I just watched this week’s episode of the new medical drama with a supernatural twist, Saving Hope, last night, and I’m feeling the need to say just how much I am enjoying this show so far! We’ve only just had 2 episodes to savour, but I find that I am already emotionally invested in the characters – to the point of not being able to do anything else while it’s on, actually. Though nothing can replace the hole left in my TV-watching soul by the departure of my beloved Dr. House, Saving Hope is managing to ease the pain in leaps and bounds. My eyes and attention are again fully focused on the events unfolding on my screen each week, and I’m finding that I can’t even dabble with any creative projects I may need to be working on at the same time. It’s quite ridiculous, really, but only in the best way. 🙂
Saving Hope is based in Toronto’s fictional Hope-Zion hospital, where the popular and brilliant Chief of Surgery, Charlie Harris (played by the popular and brilliant Michael Shanks), has fallen into a deep coma, leaving the hospital struggling to care for him, while also trying to continue treating their patients without him. The one who finds herself most at the centre of this delicate juggling act is Charlie’s beautiful and talented fiancee, Alex Reid (played by the beautiful and talented Erica Durance), as she is instantly divided right down the middle – needing to save Charlie’s life and simultaneously save the lives of the other patients who come under her care. Alex is joined in her efforts by the newest addition to the hospital’s staff, star surgeon Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies, who has no legal right to look that hot in scrubs – apparently I have a weakness for surgeon attire), and the rest of the team, who now all look to her to set the tone for how to proceed through their daily chaos of hospital life.
Meanwhile, Charlie wanders the hospital halls unseen – not sure if he’s a ghost, or a figment of his own imagination. Still wearing the tux he’d planned to get married in when his accident occured, Charlie sees everything as it happens, and tries to solve the mysteries of the patients he encounters – as well as the reason behind his own coma – while also attempting to get a message through to Alex. He needs her to know that he’s still there – and to not give up on him.
It’s heartbreaking to watch their scenes together, really. Shanks has all the calm insight of a world-class doctor, but he can’t comfort the woman he loves when she can’t hear or see him, and it tears him apart to be so helpless. At the same time, Alex’s mind is in overdrive trying to figure out how to wake Charlie from his coma, and while she wants nothing more than to be by his side for every moment, she knows that she has a job to do for the other patients in her care, and she is determined to do it. Every so often, it seems like Alex can sense Charlie nearby, and we watch – just as helpless – as Charlie catches his breath and waits in hopeful anticipation that she can feel him.
Erica Durance is beautiful, and she inbues Alex with a genuine warmth, caring, intelligence and determination that anyone would love to see in their doctor, especially if surgery is required. And while we barely got to see Charlie as a doctor on this side, watching him interact with patients – usually as they are on their way out of this life – makes me hope that when my time comes, there is someone as beautiful, calming, gentle and openly caring as him standing next to me along the way. If he looks that awesome in a tux, too, all the better. 😉
While all of that emotional drama is going on between to two characters trying to hold onto one another across dimensions, there is also a whole hospital to keep functioning, and the stress that responsibility puts on everyone is evident on the faces of each and every member of this stellar cast (including Lost Girl’s K.C.Collins, who also wears scubs extremely well). From the new acting Chief to the interns struggling to learn in such a tense and rapidly-changing atmosphere, viewers get the sense that they are all just feeling their way in the darkness of this new territory – while finding out that maybe even a team without a leader can still be a team. In fact, it is through the sense of shared victories and losses, grief and happiness, strengths and weaknesses, that this remarkable little crew can draw you in, and take you from feeling like just a viewer – to being one of their own.
Kinda like Charlie Harris, when you think about it.