Global se­ries of­fers dose of Cana­dian drama re­lief

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Brad Oswald

IT’S pretty good medicine, but there’s noth­ing in the way of a mir­a­cle cure hap­pen­ing here. Global TV’s new home­grown drama Rem­edy, which pre­mières Mon­day at 8 p.m., is a well-cast and gen­er­ally lik­able se­ries that — at least, based on the two episodes that were made avail­able for pre­view — fully de­serves the cov­eted spot it has been given in the reg­u­lar-sea­son prime-time lineup. It’s a solid but by no means ground­break­ing ef­fort that com­bines a fa­mil­iar and re­li­able TV-se­ries set­ting — a big-city hospi­tal — with the al­waysfruit­ful frame­work of a multi-lay­ered fam­ily drama. Vet­eran Canuck ac­tor En­rico Colan­toni ( Flash­point, Just Shoot Me) leads a siz­able en­sem­ble cast play­ing Dr. Allen Con­ner, act­ing chief of staff at a large down­town (Toronto) hospi­tal. Also on call at the health-care fa­cil­ity are his two daugh­ters — Melissa (Sara Can­ning), a sur­geon, and Sandy (Sarah Allen), a nurse. The fam­ily’s hall­waymedicine dy­namic is com­pleted early in the se­ries pre­mière when prodi­gal son Grif­fin (Dil­lon Casey), once a promis­ing med­i­cal stu­dent but now a dropped­out, burned-out, per­haps-in-re­cov­ery drug ad­dict, turns up in the hospi­tal’s emer­gency room suf­fer­ing from a ma­chete wound to his back af­ter a brawl in a lo­cal strip club. Hav­ing not been seen by his rel­a­tives in more than two years, Grif­fin’s ar­rival in the ER causes quite a stir. And when it soon be­comes ap­par­ent that his wound is much less se­ri­ous than the one suf­fered by the other com­bat­ant, and that Grif­fin’s in­jury is far less threat­en­ing than the trou­ble he’s fac­ing with the po­lice, it’s time for the Con­ners to set aside their dif­fer­ences, close ranks and pro­tect their own. Luck­ily, Allen’s es­tranged wife, Re­becca (Martha Burns), is a lawyer who, de­spite an ap­par­ent fond­ness for day­time drink­ing, might be able to con­jure up enough le­gal loop­holes to keep Grif­fin out of the slam­mer. Just how this sto­ry­line plays out doesn’t be­come ap­par­ent un­til Episode 2, but the se­ries pre­mière does a pretty good job of es­tab­lish­ing the Con­ners as a rather in­ter­est­ing clan. And while they’re sort­ing out their var­i­ous prob­lems and power strug­gles, there’s a lot of other stuff hap­pen­ing at the hospi­tal. Zoey Rivera (Genelle Wil­liams), a mem­ber of the main­te­nance/ med­i­cal cleanup staff, suf­fers get­ting pricked by a nee­dle be­cause some­one — most likely a doc­tor or nurse — care­lessly dis­posed of a hy­po­der­mic nee­dle in a treat­ment room and finds her­self fac­ing the trou­ble, stress, tests and pre­ven­tive treat­ments that fol­low such a mishap. Mean­while, out­go­ing hospi­tal or­derly Bruno Dias (Diego Fuentes) is teach­ing ER physi­cian Brian Decker (Matt Ward) — who also hap­pens to be Sandy’s fi­ancé — a thing or two about bed­side man­ner, and the fa­cil­ity’s head of trans­port and house­keep­ing, Frank Kanaskie (Patrick McKenna), demon­strates that most of the re­ally im­por­tant de­ci­sions get made in the hospi­tal’s base­ment. Rem­edy hits the ground run­ning, and its first cou­ple of episodes do a bet­ter-than-aver­age job of cre­at­ing dra­matic mo­men­tum while at the same time es­tab­lish­ing a bunch of char­ac­ters wor­thy of view­ers’ in­vest­ment of time and emo­tion. There are a few notes that don’t ring true in the early go­ing, as one might ex­pect when a sto­ry­line is con­trived to get all the mem­bers of a fam­ily work­ing un­der the same roof, but Rem­edy’s earnest ef­fort at sto­ry­telling makes them mostly easy to over­look. It might not make you feel com­pletely bet­ter about the state of Cana­dian TV pro­gram­ming, but Rem­edy is good enough to of­fer at least a pleas­ant level of tem­po­rary re­lief.

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