****A Gifted Man airs on the local CBS affiliate which is WBNS 10 TV and can be found on channel 10 . For HD channel versions, check your local cable or satellite provider for more information. ****
Ever since Watchmen, Patrick Wilsonhas been an actor I’ve been intrigued by. Considered like Jackie Earle Haley(who played Rorschach in the film) to be an indie darling, I’ve not seen much from Wilson that I’ve been aware beyond that, but when I heard he had a tv show, I was naturally intrigued. He was, besides Haley, my favorite part of the Watchmen film.
Enter the new CBS Friday night hour-long for those yearning for The Ghost Whisperer entitled A Gifted Man, which centers on an ultra-competitive surgeon whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife dies and begins teaching him what life is all about from the here-after. Wilson plays the ultra-competitive Michael Holt, who happens to run into his ex-wife. Before this chance meeting at a Chinese restaurant, Holt is nothing less than cold and callous but to the point and an excellent surgeon. Yet, with his ex-wife Anna (Jennifer Ehle) we learn is dead, and so she is visiting Holt from beyond the grave. Slowly but surely Holt loses his icy grip on his old ways in a few situations which begs the question: is it a tumor?
Holt tests himself via an MRI and it shows nothing. But his kooky seemingly white-trash sister Christina Holt, (Julie Benz) is into that spiritual ‘stuff’ and gets someone to help Holt wish away his vision or break in his aura. But holt isn’t as easy to let go of the only woman Holt ever really loved. So what now?
Well, Holt will help run his ex-wife’s clinic for the poor while helping his normal rich patients.
Or that’s the battle plan. Overall the tone of the show was a bit shaky, I wasn’t really sure if we should be hating Wilson or not, but Wilson is so good with his performance, that the shifting tone in the script for his character of Holt is balanced out by the real emotion that Wilson portrays. Also the direction by director Jonathan Demme also helps establish the tone that grounds a rather silly concept and what would be under other actors and directors shifty dialogue tonally. While I wasn’t a big fan of Ehle as Anna, I won’t completely judge the performance yet as besides the pilot, she didn’t have much to do besides going ‘Oooo help me help my clinic ooooo’. The real joy though was seeing Margo Martindalefresh from her Emmy win as Holt’s badly treated but hard working secretary/assistant Rita.
Overall the show is based in it’s performances from solid leads (Martindale and Wilson) and solid direction (Demme). How well the show will continue to do fails to be seen at this point, or the direction it will try to go (as of now, it seems there is no real story going on, just a case of the week concept) but I’ll be sure to check in with you all on the show in a few more weeks to see how A Gifted Man continues to stack up.
But what do YOU think, examiners?
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