CBS’s ‘Pure Genius’: More like pure gooey hooey
The show suffers from absurd plotlines and poor writing
October 27, 2016
One in a series of Media Life previews of the new shows debuting this fall. You can find past previews here.
CBS’s “Pure Genius”
Thursdays at 10 p.m., premiering tonight
In this drama, James Bell (Augustus Prew) is a tech millionaire who founded his own hospital where the patients get treated for free and the doctors do the impossible.
He’s wooing Dr. Walter Wallace (Dermot Mulroney), a surgeon famous for following his own desires, to join the hospital.
Wallace is reluctant, but he’s seduced by the technology and the amazing things the hospital does. And soon he figures out a big secret Bell is hiding that makes the job even more tantalizing.
The program was created by Jason Katims (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”).
CBS has wanted to reboot the medical drama for some time. It tried with last year’s “Code Black,” which barely got a season-two renewal, and now it’s attempting it again with “Genius.”
The problem is, this show isn’t very good.
The plotting is poor, the actors are saddled with bad dialogue, and nothing on the program seems particularly realistic, from the gadgets used to the patient-doctor relationships.
That makes it difficult to imagine “Genius” lasting too long on the schedule, even airing behind CBS’s usually solid comedy block.
The network’s former timeslot occupant, “Elementary,” didn’t pull especially good numbers, so CBS may show some patience in the slot.
Still, critics have savaged “Genius” as one of fall’s worst shows, overly sentimental and ridiculous. It’s hard to overcome that.
What media people say
Buyers have low hopes for the show.
They predicted, in a survey to start the season, that the show would finish out its initial order of episodes and nothing more.
They say it’s clichéd and forgettable.
“CBS’s new shows just aren’t very strong this season,” one buyer observes.
What the critics say
“When your latest drama is funnier than any of your new comedies, you have a problem.” — Robert Bianco, USA Today
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