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Saving Hope Review: Break On Through To The Other Side

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Three words for you about tonight's Saving Hope: Shirtless. Daniel. Gillies.

It might've been a clunky hook-up, but I can't say I minded that things got a little steamy for Dr. Goran on "Contact."

Alex Attempt To Save a Boy

Overall, there was a balance to tonight's episode. For everything I liked about it, there was something I didn't enjoy.

For starters, Charlie moved his hand when Alex played the song from the night they first said "I love you." I'm glad that he showed progress, as it gives viewers hope that he won't be in a coma for the entire series. That would get tiresome after a while.

But I didn't appreciate that the idea to play the track for him was delivered by his incredibly creepy ex-wife. Seriously. The rubbing on his chest and all Alex did was ask her to stop? There should've been a girl-fight complete with hair pulling. Show some emotion, Alex!

Introducing his ex-wife right now seemed unnecessary unless the idea is to paint Alex as cold, calculated and methodical instead of warm, caring and emotional. If that was the goal, they succeeded. While part of me likes that she only breaks down when she's alone, or when she's alone with Charlie, there's another part of me that wants to see her lose it because that's what's normal.

I certainly don't mind that Goran got some action! But I do mind that it was with Maggie.

There's nothing about this pairing, specifically the fact that she pursued him, that makes him seem like a womanizer, so that puts us right back where we were on the pilot when it didn't seem likely that he was a huge jerk surgeon. It was also out of character to have him attempt to sidestep Maggie's advances. For that matter, it seems out of character to have her be so forward. Last week she seemed like the timid, eager to please med student and this week she's a woman on the prowl.

I just feel like these characters either aren't well written or haven't been very well fleshed out for any of them to really fit yet.

And is it just me or is this the least medical medical drama on television?

Yes, setting the broken leg without painkillers was gruesome. The actress playing that guest role sold that. She screamed and I cringed. But the scenes with medical emergencies don't feel like emergencies. The language feels stilted, like the actors aren't comfortable with it, and no one seems to be in a hurry. The set feels like a set and not like a real hospital. It's too clean or too bright. Too something. And I'd be remiss not to mention the blue haze. Maybe I've just watched too many episodes of ER and House and my perception of medical dramas is skewed.

If it's not supposed to be a true medical drama and just happens to be a drama set in a hospital, then I like the idea of Charlie coming out of his coma and still being able to see those who are caught in-between. I don't know that that's the direction the show would take, but I like the supernatural element. If Charlie comes out of his coma and that element is lost, I think the show will lose some of its appeal.

The thing that stood out most, however, and which somewhat redeemed the episode, had to be Charlie's closing monologue:

Charlie: Basic human contact is bigger than any idea. It takes you outside yourself. It's more comforting than words. Without it, we'd die. Sometimes, it's not enough. And sometimes it's enough for now. Contact grounds you. It brings you back. | permalink

That line brought the disjointed pieces of the episode together. The little boy helped Charlie make contact with Alex, even if her thoughts were dismissed by the nurse. Because of the boy's drawing, she played the song despite the fact that she dismissed the idea when his ex-wife presented it. Because of the song, he moved his hand.

Human contact made the husband decide to save his wife's life despite the fact that doing so meant they broke with their religious ideology. And, well, Goran and Maggie made contact, too. (Check out the rest of the Saving Hope quotes on the quotes page!)

Since it's only the second episode, I'm inclined to be kind to this fledgling drama. It definitely has promise and potential. But right now, I feel like it's struggling a little. I'm saving hope that it will come together soon.
What did you think of "Contact"? What do you think of Saving Hope so far?

Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (86 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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continued... This is why Alex reacted so negatively to Joel's attempt to be nice in the premiere; it was like he was tempting her to go to an emotional place where she didn't feel safe yet. This is Alex's arc. She needs to regain the sense of hope--her trust in her own emotions-- she lost and which found safe harbor in the realist Charlie was. As for Maggie. In the premiere, she flirted with Gavin and even asked him to meet her in a cubicle. There's also a big difference between confidence professionally and confidence personally, especially when the kind of hook up sought is one without emotional risk (i.e. a just sex). I'm glad you appreciated the threads coming together after having it spelled out for you in Charlie's dialog. Then again, you seem to miss a lot of details and subtext.

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Alex retreats into detached pragmatism because she worries about her emotions overwhelming her. From her own account, Joel broke her heart and that betrayal drew her to Charlie's practicality. Those walls she's put up do come down at times when her care for Charlie overcomes her defenses, but she obviously fights it. I think it's misguided to define "normal" so narrowly. Also, when Alex spoke of Joel's past (i.e. banging nurses) she was speaking about the Joel she knew years ago. So far Alex has been the only one to characterize him that way and it's clearly a perception based on the fact that he was unfaithful to her while they were in a relationship. He broke her heart so she's prejudiced against him. We might be convinced but Joel's task is to convince Alex. There’s been a clear thread about Alex's response to "nice" behavior. In 1.2 a friend tells Alex she should let people be nice to her but she fights it because she's worried she'll start crying and not stop. This is why Alex reacted so negatively to Joel's attempt to be nice in the premiere; it was like he was tempting her to go to an emotional place where she didn't feel safe yet. This is Alex's arc. She needs to regain the sense of hope--her trust in her own emotions-- she lost and which found safe harbor in the realist Charlie was. As for Maggie. In the premiere, she flirted with Gavin and even asked him to meet her in a cubicle. There's also a big difference between confidence professionally and confidence personally, especially when the kind of hook up sought is one without emotional risk (i.e. a just sex). I'm glad you appreciated the threads coming together after having it spelled out for you in Charlie's dialog. Then again, you seem to miss a lot of details and subtext.

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I don't see why anybody would not give this show a great rating. I personally love it. This is why so many good shows get cancelled too soon. You get a couple of negative type reviews that people believe instead of actually trying out the show themselves. I hear it so many times, somebody will say, oh, I hate that show, and I ask,have you ever watched it. The answer is usually no, but I heard it got bad reviews. I feel if a show entertains me for the 30 or 60 minutes, I like it, because that's what it's supposed to do. Try it, before you condemn it.

Sarah silva

I am enjoying this show, it has potential. However if it was on in the fall I think it would not last and I may not watch it if it were up against other shows I had on at the same time!
I was full on expecting a girl fight! If it were my husband seeing his ex wife or really if any woman was touching my husband that way I would kick their butts!
I am super jealous of the actress that plays Maggie for having that steamy scene with Daniel Gilles!! LOL!

Fruit salad

(cont.)
just really irks me. What wold be great would be if they made Alex actually move on and fall in love with someone else, and that's when he wakes up. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. P.S. what is wrong with the lights? It's all so weird and wrong, it ruins the set. They'd better fix this, because I can't properly appreciate DG's godly hotness when he's blue.

Fruit salad

I think this episode is far better than the previous one, but it's still just average. I'm watching this for Daniel Gillies, and though the shirtlessness was awesome and certainly delivered, the rest of that scene was just awkward. We've seen nothing of the womanizing jerk Goran is supposed to be, in fact, he might just be the nicest guy at the hospital. What kind of a womanizer asks how the comatose man is doing, rather than hitting on the fiancée? But Gillies so pretty they can make him a schizophrenic drug dealer with mommy issues and I'll still be watching. Aside from that, I really think this show could do without Charlie. And that's bad, because this is only the second episode and I've already grown tired of the main character. But he's just so cheesy, and aside from talking to dead people and looking at Alex, he's got nothing to do. I hope he wakes up soon, because he does seem like an interesting person, but having a ghost walking about copying Meredith Grey's monologues just really irks me. What would be great was if Alex actually moved on and fell in love with someone else, and that's when he woke up.

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with medical shows now, you get a flood of medical jargon, with this one the medicine is a plot device to futher the personal situations and storylines alone, so its only given the bare basics. I'm loving the show and agree that Charlie needs to wake up soon and either remember or can see/do something he wasn't able to before.
I think thats the biggest issue, where are they going with the storyline?

Danielle50

I admit this show is lacking but Daniel Gillies keeps me glued because he is so charismatic. Then, how many times is they going to let that little boy die that it was starting to get boring real fast. Nobody can die that many times and be resurrected. I really hope this show can become better as time go on. I am glad they brought in the ex-wife because Alex was only looking out for Charlie as a doctor.

Saving Hope Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Charlie's ex wife: I see you doing all this nursemaid stuff for him, but what are you doing for him as his wife.
Alex: I'm his fiancee.

This is what I love about you, Alex. You face things. You walk towards trouble. You look it right in the eye. And when you have to, you fight.

Charlie
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