Emily Owens, M.D., the Complete Series (2012)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Emily Owens, M.D.
I love quirky, lighthearted shows. On CW, there is a particularly good line-up in that regards. Shows like Hart of Dixie, Jane the Virgin and others come from the “younger generation’s” network and this how was among the line-up. Sadly it was only ever given opportunity to shine for half a season. Its 13-episodes tells the story of newly minted doctor Emily Owens (Mamie Gummer). Remembering her high school life isn’t something Emily relishes and despite her success, she’s not as confident as she’d like. Which is why on her first day of her internship – at a Denver hospital, she’s determined to live a professional, grown-up life as far away from her high school years as possible. Then it happens.  

Cassandra Kopelson (Aja Naomi King) is also interning at the same hospital. This is bad for Emily since Cassandra was her tormenter in high school. But Emily is determined to make the best of her situation – she’s here for two reasons. To learn from one of the world’s best surgeons Dr. Bandari (Necar Zadegan) – a woman who isn’t the person Emily thought, and to be near Will (Justin Hartley). Will is Emily’s college friend and also chose Denver, which is a big part of the reason she is doing her internship in Denver – after four years of friendship Emily is in love with her best friend. The story takes Emily through various parts of her internship, including dealing with nurses who don’t like her, a boss (Michael Rady) who becomes a friend and hospital politics that aren’t so very different than the social setup of high school.  

Like so many shows you spot on iTunes or featured on various websites, this was one I’d always intended to give a shot, but distance meant it slipped my mind. Then more recently Bekah (a blogging friend) reminded me about it when she asked if I’d ever seen it. That led to buying an episode on iTunes and eventually… buying the entire series, which I then promptly binge-watched. There is a lot to like about this series. First, while it’s sometimes neurotic heroine could rub some viewers the wrong way (her constant propensity to apologize and a compulsive need to be honest), I loved her fabulous characterization. She’s actually very relatable. I doubt any of us can say we’ve never been uncomfortable in certain social situations and the writing in this show brings that to light in a humorous way that makes for some great fun. Emily's passion for bettering the lives of others is evident in her professionalism and ability to do what's necessary to see they receive the care they require. It's her tenderness and honesty that makes for an admirable quality and seeing this on TV is a rarity. Too often secrets build up in TV serials and it grates on my nerves that someone doesn’t say something. Here, the character blurts out her "secret" in the first episode which yes, surprised me (because usually writer’s build things to a boiling point), but I am glad she did. It made the story more interesting.  
Emily Owens, M.D.
Really, this entire group of characters is terrific. The typical mean girl has more to her than we thought and the first impressions of the cold-hearted doctor has more going on behind that fa├žade. Then there are the guys. Will is… interesting to say the least. He’s basically the normal good-looking guy that we understand Emily being hung up on. He is a wonderful friend to her who never seems to ill-treat her, but that doesn't mean I agreed with how things eventually end up. Then there is Micah. I confess, I really liked him. Perhaps it was how the actors interacted or the teasing scenes between Emily and him, I don’t know, something of their relationship deserved more than what it got. Though I realize this is the fault of a cancellation not the writer’s cutting out.  

This leads me to how the show ends. There is in some sense “completion” which is nice. But on the other hand, I didn’t really respect the ending either. Again, I am saying this understanding the writers were hoping to have a full season to let this play out and the ending was meant to add a new level of conflict to the life of the titular character. That being said, I’d have rather seen her resolution “stick.” It’d have been nice to see her by herself for a bit, healing or to see what might happen in a new relationship. But though I sound contradictory, I will say, I was glad there was something of a ending to hold onto. Beside the point, the cast is fantastic! I loved seeing Michael Rady (Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, Cloudy with a Chance of Love) in something else and of course, seeing Mamie was fantastic. She is as lovely an actress as her mother, screen legend Meryl Streep. Beyond that, I did adore this brief series. It’s deeper than you might think and doesn’t always give everyone a happy ending. The stories do become frenzied because in 40-some minutes the writer’s packed in a lot of content. There were patient’s stories, the doctor’s and various romances that are unfolding inside the hospital walls. Nearer the end, we were able to see them outside the workplace more, which was fabulous and as most shows do, like its heroine this one was growing in confidence.  

Emily Owens, M.D.
Bottom line, will I watch it again? You bet. The personalities, great acting and stories makes this one of my favorite "lighter" shows. If you like medical dramas or are looking for one that’s not quite as “messy” and you’re willing to accept a short-lived run, Emily Owens, M.D. might be for you. I liked it better than The Night Shift and mostly, it’s cleaner than Royal Pains. Lighthearted and poignant, it’s a show that shouldn’t have been cut short.  

(Content: there is one main homosexual character, various other cases crop up with patients or minor characters. There is some innuendo and a woman begins to talk about the first time she and her boyfriend had sex [nothing graphic]. Various medical issues wonder into sexual situations/crude jokes, which prompts some discussion or good natured teasing among co-workers. Two characters are or have had extra-marital affairs. A couple is seen making out and starting to undress before the scene cuts away. There are a few profanities here and there. The show is rated: TV14.)


  1. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! I absolutely adored this show and am so happy you've watched it and love it too!! Hmm, I watched it when it was first aired,so it's been awhile, but from what I can remember:

    Mamie Gummer (Emily) is a talented actress. I loved Emily's character- she was so funny, smart, and sweet. I found her to be so relatable, with her internal monologues juxtaposed with the things she actually chose to speak aloud. And personally, I loved Micah so much more than Will. Please, I wanted them to be together so bad! They were adorable and cute. (Also, I call actor Michael Rady "Kostas" because I love him so much and that's the first thing I think when I see him on screen in anything)

    I don't remember too many more details, but I just remember this show becoming my favorite and then it was over before it even had a chance. :(

    1. I definitely LOVED it, Cassie! So (so) good and despite my whining of petty things in this review, I really thought it was delightful!

      Mamie is fabulous and she brought this character to life very vividly even though she was shy. I loved everything about her character - from the awkward ways she goes about things to her kindness and honesty. As for the "Team Will" vs. "Team Micah," I agree! Loved Micah way more than Will... though Will was a great friend (her hang-up on him wasn't the healthiest once she learned he didn't care for her, and I think she needed to move on rather than let him back in). Still, that's what I thought. ;) Until earlier this year, I'd not seen Michael in anything else that was memorable (TV guest spots was about it). Then he starred in a Hallmark (which was adorable) and now I've seen him in this.

      I know! I wish there was some sort of campaign to bring this one back. It *needs* to be. Great writing and characters. :)

      Glad you stopped by to share your thoughts on Emily Owens.

    2. But you've seen Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, right? He was also in a ABC Family show, Greek for a season or two, if I remember correctly. I loved him in Sisterhood and wanted to like him more than I actually did in Greek (he was the underdog, and I was rooting for a different guy).

      If their was a campaign, I would totally be on board with that! However, I don't think it will ever happen. Not enough viewers gave it a chance, sadly, and a great show with great potential doesn't get to shine beyond these 13 episodes. Also, I've seen a couple of the actresses in other successful shows (Grey's Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder).

      Anyways, this show will always be a special one to me. :)

    3. I so have - and I LOVE Michael in that, Cassie! Oddly enough I didn't know that was him until I recently rewatched the Sisterhood movies (which I heart) and then saw him in the Hallmark film. :) Cannot believe I forgot to mention that about him in my comment. Ooops...! :)

      I agree. I don't expect any kind of campaign to bring this one back. But it's nice to think maybe it could return.

      Agreed. If the DVD's are ever available, I am so there. Until then, I'll settle for my iTunes episodes. :D

  2. I don't know if I should thank you for posting this or not. I first read your review on Friday, and then Saturday night when I was looking for something to watch on Netflix, I saw that Emily Owens was available.

    I. Am. Hooked.

    I'm also a bit sleep deprived, as I stayed up way too late watching on both Saturday and Sunday nights. Coupled with the time change, it was very difficult to get up for work this morning!

    I'm down to the last three episodes, and while I've loved the show, I'm sad that it sounds like things won't turn out the way I'd like. Will's a nice enough guy (and he's certainly nice to look at), but I absolutely love Micah's character and think he'd be perfect for Emily. Also, it's nice to see Michael Rady in a role that I actually like--I wasn't a huge fan of his character in "Cloudy with a Chance of Love," and I pretty much hate him on "Jane the Virgin" :-) Of course, you didn't really say what happens, so maybe I'm interpreting your comments wrong and will be pleasantly surprised. I can always hope, right?

    1. Well, if it's a "thank you," you're welcome. If it's "this-happened-no-thanks-to-you," than my apologies for the binge-watching, Becky. ;D Though I am glad the review was interesting enough to intrigue.

      I was too! I bought one episode and then suddenly, *had* to have the rest following that. SO. Good.

      (Sorry about the sleep deprivation. That is NOT fun.)

      Lest I say too much I'll just say this... I do like Will, honestly I do. Sometimes the one guy is a total jerk and I don't ever see what the girl sees in him. However here, Micah is just TOO COOL of a guy for me to have fallen 100% for Will. Hope things turn out as you like. :)

      That's okay. I wound up really liking Michael in the Hallmark (something about his acting just seems very sincere in these romance roles), but like you, I just have to say: ew..., he's not a cool dude in Jane the Virgin. Speaking of, did you notice Michael (cannot remember the actor's name) guest starred in an episode of this too!? It was fun to see him in something other than "Jane" though his episode was sad.

    2. I did! As soon as I saw him lying in that hospital bed, I was like, "Hey, it's Michael!" His story line was sad, but so good. I'm a bit behind on Jane, but I'm not currently a very big Michael fan, so it was nice to see him play a likable guy.

    3. I caught up with it save for last night's episode but I did buy/download the newest episode today, so sometimes this week, I'll enjoy watching it. I like Michael, but will confess (so far) Rafael is way cooler (nicer) than I expected. :)

    4. I just finished the series tonight. So many feelings! The final episode was so good! I do wish that Emily had taken some time to think at the end (what her voiceover was saying to do), but as a midseason finale, this was great. As a series finale? Not so much. I wish the CW had given the show a chance to wrap itself up. And I'm just going to tell myself that eventually Emily and Micah ended up together. Fabulous show!

    5. I would agree, Becky - as a midseason finale, this would have worked (and I am sure that's what the writer's were banking on). I did view it as the series finale since I knew that's what it was, and while I would have liked it better had Emily not "leapt," I thought it was decent just because some shows don't give us any closure. At least with this one we can hope, Emily was happy finally being with someone. ... good thinking! I like that train of thought and would agree. Emily and Micah forever. :)

  3. So I left a pretty long comment on this post, but for some weird reason it deleted (probably I waited to long to click "publish") and I only realized it now. Ugh!! *smacks forehead* Anyways, I said something along the lines of this review is AMAZING! Haha. ;) I'm so happy you liked this show as much as I did. I had a lot of the same thoughts--Emily was so relatable, Micah really likable, and the ending brought out a ton of mixed feelings. I've watched it twice already but would watch it a third! Again, this review was the BEST, Rissi! :)

    Also, I had no idea until recently that Mamie was Meryl Streep's daughter?! *mind blown* I had really liked them before already, but after hearing that I love them even more now! Haha. :)

    1. Ugh! I am so sorry about that comment issue, Bekah! That is a bummer. I've had that happen before too and it's quite annoying. I've taken to "Ctrl C" (copy) my comments before hitting the "publish" button because I don't want to have to rewrite them. ;)

      Thanks for reading! I'm always so grateful for your continued blogging friendship and readership of this blog. I had a LOT of fun with this review, and like you say, there are mixed feelings about the ending. I mean, on one hand, I see Emily as being happy with (insert name - because, spoilers), but on the other... the guy left behind being crushed... and *sniff* I don't like that image. Yep, I take this very seriously. ;)

      Isn't that cool!? I see a resemblance to Meryl and think Mamie is quite good! She was in a couple other things I've seen too - the John Adams miniseries, and a recurring guest spot in Good Wife too, which I haven't been keeping up with.

    2. That is a great habit to have, Rissi- I will definitely have to practice it in the future. It's happened so many times to me that I don't know why I hadn't thought of it earlier!

      I adore your blog and always have the greatest time chatting with you- thank you for sharing your creative genius! ;) Totally agreed with you there, the mental image of the guy not chosen leaves me feeling pretty down. On one hand, I'm kinda glad I didn't see it and on the other, I'm really mad at whoever decided to cancel this fantastic show. Don't worry, I take it pretty seriously too. Lol!

      It *is* cool. Guess talent just runs in the family. Hmm- never heard of 'John Adams', but I do remember seeing her in 'The Good Wife'. I binge-watched a few seasons of that show a few months ago, but I also stopped watching. It's a great show, but probably not the best idea to watch four whole seasons in only two weeks time? ;)

    3. Losing our comments - especially those we've written as a lengthier conversation is not fun. Blogger and it's sketchy shenanigans... not cool. ;)

      Thank you so very much! The same to you, friend. Love visiting your blog, reading awesome reviews and chatting with you - and those recipes! How is one to pick which to try!? ;) Whoever did decide to cancel this is... insane. It's far too cool of a show to give up on and it seemed like it fit the audience really well on CW, which tends to be a "lighter" network anyway. It's line-up is full of quirky, fun shows. Well, minus the vampires which can be a bit darker. Or so I would imagine. ;)

      Wonder why it didn't have better ratings.

      Yes to taking this business seriously! It's no light matter. :D

      John Adams is good. It's a historical miniseries about the titular character. Sometimes overlong (and a little too "raw" - those medical procedures *shudder* - or realistic sometimes), but good. As for Good Wife, my mom and I binge-watched it a couple of summers ago, then I got distracted by other shows (there are too many!) and haven't gone back since. ;)


Have a thought? Don't be shy, go ahead and leave one... or two... or three! I reply to every comment. If you're new to the blog, please don't hesitate to introduce yourself and your blog - we love chatting around here!

Feedback and every comment is appreciated and read - I always leave a response; your opinions are respected and I ask that you show mine the same courtesy.

(If you post under “anonymous,” please leave a name. If you don't have a Google account, you can type your name into the Name/URL and if you have no site, just leave "URL" blank.)

If you are still reading my ramblings, thank you for following this little blog and for being one of its supporters. I’ve enjoyed getting to know each of you, friends!

Latest Instagrams

© Finding Wonderland. Design by FCD.