Sunday, October 9, 2011

Revisit This Show - Three Rivers

I love it when I discover an actor I hadn't watched much of before on one show and like him/her enough to check out other projects he/she has done.  Such is the case with Alex O'Loughlin, who I am thoroughly enjoying as Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett on CBS' current hit Hawaii Five-0, a show I already highly recommend.

O'Loughlin is well-known for the vampire series Moonlight, which I will be checking out next thanks to an upcoming marathon on the SyFy network.  But after that he starred as a transplant surgeon on the CBS series Three Rivers, which only lasted 13 episodes.

That's a shame, because the series, which is currently streaming on Netflix, is really good.  Beautiful production value, a good, cohesive cast and compelling stories.  I wasn't sure I was going to buy O'Loughlin as a soft-spoken doctor given the rough-and-tough Navy SEAL he plays on Five-0, but I was quickly impressed and on board for the show.

 Three Rivers follows the lives organ donors, doctors and transplant patients at Pittsburgh's acclaimed Three Rivers Medical Center.  O'Loughlin plays Dr. Andy Yablonsky who leads a team of top medical personnel in the quest to save lives through organ donation.  The series co-stars Katherine Moennig (The L Word, Young Americans) as Dr. Miranda Foster, a woman with a rebellious reputation strives to live up to her father's legacy; Daniel Henney (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Dr. David Lee, the swoon-worthy surgeon heartbreaker; Christopher J. Hanke (Big Love) as Ryan Abbott, the new transplant coordinator with little experience but a flair for acquiring and transferring organs to the patients; Alfre Woodard (St. Elsewhere, Desperate Housewives, Memphis Beat) as Dr. Sophia Jordan, the head of organ surgery; Justina Machado (Six Feet Under, ER) as Pam Acosta, Yablonski's operating assistant and best friend; and Amber Clayton as Dr. Lisa Reed, a beautiful young doctor who wears her heart on her sleeve and gets Yablonsky's heart racing.

Unlike shows like Grey's Anatomy, which focus more on the interpersonal (i.e. romantic) relationships between the doctors, Three Rivers is more about the patients and how donors and recipients tie together. The pacing works well in stressing how vitally important every moment is in delivering and transplanting organs - I was glad to learn more about this amazing field of medicine, even if through a television drama -  and the show isn't afraid to have losses as well as wins. The stories are compelling, touching and will pull on your heartstrings in that good way good storytelling does. 

One storyline that carries through the short-lived season is that of Kuol (Owiso Odera), an African man who has fought to survive his entire life and now fights to live long enough to receive a new heart. And a can't-miss episode features Mandy Patinkin (Chicago Hope, Criminal Minds) as a terminal ALS patient who chooses to die sooner so that seven people can receive his organs and live.  The series had great promise and I'm glad I was able to enjoy it, short-lived as it was.

Transplant Three Rivers to your viewing queue today.

1 comment:

  1. I barely made it through two episodes of Moonlight, despite Jason Dohring's presence. Ugh. I do like Alex O'Loughlin, though. I first saw him in season 6 of the Shield, which is not surprisingly still my favorite show he's been on :)