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One of two intense medical dramas NBC introduced in the fall of 2009, "Mercy" had all the advantages its one-named rival "Trauma" did not. First, it had talent behind the scenes. Liz Heldens from "Friday Night Lights" created the show and led the writers, proving once again that the best way to dramatize the real world is to show it realistically"”ugliness and all. Second, it had attitude and guts to stay true to its revolutionary premise, the well-informed notion "that nurses remain [not only] more generous caregivers, but that they are more intuitively apt, smarter, more committed and as technically able as their [physician] superiors, with none of the accompanying arrogance." In a winner-take-all ER smackdown, you always would go all-in with the Mercy Hospital nurses. The main character, nurse Veronica Flanagan Callahan, has just returned from a tour in Iraq, where she clearly learned more in each day than the pompous, presumptuous doctors learned in all five years of medical school. Of course, Veronica gets neither the respect nor the reward she deserves, but "Mercy" dangles the possibility of true love as just recompense for Veronica's skill and compassion. Taylor Schilling plays Veronica with exactly the right balance of toughness and vulnerability, skillfully juxtaposing her consummate skill as a nurse with her intrepid ingenuousness in matters of the heart. If only "Mercy" had survived into a second season, all the tangled threads in the story might have come to their proper denouement. If only.

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Bianca Neethling

When I'm not writing about movies and series, I spend most of my time traveling the world and catching my favorite West End shows. My life is also full of interesting books and I'm addicted to cooking. I believe that words can change the world, and I use them to inspire my readers.

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