The Brief: The lives of three nurses, both inside and outside of the hospital.
This show is pretty fundamentally screwed. It’s basically Grey’s Anatomy but with nurses, not doctors. So if you don’t like Grey’s Anatomy, you won’t like Mercy, because it’s the same show. If you do like Grey’s Anatomy you still won’t like Mercy, because it’s just nowhere near as good.
The whole show is like they took Grey’s Anatomy and washed it on too hot a setting until it was all damp, floppy, washed out and fuzzy. Grey’s has problems with categorisation, is it a drama, a comedy, a soap, a medical procedural or what? But watching Mercy made me feel better about Grey’s schizophrenia, because Grey’s is actually all of those things within the scope of a single scene sometimes and it does them all really really well. Mercy flip flops wildly around the spectrum and does all of them badly. A character in Grey’s (even in the pilot and early episodes) could get away with turning on a dime from laughing to crying and the audience laughs and cries right along with them because the dialogue and characterisation and acting are all superb. In Mercy they did that and I was left with whiplash trying to work out where on earth the mood swing came from.
I have any number of issues large and small that I could spend several pages going over, but it just isn’t worth the effort because this show is just poor. It’s not that it’s astronomically bad, but it’s just really weak and clumsy. Throughout the whole thing I just found myself rolling my eyes, sighing and muttering “aw, come on!” at ever increasingly bad pieces of writing. Even if this were the last thing left on the air, I think I’d still just re-watch my Grey’s Anatomy dvds on endless loop instead of giving Mercy any more time, even the episodes with the stupid g.