3lbs

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BRAINS OF THE OUTFIT Rainmaker Tucci keeps his hospital afloat.
Photograph: Eric Liebowitz; Vivian Zink/ABC BRAINS OF THE OUTFIT Rainmaker Tucci keeps his hospital afloat.

Time Out says

An unusually large number of good actors have turned up in bad (or at least mediocre) shows this season, and 3lbs—which traps Stanley Tucci in a by-the-numbers medical drama—may be the most frustrating of the lot because of its abundant promise. The title refers to the average weight of an adult brain, the organ which has made Dr. Douglas Hanson (Tucci) a very wealthy man. As anyone who has read Oliver Sacks knows, the world of neurology is full of esoteric ailments with stranger-than-fiction symptoms—a bottomless trove of material for TV writers. 3lbs makes good on some of that potential in the pilot with a plot about a young violinist whose fingers seize up midrecital, but the obviousness of the characters hobbles the show right out of the gate.

Hanson is, predictably, a brusque egomaniac with zero social skills (though his money and cockiness sure reel in the ladies), and his new research fellow Dr. Jonathan Seger (Mark Feuerstein, best known for his earnest guest roles on The West Wing and Once & Again) is—surprise—an ultraempathetic L.A.-to--New York transplant who teaches Hanson to view his patients as human (Griffin Dunne, meanwhile, plays a glory-hound radiation oncologist devoted to poaching Hanson’s patients). Equally aggravating is the way the series cribs from its genre rivals—the CGI-enhanced disorder-of-the-week intro is straight out of House, and Hanson’s tendency to play thematically appropriate classic rock in the operating room is too Nip/Tuck-esque by half. But while Hanson is a total stereotype, Tucci is good enough to make one hope the writers develop the courage to ditch the clichs and build a compelling show around him. Given CBS’s recent trigger-happiness, they’ll be lucky to get the chance. — Andrew Johnston

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