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August 28, 2015

Trauma: Pilot (series premiere)

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 29th 2009 2:35AM
Trauma(S01E01) The first question I had after watching the new NBC medical drama Trauma was this: can the show keep this up every week?

You can tell a lot of money was spent on the pilot, because the first 20 minutes is like Irwin Allen: The Movie. Helicopters crash, cars explode, children are endangered. It's like those big episodes of ER where something massive happened, only this is going to be a regular thing with this show (if, as I said above, they can spend a lot of money on future episodes).

But what about the rest of the show? It's one thing to have big accidents and pyrotechnics (which are actually very impressive) but what about the cast, the writing, the stories?

Right off the top, the bad: the dialogue kinda stinks. Cliched, with too much exposition and "dramatic" scenes.

Beyond that, the set up is good. I didn't know the launching pad of the show's theme would be that accident at the start, with all of the major players being affected by what happened and who lived and who died. This is one of those shows that works better if you haven't seen any promos. Two big twists, one at the start and one at the end, were kinda spoiled by those promos, so if you turned this show on without knowing anything about it, you probably liked it more than some people might.

I don't think the show is as instantly engaging as ER was (it doesn't help that there doesn't seem to be one static, recognizable set like ER's, so it feels all over the place), though there are many things they have in common. I think Cliff Curtis is supposed to be the George Clooney character: brash, always going against the rules, wisecracking. I don't remember the first episode of ER having a really dumb scene like this one has, with Curtis flying around in a car, recklessly, ripping off a car door. Just didn't ring true. But he's good in this.

Derek Luke, Anastasia Griffith, Aimee Garcia, and Jamey Sheridan round out the cast. It's a good cast stuck with a stale script, so the characters are just cutouts right now. But we'll see what happens in the coming weeks.

[Watch episodes and clips of Trauma and other shows at SlashControl.]

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I'll give it a shot. I LOVE Rabbit.

September 30 2009 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Holtzinger

I didn't feel this was must see, or even want to see tv. I'll give it a few more episodes before I make a final decision.

September 30 2009 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eli Burke

I'm in the "not impressed" camp. Mercy is a better medical show, and the characters are much more likable.

In the first scene, all I could think about was how incredibly implausible it was to have 3 ambulances and a helicopter all come to a single accident scene for a single electrocution victim. What insurance company in the world would pay for that?

September 29 2009 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott R

Come on Bob, what's with the wishy-washy verdict?! Don't you know we're supposed to judge a show based on the first episode (and maybe the 2nd and 3rd as well)? I mean, we're not tv executives, who sometimes give a whole season to decide whether a show is good. Instant judgment worked for Dollhouse, because the first few episodes were an exact representation of the rest of the show. (sarcasm off)

September 29 2009 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the special/visual effects were absolutely awesome, but once the accidents stopped happening, the episode immediately stalled. The dialogue was stupid throughout and the cool twist in the beginning was horribly misused. I actually enjoyed Mercy more than Trauma. There were some times I actually smiled at something. With Trauma, I was constantly pausing to shake my head at the disaster in front of me. Full review of the episode.


September 29 2009 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show stinks, a snooze fest. The only one of any intrest is Rabbit. I like Jamie Sheridan, sorry hes on this failed show.

September 29 2009 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

yeah, well my NBC affil pre-empted Heroes and Trauma (and leno as well, but who cares?) for Football.
Trauma will be aired 3AM wednesday morning, Heroes at 3am Thursday, and leno, well, nobody cares about leno.

September 29 2009 at 2:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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