Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review - Necessary Roughness Season 1 Episode 1 Pilot

Necessary Roughness feels like a show torn between USA brand--the light, breezy procedural--and a show that is deeper and darker. Its procedural elements are fairly simple--Callie Thorne playing Dr. Danielle Santino, a therapist who starts working with a football team.That alone could have worked if the show was like Royal Pains, the show proceeding it. Dani could have an array of weird and quirky clients while she messes with their heads until their problems are solved, and Necessary Roughness does feature that

But the show differs in that the usual USA show would put family drama and story arcs below the procedural, devoting a small amount of time, usually to the beginning and end of the episode, for those purposes. Instead, the therapy parts of the show are shoehorned into inconsequential segments which all appear to be the same--football player TK doing bad things before Dani calms him down. Is that what therapy is, a couple minutes of someone lying down while the therapist says a few lines?

What takes precedence is the relatively dense family drama--Dani dealing with her sleezy soon-to-be-ex husband, her daughter acting out. There is some dark stuff in here and Callie Thorne readily handles the material. However, when these parts of the show start kicking in, we're soon reminded that Dani also has to take care of a patient and we're stuck with scenes which don't quite work.

Score: 8.3/10
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