The TV series Heartbeat follows heart-transplant surgeon Dr. Alexandra “Alex” Panttiere. Similar to the 2014 sitcom Bad Judge, the female professional protagonist is as unorthodox on the job as she is with her wild love life. The problem with the comparison is that Bad Judge didn’t last past Season One. After four weeks, Bad Judge – starring the charming Kate Walsh (Dr. Addison Montgomery on Grey’s Anatomy) – was cancelled. And it wasn’t all about poor ratings. The Miami-Dade chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers wrote a letter of protest pointing out “several examples of the unethical depiction, including the judge having sex with an expert witness in her chambers just minutes after he testified in her courtroom.”
[Heartbeat is based on real-life Dr. Kathy Magliato, author of ‘Heart Matters: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon’]
Heartbeat’s Dr. Alex (portrayed by the equally charming Melissa George) is as flirtatious as the Bad Judge. In the first episode, the doctor turns on a potential hospital investor with lines like “I like the sound of cracking a patient’s chest open like a lobster first thing in the morning.” Chances are real-life doctors won’t protest over that kind of bravado but still, based on early reviews of the show, Heartbeat might lose its pulse quickly. Heartbeat premieres on March 22 at 9pm on NBC. It will move to Wednesdays at 8pm on March 23.