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Ralph E. Portillo
Three Rivers is about the lives of organ donors, the doctors, and recipients of the organs at preeminent transplant hospital. Dr. Andy Yablonskiis the leader of the team of surgeons: Dr. Miranda Foster, a woman with a reputation of being a rebel and who strives to live up to her fathers legacy; Dr. David Lee, the surgeon that breaks all the ladies hearts; Ryan Abbott, the inexperienced new transplant coordinator whose come up with a complex new way of transferring organs to the patients; Dr. Sophia Jordan, the head of organ surgery and Pam Acosta, Dr. Andy Yablonski's operating assistant and best friend. These are the stories of organ surgeons and what it's like to be in a race against the clock. Written by
Katherine Moennig's brilliance is wasted on this show
I noticed a couple of comments about this series and there was something very interesting about them: they both made a point of mentioning Katherine Moennig's character and stating how 'unlikable' her character Miranda was. Was this just a case of sockpuppet trolling? Who knows? What I do know, though, is that Katherine Moennig has consistently turned in one of the most genuine portrayals on the show.
It's just a shame that CBS decided to pull a bait and switch on her. It seems as though the show she originally signed up for, the one that the original pilot was meant to be, was a show where three very different doctors - each with their own issues and challenges - would help patients and learn more about themselves and how to fix their individual issues as the series went on.
As it turned out, though, when CBS gave the show a green light, they also made some decisions. Namely that they were going to make this show revolve almost exclusively around the hunky but otherwise completely useless Alex O'Loughlin as 'the star' of the show. CBS figured that in this day and age, it doesn't really matter who the lead is, so long as they're good looking and can lure in a lot of bored and lonely housewives. They figured, why bother with the development of three separate characters when you can scale those other two back as much as possible - so that they and their respective characters barely get a passing skim in each week's episode - so that you can focus on the attractive guy meat. Let's face it: that's all Alex O'Loughlin is. A piece of meat in a labcoat. He might as well be gyrating his hips at a Chippendales show, for all that he can make this character of Andy Yablonksy seem like a real human being, much less anything like the character who inspired Carol Barbee to create the character in the first place. And he was - is - a real human being, transplant surgeon Dr. "Gonzo" Gonzales.
CBS's attempt to skip straight to McDreamy status with O'Loughlin's character is painfully sophomoric, much like O'Loughlin's acting. Katherine Moennig repeatedly turns in brilliant performances and yet she is sidelined and stuck on the back burner with usually little to nothing to do, episode after episode, ever since having the 'gall' to be better than O'Loughlin and show him up in the original pilot. I'll just tell you right now, CBS: Kate wasn't your problem! Your sucky choice of lead'/'star' was! So Kate makes their golden boy look bad and her character - despite the fact that Ms. Moennig is SECOND in the credits, after O'Loughlin - is scaled back to an amount of screen time that is mere seconds shy of 'recurring character' status. Nevermind the fact that she is the best actor on the show and had just come off of the longest running series Showtime had ever produced - The L Word - and had to literally be begged by creator Carol Barbee to participate. Well, Carol, was this really worth begging Kate to take part in? As a Kate fan, it doesn't really look like it is from here.
Kate's performance on this show is solid and strong and she frequently makes Alex O'Loughlin look as though he's just some random putz on the street who just stumbled onto a set and someone handed him a stethoscope and clipboard and told him to go stand in front of the big shiny things with the lenses. In episode 1x06, there's a scene where the entire team of doctors at Three Rivers get together for a board meeting and for the entire scene, Kate's character Miranda is completely quiet for almost the entire scene - despite the fact that Miranda has always been written as very opinionated - and yet she says one line and still manages to be more believable than O'Loughlin, who's flapping his arms about and over-emphasizing everything to prove that he's acting. There is no bell curve in this cast. You're either brilliant (Kate, Daniel Henney, Alfre Woodard, Justina Machado) or you're Alex O'Loughlin.
I honestly do hope that this show gets canceled. Mainly so that Kate can move on to a series or movie that will finally allow her to shine - that won't elbow her back because she's a threat to the superficial (and I'm only just this far away from calling it sexist) and obviously inorganic machinations of an entire network to make a painfully untalented but good-looking (let's never, ever forget he's good looking, CBS insists!) guy a star, come hell or high water. Kate deserves much better and is a much better actor than that.
I've stopped watching Three Rivers on TV. I won't support a show that pulls a bait and switch on one of its own castmembers. This could have been a brilliant opportunity for Kate to have some wider exposure to more mainstream audiences. Instead, she gets shoved to the back of the line again so that the handsome guys can take center stage and mug and preen for the camera. Kate had really high hopes for this character and so did I, but it's getting to the point where I can't deny it anymore: they ripped Kate off. If you're a Kate fan, this show is just not worth supporting because CBS refuses to listen to the Kate fans and give us what we're asking for. You're better off not watching it and letting it die so that Kate can move on to something even better.
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