Emily Owens, Meryl's Daughter: Pilot Review
A medical show with a voiceover? That's not overdone or anything on a pretty popular show that is currently on the air. And Emily Owens, Meryl's Daughter (Mamie Gummer) over here is no Meredith Grey. We open on her lamenting about sitting alone at high school eating lunch, because no one wants to hang out with a girl who sweats so profusely during debate club competitions (the pressure!) that she earned the nickname Pits. And the VO insists that post-college she'll be confident and kickass. We see a girl sitting alone, and we presume it's her, but it's a random girl at the high school across the street, who is likely sitting alone because she's dressed like a kid in an '80s movie instead of in more modern clothes. Anyway, '80s girl calls Emily Owens, Meryl's Daughter, a loser, which is an apt assessment of a strange young woman who stares at a high school yard while doing a voiceover in her mind. She starts name calling to the teen, and Emily thinks her loser status has to do with her shoes, but '80s girl thinks it's her whole persona. So, of course Emily Owens, Meryl's Daughter starts screaming at the girl. Way to prove that you are mature, Ems. She has to apologize to a teacher type, before admitting to herself that she hasn't changed much since high school.
As she crosses the street and heads into Denver Memorial Hospital, she gives herself a pep talk, referring to herself in her mind in the third person. And rattles off a whole host of medical terms in her brain. Then she sees Will (Justin Hartley, who is probably pissed to be stuck on this show instead of reprising his Green Arrow role on Arrow. From Aquaman to this, with a stop on Smallville in between? Someone needs a new agent.). Anyway, Emily Owens, Meryl's Daughter has to calm herself down in his presence but then freaks out as he chummily puts an arm around her. The two talk about how this is just like high school, and they are the incoming freshman. Will's happy to have a friend there, and she says she went to Denver to work with esteemed Gina Bandari (Necar Zadegan). Is this like how Cristina went to Seattle Grace to work with Preston Burke? Do you think Emily will end up banging Gina? Or that Dr. Bandari will make some sort of gay slur? Or that she'll awkwardly leave her at the altar of their wedding while Emily Owens, Meryl's Daughter is dressed up with awful makeup?
As Emily Owens, Meryl's Daughter enters the locker room all happy, she hears an unwelcome but familiar voice say "Pits." She mentally runs through the list of horrible things this woman has done to her. Her name is Cassandra (Aja Naomi King), but she's your prototypical Mean Girl, who will stab you in the back while smiling. Mean Girl also picked this hospital because of Gina Bandari, and instantly starts flirting with Dr. Will. Tyra (Kelly McCreary) witnesses the whole things and decides to take awkward Ems under her wing. She runs her through the high schoolness of their chosen field: The jocks are the orthopedic surgeons, mean girls (excepting Cassandra) go into plastics, the girl-next-door types are OB, the geeks are neuro, the rebels are ER, stoners are anesthesiologists and the churchy types are in peds. (This walk and talk is almost exactly like the one in Mean Girls where LiLo gets a rundown of the cafeteria). Surgery is a melting pot where everyone hates each other, and Tyra knows all this because her dad is Chief of Surgery. Her dad doesn't grant her favors, because "he wanted a son and got a lesbian." She gives Ems the heads up that her dad acts nicey nice to the newbies in order to suss out their weaknesses. If he can get one of the neuro guys to tap into her inner monologue, he'd have Emily all figured out in no time.