For the record, I found the flight attendant outfit bit to be “cute.” It made me laugh. In retrospect, they set that up so I should have seen it coming from a mile away, as well – but I liked it anyway. I give Heartbeat a “Very Good.”

  14. Sheldon W. says:

    Looks like Dave Annable’s done two consecutive one-and-done shows.

  15. cuius says:

    Operation with everyday things on a plane – Episode 1
    Conjoined twins – Episode 2

    They’re going to rapidly run out of medical show clichés – probably cramming them in before the show is pulled

  16. Pamela Minton says:

    Great show and I pray it will stay on. So many really good shows come on and then they’re gone, no matter how great we think they are.

  17. HAP says:

    Critics were merciless to this show. Looks like viewer voting here confirms the critics. Mediocre ratings with the voice lead-in. It will totally tank tonight.

  18. C Fitzpatrick says:

    I was really looking forward to watching the show but I couldn’t get past all the male facial hair. It creeped me out so I changed the channel. Sorry – lose the beards and I may reconsider!

  19. Tracey says:

    Anyone else notice that he kids are different in this episode?

    • I did, that’s why I’m here. No more “special needs” kid obviously. And they’re younger too.

    • Jaclyn says:

      I did!! That’s why I came on here to read the comments! I thought I was going crazy..wonder why they did this.

      • Tracey says:

        Thank you!! I thought I’d gone nuts!!! Ok so they’re already changing characters, and storylines? So this show is done.

        • Marúkah says:

          omg thank you I thought I was seeing things! I even went back to check. They would have earned a bigger audience if they kept the special needs child. So many parents would have related. Epic fail there.

  20. kath says:

    Too soap opera for me. I watched Arrow and switched to this during commercial but every time, it was a relationship moment rather than a medical one.

  21. Alex says:

    I can’t stand Melissa George so an hour of her is an automatic “pass”.

  22. kpopersfap says:

    I personally enjoyed it and give it a chance guys. Its just the first ep, you dont know whats in store next for this show. I usually stop watching if it continues to be bad after 3 or 4 eps

    • everart says:

      Unfortunately the second episode was really awful (missed the first one). I like Melissa George but she isn’t doing well with the American accent, she’s almost as bad as Poppy Montgomery who fades in and out from Aussie to southerner to New Yorker. The writing makes me long for Red Band Society.

  23. Robert Behm says:

    Thought it was a good fast paced drama, it kept both my wife and my interest. We both really enjoyed it!

  24. knocked off due to severe weather in area, when do we get to see it in Tulsa?

  25. Krotondo says:

    One of my favorite TV shows of all time I LOVE IT!!!! But she needs to be with jesse

  26. rick says:

    I would like to know where dr alex wanted to go to study and missed out because of a mistake she made

  27. Marúkah says:

    Am I the only one who noticed there were 4 boys who played the 2 sons of Dr. Panttiere and not one of them resembled a replacement? I mean, they were clearly different ages! And this took place between the first two shows!!! (I’m just now catching up – don’t judge me!)

  28. Helen Drozd says:

    Yes, Dave Anabale looks very strange here, but in my opinion he becomes so sweet!!! )) does anyone know whether the second episode will come? I read once on sharingseries.com, that there will be one, but I am not sure if it is so.