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A Gifted Man: Is the New CBS TV Series Worth Watching?

A Gifted man TV seriesIt’s hard to believe that we’re at the end of the first official week of the new fall season. There are lots more shows to come but, tonight, CBS unveils the last of the week. It’s called A Gifted Man, a drama that’s part House and part Ghost Whisperer.

Patrick Wilson stars as gifted and very successful surgeon who is wrapped up in his materialistic world. His life gets turned around when his late wife (Jennifer Ehle), the love of his life, appears to him and starts to change his point of view about what’s important. Julie Benz, Liam Aiken, and Margo Martindale also star.

Is A Gifted Man worth your time? Here’s what the critics are saying:

NY Daily News: “The cast here nails their roles, from Wilson down to support players like Emmy winner Margo Martindale as his loyal assistant, Rita. Ehle has a much trickier role and handles it well. It’s a show that wants to say something. Now it needs viewers who want to listen.”

LA Times: “If coming to understand that poor people need MRIs too is not lesson enough, Michael’s Grinch-sized heart also needs to warm to his own family — a troubled nephew and a loving but decidedly dippy sister, Christina (Julie Benz), who not only takes the whole ghost scenario instantly in stride, she sees it as the ‘cosmic gift’ it clearly is. With just a few tiny modifications, A Gifted Man could be a smart satiric comedy, but I don’t think that is what Grant is shooting for.”

Boston Globe:ER did a lot of interesting storytelling around national health care issues. But with all its ghost whispering, A Gifted Man runs a lot closer to the Dead Denny category of medical-drama narratives. Grey’s Anatomy viewers will flinchingly recall the exhausting and absurd Dead Denny plot, which had Katherine Heigl’s Izzie undergoing hallucinations of – and sex with – her late fiance. A Gifted Man needs to transcend that limited and overused construct, and set the characters free from endless debate over whether Anna is real or not. Let the actors find drama in more earthly concerns. I think they’re up to it.”

USA Today: “Thanks to all the talent, what could have been an incredibly hokey Ghost Whisperer retread has much more moody potential. Wilson has the magnetism and acting chops to lead a network series, and while Ehle’s Anna starts off a bit too angelic, we’re promised she’ll become more complex. The producers have also promised that Martindale’s Rita will do more than read Michael’s schedule off a clipboard. Gifted Man could not have been given better actors. It needs to give them better in return.”

AV Club: “As a pilot, A Gifted Man works, early clunkiness aside. Will it work as a series? Only time will tell. There’s a good show in here about a man who learns what it is to be good, thanks to unusual circumstances, sort of a Breaking Bad in reverse. But there’s also a clumsy medical drama that frequently goes in for goopy New Age mysticism. Demme helps the pilot mostly avoid that tone, but he won’t be around every week, even if he’s serving as a producer on the series. On the other hand, CBS is the network where a similarly high-concept drama—The Good Wife­—popped up a few years ago, only to gradually evolve into one of the best shows on television. With time and patience, this is a show that could be that good. But the fear, as always, is that this will simply collapse into an ocean of overly maudlin syrup, dragging the audience down with hard to stomach sentimentality. And while that’s probably the most likely scenario, even if that happens, we’ll always have the pilot.”

What do you think? Are you going to watch A Gifted Man? Do you think it has a chance on Friday nights or is already doomed to be cancelled?


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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

bette November 30, 2011 at 9:16 am

I love this show….great actors and love the story line – rich doctor seeing how the other half lives. …please don’t cancel.


Tracy October 9, 2011 at 5:42 am

This is a great show! I am so tired of new shows coming on, but then getting cancelled. These shows need to be promoted more. This show has some great actors and a great storyline. I hope this show is given a chance!


Carlo October 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm

The show may be predictable, cliche as everyone says. but it feels good all around. It’s so good that I don’t usually write comments, but I wanna back this up.


Rosita October 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

Instead of going out I stay home on Friday nights to watch CBS Drama starting with A Gifted Man. I love A Gifted Man and do not want to see it cancelled. Great acting, storyline and cannot wait until the next epidoe. Patrick Wilson is amazing as Michael and cannot seem another actor in the role. CBS please do not cancel A Gifted Man!


Leighann Von hoelle September 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Loved it! Can’t wait for next week…..


Cornbone September 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm

The show, with all it’s talent truly stinks…..
Nothing new here, just mediocrity as far as writing, Directing and acting.

The show is going to bomb and it deserves it…….


Debby Modis September 24, 2011 at 11:25 am

Give this show a chance. I think it will prove to be a very good show in the long run,but then again you always cancel the shows I end up liking. Give this one a chance at a long run will ya? It has promises.


Georgia September 24, 2011 at 11:13 am

This show is VERY refreshing. Enjoyed it immensely! Will continue to watch.


ThatBob September 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Yuck. Eli Stone wthout the music meets House without the humor meets Ghost Whisperer without the cleavage — none of the good parts, but all of the sappy urge to beat people over the head with an obvious “message”. Everything was stock paint-by-number hollywood BS here — not a single character, including the arrogant surgeon, dippy new-agey sister, caring ex-wife, troubled teen nephew, sister’s knowing-but-goofy shaman dude, sports obsessed parents, too rich for his own good patient, sassy fat secretary, noble sick kid — every damn one of them was a cliche stock character we’ve seen a thousand times before, usually d0ne far better. Absolutely nothing new here at all. It may make it through the year, but the ratings are going to impress nobody.


sher September 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

The story line is so trite and predictable and sluggish. There must be better things on tv, today. Shame on your CBS.


Jo September 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm

It is fantastic.
Great combination of greys and ghost whisperer.


lucille September 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Gifted Man can be CANNED … Story line stinks..not worth watching rather watch reruns


JTR September 23, 2011 at 10:14 pm

You can be canned for the same reason!


CABowlesSr September 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I’m a little reluctant to express an opinion. Seems everything new that I like is doomed to be canceled. I suppose only the 18 to 49 group gets a say about what’s what on TV today.
I hope it sticks around for at least one season.


Rob Hood September 23, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Keep it! It’s well acted and fun!


anne moynihan September 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm

The first show was excellent, refreshing vision, great acting, and script, and beautifully produced. Hope it doesn’t meet the fate that other good shows like it have met: i.e. The Stone lawyer show who had visions. That was a fabulous one. Look forward to the next.


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