A&E’s ‘Coma’ Might Not Keep You Awake

Coma (A&E) (9)

This is sort of a hard review to write because I was really excited about A&E’s miniseries Coma, I even went to the Coma experience while at Comic-Con and thought that was pretty awesome (you can see some photos here), unfortunately the series itself was less than exciting.

Coma is based on the book of the same name by Robin Cook and the 1978 movie by Michael Crichton (I haven’t read/seen either so cannot compare to this version) and follows med student Susan Wheeler (Lauren Ambrose) who discovers that a high number of seemingly healthy patients at her hospital are falling into comas during their surgeries.

The miniseries is split into two parts, the first one airs tonight, September 3 and part two tomorrow, Tuesday September 4th at 9pm on both nights on A&E. The first part as can be expected establishes the characters and the hospital and while it started out pretty good, the whole story soon felt very slow. By the end of part one I didn’t feel like I had learned much and to be perfectly honest I am not sure I would have tuned in for part two if I haven’t had to review it.

That’s why it was so disappointing to watch part two and find that it wasn’t better than part one, but possibly worse. What could have been such an interesting concept gets lost in cliches and what at some point seems like a slasher movie (seriously it has the “killer” walking super slow calling out the “victim” who’s running but for some reason never seems to find the stairs to go down).

But possibly the most disappointing part for me was the miniseries failing to deliver what its marketing campaign seemed to push, an extended look into the mysterious Jefferson Institute. That was the whole appeal to me, finding out what happens in the Jefferson Institute, but unfortunately we barely get to see it in part one and don’t get much more of it in part two. As for the “big reveal,” it just felt a bit of a let down. I still want to know more about it, about the process, about its history, about its operation.

I will say this though, at least the series has a pretty amazing cast including Lauren Ambrose (whom I mentioned above), Steven Pasquale (“Rescue Me”), Geena Davis, James Woods, Ellen Burstyn and Richard Dreyfuss.

Overall, as you could probably tell Coma just wasn’t for me. Maybe I had different expectations of what it was going to be or maybe it’s just not my type of series, but whatever the reason, I cannot urge you to tune in. However, if you are a fan of the book or movie and/or are intrigued by it, you should definitely give it a shot, you might enjoy it more than I did.

You can find a preview and some photos from the series here.

And before I leave you, I wanted to share an video interview of one of the stars, Richard Dreyfuss who plays Professor Hillside that TV Equals along with other journalists participated in. So if you want to learn more about the series from one of the stars, watch the video below.