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One Season Wonder: A Gifted Man

I'm trying out this new thing, in where I review shows that have only lasted up to a season. Hopefully if this works out well, this could be my blog's monthly feature. Last month my sister recommended that I watch A Gifted Man, so I spent my weeknights logging in medical episodes before I went to bed. While I found it to be entertaining, I thought it wasn't at par with other equally enjoyable medical shows such as House and Scrubs. Hit the jump for the review, but before you do, what do you think of this new feature-to-be?

A Gifted Man tells the story of this big shot neurosurgeon whose life comes tumbling apart when the ghost of his ex-wife appears before him, reeling him in to the drama contained within the family clinic she used to run. His clientele expanded to include those cases he handled back at the family clinic, working in it at his wife's prodding. He gets to meet a new set of doctors, including the new director of the family clinic. While he jumbles his old work and his new work, he deals with his personal issues, as to why he kept on seeing his ex-wife, or if he's suffering from some neurological case himself. 

The show got cancelled mid-air, so the last episodes were a bit of a cliffhanger, instead of the usual wrap up we get in the end. There is an abundance of medical dramas, and this one is no exception. In that pool, this one doesn't stand out. The medical part was entertaining. I loved how the cases they solved weren't as complicated as the ones in House. I also liked how there was some patient drama going on; it didn't feel one sided, but as the episode progressed, so did the lives of the patients and the people involved around them. The medical story lines basically reeled me in; there were a substantial amount of good plots, and sad cases that kept this show afloat. 

However, I found it hard to sympathize with the main character, portrayed coldly by Patrick Wilson. His portrayal wasn't remotely interesting, as I found his character scrambling for the right emotions to portray the right identity he wants to come off as. Does he want to be this cold-hearted person who doesn't give another thought? Does he want to be someone who comes off coldly but is actually a soft person? Does he want to be an intellectual person who mainly uses rationality? I felt like he had this identity that wanted to get out there, but with a weak script, it was hard to establish who he was and who he wants to progress into. 

The cast mainly interacts through the cases, with very little after work drama to spare. The show was made to revolve around Wilson's character, basically shunning off the rest of them, including those he should have a familiar history with. Only the ex-wife had some sort of significance, but she was shunned in the latter episodes. He had a sister and a nephew on the show, but they had no relevance to the movement of the show or in his life. I think his sister was meant to be another moving force of the supernatural since she was a believer, but her character did not contribute to that part at all.  We barely get a glimpse in the lives of the other characters, as they primarily appear when they interact with Wilson's character. I think that may be a reason why the show didn't get off the ground. There was a lack of substance to begin with, and instead of widening the show's horizons, it continually ignored others and focused more on Wilson's story line. There were a couple of scenes that shed light to some of the cast members, but it was minimal. Not to mention, the lack of chemistry between the cast. 

This show tries to be many things. It tries to replicate medical drama formulas that have worked on its fellow peers, but have failed on them. It never found its footing, and there never seem to be much of a connection between the story lines of the characters, and the characters themselves. It's not great, but it's not terrible either. It tried, it really did. The character history may be minimal, but it's a good watch if you're up for something light...or as a show filler while waiting for the fall season.