PURE GENIUS is a show that I wish lived up to its name. There are already so many medical dramas out there; what could one more possibly do to make itself unique and distinctive from the rest? Its premise is actually quite intriguing I just wish it lived up to its full potential.
The pilot starts off with one of our two main characters, Dr. Walter Wallace, being fired. According to the board, hes been too cavalier with his choice of treatments for a cancer patient, who ended up dying while on an experimental medication that had yet to be approved. As Dr. Wallace leaves in disgrace, a coma patient is approved for transfer to a new hospital: Bunker Hill. Cut to Six Months Later, where Dr. Wallace is driving to Bunker Hill, a picture of its patron, James Bell, on the magazine in his passenger seat.
Already we have some problems. Pacing is a big issue this opening throws us into the midst of Dr. Wallaces life, with no reference for who he is or why we should care whats happening. The introduction of the coma patient is rushed, with some very on-the-nose dialogue from her parents and the doctor scrambling to catch the audience up on the past few months of their lives, and the cut to Six Months Later just feels jarring.
At this point its obvious that Dr. Wallace is supposed to be the stand-in for the audience, learning about the hospital, being shown the technology for the first time, meeting our cast of characters within the hospitals medical team, etc. Its a solid, classic narrative device, which raises the question: why didnt they just start the show off this way? Why show him being fired? Its much more organic for the audience to discover Bunker Hill alongside him, as, like he is deciding whether to accept employment at the hospital, we are deciding whether we want to stick around to watch the show. It would have been more natural to find out later about him being fired, perhaps in a conversation between him and James Bell. Which leads me to our other main character-
James Bell. The genius. Billionaire. Philanthropist. Our quirky entertainment for the evening, meant to be contrasted against Dr. Wallaces straight man act.
Its a proven formula, one thats worked for many films and shows. And Id say individually I enjoy these actors performances Augustus Prew is very winning as Bell, with a frenetic energy that makes it possible to believe hes created this whole hospital out of his own frantic genius; Dermot Mulroney as Dr. Wallace is steady as ever, the eye in the storm of Bells and the hospitals whirling activity. But for some reason, when theyre together on screen, the chemistry is lacking granted, by the end of the episode the characters still have only known each other for a few days, but, as the audience, youre looking for something exciting to watch. There has to be some kind of snap to their collaboration, some sort of energy that makes you want to see them team up to complete the premise being offered up. Otherwise, why tune in?
The first half hour feels the most scattered, as, after the introduction to Bunker Hill, we meet the rest of the team as they deal with various medical cases. Odette Annable plays the tough, strong-willed Dr. Zoe Brockett; Brenda Song, who I hadnt seen since her Disney Channel days, plays Angie Cheng, the awkward and unassuming tech wizard; and Reshma Shetty plays the serene, brilliant neurosurgeon Dr. Talaikha Channarayapatra. First of all, nice to see the line-up of women in the cast, but unfortunately we dont get much characterization out of them. The show is too busy rushing from case to case, which includes, in the first half hour alone: 1) a young girl in a coma, 2) a pregant woman with a tumor on her heart, and 3) a young boy with a medical bracelet used to monitor his health problems. Place all that on top of everything else the show is trying to do in setting up its premise, and its just too much. This show suffers from lack of focus; there are too many plot lines, and the characters and issues within them are not explored deeply enough for us to really care about any of them.
The second half hour is a bit better. The show finally slows its pace enough for there to be an actual emotional scene, when Margo Byers, the woman with the tumor on her heart, reveals her husbands physical abuse. This is a heartrending moment between Byers and Dr. Wallace; props to the actors for carrying that much emotion into the scene. Its the first moment the show starts to feel human, like it has something compassionate and worthwhile to say beneath all its frantic speed. In a premise that promises to change peoples lives, I hope we get more moments like that.
The second moment with real emotional impact is when Dr. Wallace reveals that he knows Bell has GSS a degenerative disease, like ALS on steroids. You can see the lie in Bells face when he denies it, and all of a sudden this show is balanced on a fascinating dichotomy how much of Bells motivation is compassion, and how much is selfishness? Is it saving the world if youre also trying to save yourself? Can it be both, and what are the moral implications of that? This dramatic turn is what gives me hope that Pure Genius has better days ahead. When it slows down its pace, fleshes out its characters, and focuses on the right stories, we could have something good here. Something with heart.
Im curious as to who came up with the shows name; a title like that would make it almost too easy to lambast. I would say right now, its not Pure Genius its Pure Potential. I cant love it or hate it yet; it has some good ideas that Im hoping will have their chance to shine when the actual execution of said ideas improves.
Season 1, Episode 1 (S01E01)
Pure Genius airs Thursdays at 10PM on CBS
Read all of our reviews of Pure Genius here.
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Cailin is a screenwriter and an aspiring TV writer. When not writing, shes busy convincing random passersby that Firefly was the best show ever, converting her co-workers into Whovians, and waiting for the next season of Sherlock.
Follow Cailin on Twitter: @Sherlocked
Keep up with all of Cailins reviews here.
Tonight on CBS their new medical drama Pure Genius premieres with an all-new Thursday, October 27, , episode and we have your Pure Genius recap below. On tonights Pure Genius episode called, Pilot, a veteran surgeon with a controversial past is enlisted to run an ultramodern hospital with a cutting-edge approach to medicine.l
The cutting-edge medical drama stars Dermot Mulroney, Augustus Prew, Odette Annable, Reshma Shetty, Aaron Jennings, Ward Horton and Brenda Song Star.
On tonights True Genius premiere episode as per the CBS synopsis, Billionaire genius James Bell built Bunker Hill Hospital determined to revolutionize health care and treat the rarest and most challenging medical mysteries, at no charge. Previously, his chief of staff, Dr. Wallace, believed medicine was a human endeavor, not technological, until a eureka moment at the hospital convinced him otherwise.
So make sure to bookmark this spot and come back between 10PM 11PM ET for our True Genius recap. While you wait for our recap make sure to check out all our television spoilers, news, recaps & more, right here!
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
Surgeon, Dr. Wallace has lost his job after his patient dies during a drug trial. A year-old girl in a coma isn’t getting better and her parents are terrified.
Wallace heads to BunkerHill hospital after they have extended a job offer to him. An offer he isn’t too sure about. A young genius by the name of Bell meets Wallace at the door and brings him on a whirlwind tour of their facility while bringing him in on a meeting with a pregnant woman with cancer. Bell leads a hospital that combines brilliant minds in medicine and brilliant minds in technology, all while avoiding the red tape when it comes to trials and programs. Wallace looks interested.
The team comes together to come up with a strategy for the pregnant woman. They have developed a mini super computer that can be swallowed to monitor the baby’s vitals, giving them updates on when the baby is stable to be taken from the womb.
Meanwhile, the year-old is still in a coma. Bell won’t accept the possibility that she may never recover. He promised her parents and he isn’t giving up. Even when the head doctor tells him otherwise.
Outside on the hospital grounds, Wallace is looking around. He seems impressed. A woman screaming interrupts his conversation with another doctor. The pregnant woman is in the pond, splashing and screaming that something is crawling all over her. He runs to her rescue.
Back in the hospital room, Margot the pregnant woman shares that she felt like there were bugs crawling all over her. Wallace asks if she has mental illness in her family. The husband gets mad.
Zoe tells Bell that she would appreciate if he didn’t undermine her authority and call her the reality police. Meanwhile, Wallace has discovered that Margot has had a strange past that includes a broken jaw and more. He thinks it has to do with her husband.
Margot explodes wildly from the other room. She needs to be restrained. Wallace steps out and demands her husband be taken away.
Wallace questions Margot about her signs of domestic abuse. She begins to cry.
We meet a possible new patient who has amnesia. They decide to take her on as a patient. They look at a person with GSS and Bell wants to take them on, but no-one else wants in. He overrides them.
Wallace wants Bell to tell him about himself. The GSS patient gave up a kid for adoption with the same birthdate as Bell. Bell isn’t sharing, though, he walks away from Wallace, telling him to stick to medicine and not research.
Wallace tells Margot that her tumor is choking her breathing. She has run out of time. She needs to worry about herself and not the baby.
Bell calls the team together – he has a plan for the coma patient. He wants to do brain to brain communication. He has reached out to the people who have the technology. They need funding and he needs them.
Wallace has doubts about removing the tumor from Margot. Bell gives him a practice run with a mock surgery. Meanwhile, the team is attaching the headsets to Chrissy the coma patient and her mom. They watch her brain waves for change and see activity. Her cerebral cortex shows consciousness. Her dad talks to her and she responds through her mother.
In Margot’s surgery, they manage to get the baby out before operating on her tumor. She leaves the operating room table! Bell is on the cloud 9. He tells Wallace to give her the good news.
Bell wants to know if Wallace is going to take the job. Before he gets Wallace’s answer, he tells him that he has GSS. In 5 years he won’t be himself. He will no longer be the genius. Wallace tells him he is sorry. He wants the job. Bell gives him a gift – it’s a figurine of himself. He adds him to the wall with his other teammates.
Wallace watches as Bell welcomes the GSS patient with emotion in his eyes.
American medical drama television series
Pure Genius (originally titled Bunker Hill) is an American medical dramatelevision series created by Jason Katims that aired on CBS from October 27, to January 26, The series stars Augustus Prew as James Bell who is a Silicon Valley tech billionaire and Dermot Mulroney as Dr. Walter Wallace. It was produced by True Jack Production, CBS Television Studios and Universal Television. In May , CBS cancelled the series after one season.
James Bell is a Silicon Valley billionaire who dreams of building a hospital with ultimate cutting-edge technology to treat rare and incurable diseases. He partners with a maverick surgeon, Dr. Walter Wallace, who leads the effort in clearing out the bureaucracy of medicine, and focus on forward thinking, advancing technology, and saving lives—at no cost to the patient.
Cast and characters
- Augustus Prew as James Bell, a Silicon Valley tech billionaire who opens Bunker Hill
- Dermot Mulroney as Dr. Walter Wallace
- Odette Annable as Dr. Zoe Brockett, double board-certified doctor of pediatrics and critical care
- Reshma Shetty as Dr. Talaikha Channarayapatra, neurosurgeon
- Aaron Jennings as Dr. Malik Verlaine, head of the Ehub which does remote monitoring of patients
- Ward Horton as Dr. Scott Strauss, an Ivy-educated neurologist and Catholic priest
- Brenda Song as Angie Cheng, Bunker Hill's Chief Biomedical Engineer
On January 22, , it was announced that CBS had given the pilot order known as Bunker Hill. The episode was written and authored by Jason Katims who was expected to be an executive producer, alongside Sarah Watson, David Semel and Michelle Lee. Production companies involved with the pilot include True Jack Productions, CBS Television Studios and Universal Television. The show was ordered at the CBSupfronts to air in the network's –17 TV schedule and was officially picked up on May 13,  A few days later, it was announced that it would premiere by October 27, and air on Thursdays at P.M. On August 10, , it was announced that the series name was changed from Bunker Hill to Pure Genius.
On November 21, , CBS announced that it would not order more episodes than the 13 episodes commissioned. The production for the first season wrapped on December 15, , and the remaining commissioned episodes were broadcast for the remainder of its run.
On May 17, , Pure Genius was cancelled after one season by CBS.
In February , it was announced that Brenda Song, Dermot Mulroney, Reshma Shetty and Ward Horton had been cast in the pilot's leading roles. Although the pilot was ordered, in March it was reported that Aaron Jennings and Odette Annable had joined the cast.
Pure Genius has received generally negative reviews from television critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 24% "rotten" rating based on 21 professional reviews, while it holds a 78% user (non-critic) rating. The website's consensus reads, "Pure Genius is weighed down by stereotypical doctor drama trappings, suffocating its chances of bringing anything compelling and entertaining to the genre."Metacritic reported a score of 43 out of based on 18 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". On IMDB Pure Genius holds a /10 rating based on user reviews.
- ^ ab"Ransom, Pure Genius and Training Day cancelled by CBS".
- ^ abPorter, Rick (October 28, ). "'The Good Place' and 'Chicago Med' adjust up, 'Pure Genius,' other CBS shows down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 29, Retrieved October 28,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (November 4, ). "'Big Bang Theory,' 'How to Get Away' adjust up, 'Great Indoors' and NBC adjust down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 5, Retrieved November 4,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (November 11, ). "'Chicago Med' and NBC adjust down with NFL pre-emptions: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 12, Retrieved November 11,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (November 18, ). "'Grey's Anatomy' adjusts up, 'The Great Indoors' adjusts down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 19, Retrieved November 18,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (November 29, ). "'The Great Indoors' adjusts down, final NFL numbers: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 30, Retrieved November 29,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (December 5, ). "'Legends of Tomorrow' adjusts up; 'Supernatural,' 'Great Indoors,' 'Baking Show' adjust down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 6, Retrieved December 5,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (December 9, ). "'Life in Pieces' adjusts up plus final NFL numbers: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 10, Retrieved December 9,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (December 16, ). "'The Great Indoors' adjusts down, 'Big Bang' adjusts up, final NFL numbers: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 18, Retrieved December 16,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (January 4, ). "'Ransom' premiere adjusts down, final NFL numbers: Sunday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 4, Retrieved January 4,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (January 9, ). "ABC's Menendez brothers special adjusts up: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 10, Retrieved January 9,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (January 13, ). "'Chicago Med' adjusts up: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 14, Retrieved January 13,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (January 23, ). "'The Big Bang Theory' ajdusts up, 'My Kitchen Rules' adjusts down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 25, Retrieved January 23,
- ^ abPorter, Rick (January 27, ). "'Scandal' and 'My Kitchen Rules' adjust down, Mary Tyler Moore special adjusts up: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 27, Retrieved January 27,
- ^Nellie Andreeva (January 22, ). "Jason Katims Medical Drama 'Bunker Hill', Bob Daily Comedy 'Superior Donuts' Get CBS Pilot Orders". Deadline Hollywood.
- ^Nellie Andreeva. "Training Day, Bull, MacGyver, Matt LeBlanc Comedy Picked Up By CBS". Deadline Hollywood.
- ^Anthony D'Alessandro (August 10, ). "What Inspired 'Parenthood' Creator Jason Katims To Make CBS Medical Drama 'Pure Genius' – TCA". Deadline Hollywood.
- ^Andreeva, Nellie (21 November ). "'Pure Genius': CBS Not Ordering More Episodes Of New Medical Drama Series".
- ^Nemetz, Dave (22 November ). "Pure Genius: No Additional Episodes Ordered for CBS Freshman Drama".
- ^Petski, Denise (February 19, ). "'The Jury' Pilot Casts Hina Abdullah; Brenda Song Joins 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 19,
- ^Andreeva, Nellie (February 24, ). "Dermot Mulroney To Star In CBS Pilot 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 24,
- ^Petski, Denise (February 25, ). "Ana Cruz Kayne Joins CBS Pilot 'Four Stars'; Reshma Shetty In 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 25,
- ^Petski, Denise (February 29, ). "'The Trail': NBC Comedy Pilot Casts Krysta Rodriguez; Ward Horton Joins CBS' 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 29,
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Exactly what is Bunker Hill?
That was the question I had while watching Pure Genius Season 1 Episode 1 as I was processing everything that was happening.
We're introduced to Dr. Walter Wallace as he is recruited to come to Bunker Hill to help James Bell and his terrific staff of Doctors.
James Bell is very optimistic, and while that is a very great trait to have, it got him into some arguments with some of his staff, especially Zoe. He brings hope into the millions of patient's eyes that feel as though this is their last option.
The first case is a woman who is about twenty weeks pregnant, but she is also suffering from cancer. Her only option to save herself is to have surgery. The problem is she is pregnant, and in order for the baby to survive it needs to be able to breathe on its own.
I couldn't imagine being in the position that the parents were in. What do you do in that situation? Of course what any loving parent would do. Do whatever it takes to save the child.
At the rate the cancer is spreading we don't have weeks. We have days.Zoe
While some of the approaches these doctors have to medicine seem unrealistic that is the power of technology. Bell has a very unrealistic approach, but that is why he opened Bunker Hill in the first place.
Bunker Hill according to him may have been opened for all the wrong reasons, but to many including myself they seemed like they were opened for all of the RIGHT reasons.
Bell and his staff are there to help people. That much was evident as this team of doctors did everything in their power to save both mother and child in this installment.
Was anyone else surprised to learn that Margo (the pregnant/cancer patient) was suffering from domestic abuse from her husband Paul?
I have to say this took me by surprise, because from the beginning of the episode he seemed like a stand-up guy. I was completely taken aback to learn that he was beating his wife.
Guess it's not just all gizmo's and gadget's.James
That explains why she was having hallucinations in the pond.
Dermot Mulroney was fantastic through the hour. His performance was chilling as Wallace was talking to Margo about the risks to not only herself, but her unborn child if they wait to do the surgery. I took a big sigh of relief when the woman and her child were both safe.
That was not even the best part of the hour.
What if I could give you a million chances to get it right?James
Dr. Channarayatra brings an interesting case to Bunker Hill as a girl has been in a coma for almost six months with no signs of brain activity.
How sad is it knowing that your child is suffering, and there is nothing you can do about it? That is how this family has felt. That is until they came to Bunker Hill.
Bell's persistence leads the team to trying the unthinkable. I had chills going through my body when the girl was speaking through her mother. How does that even happen? Science. Who else needed the box of tissues as the girl was connecting with her father? I had them with me throughout the whole hour.
The more she hears you; the more active her brain will become.Zoe
I, for one, would like that type of technology for my own benefit. I mean really, who wouldn't want to read someone's mind? Think about how technology is shaping the way for the future of medicine, and you have Bunker Hill.
Wallace saw right through Bell, and why he had such a big investment in the patient with GSS. If Wallace ever leaves the medical field he should become a private investigator, as he has the mind-set for it.
Bell is perhaps the most intriguing character, because we know the most about him. Jason Katims does a nice job in laying down the groundwork for what looks to be a fun season, and I can't wait to find out more.
Other Thoughts and Questions:
- Bell really needs to get the names down pat, because I can't watch poor Angie be sad anymore every time he forgets her name.
- Zoe is right he needs to stop undermining the doctors on his staff, and let them do their jobs without promising these families things.
- Who else is intrigued to see the storyline play out? I for one can't wait to see how this patient really interacts with Bell.
- I Think we need to know more about Wallace and why he ultimately chose to stay on board at Bunker Hill?
- Out of all of the "gizmo's and gadgets" tonight, which one did you want the most?
That was a decent premiere. Was anyone else intrigued by the idea of Bunker Hill? What was your favorite part of the premiere? I want to hear from you guys, so comment in the section below and share your thoughts.
Who else thought that Pure Genius was worth coming back next week for? Remember you can watch Pure Genius online in case you missed the premiere or you just want to see it again.
Genius first episode pure
She loved Igor so much. She was so ashamed. But her body continued to bend and move towards the member of Arthur, allowing him to sink even deeper. Why doesn't Igor leave.Pure Genius S01xE03
Soon, bottles, glasses, a large thermos were in my ass. Each time he was more sophisticated. In general, now I have become a doll for him, on which he puts his animal experiments. But I like it.
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Well worn out already, well. Oh-oh-oh-oh. I cant take it anymore, you know, I cant-ooh-ooh…but I was in no hurry, slowly massaging and tickling her scalp covered with thick flakes of conditioner.