Monday Mornings is the best new drama on television and you can watch it tonight and every Monday on TNT at 10p after Dallas. The medical drama follows surgeons as they do their job and once a week they are held accountable by their peers in a meeting on Monday Mornings. Unlike other medical drama this one is about doctors actually doing their job and the patients whose lives they are trying to save. It is not a soap opera (like Grey’s Anatomy) or a procedural (like House), it is just a medical drama.
Because it is that, the cast is expected to use medical terminology and we all know that ain’t easy for us non-doctors. I was recently on a conference call with Jamie Bamber and Jennifer Finnigan and we talked about this.
Bamber plays neurosurgeon Dr. Tyler Wilson and it wasn’t the words that necessarily got to him, but it is how we pronounce them here in The States that gave the Brit a problem. As he explained, “For me it’s always a simple one because the terminology is one thing and you just have to work at it and we all do and it becomes second nature but occasionally for me there’s a double whammy of medical terminology that’s also slightly accented differently in English than it is in American English.” Then after a few seconds of Jennifer Finnigan and him trying to think of the word that was a big problem for him, he knew which one it was. He said, “I remember it, its trachea. Instead of trachea I would say trachia, trachia, a simple word that we all know but for me to say trachea instead of trachia, it was, I had to pause about three words before I got there and take a deep breath, repeat it inside of me and then spit it out.” The Finnigan, who plays attending neurosurgeon Dr. Tina Ridgeway, said “I saw it in his eyes.”
Bamber then added, “Yeah, it’s the simple ones that sometimes bite you. I mean, yeah, we have significant differences. Like we say anesthetist and you guys say anesthesiologist. Most of those I’ve got down but occasionally one will creep up but I actually use in sort of common parlents and those are the ones that bite me, not the really technical ones.” So it’s not the words, it just the issue that they say it differently on the other side of the pond.
So what about his accent, Finnigan who also plays his lover, commented on that. She said, “He’s amazing because he’ll be, we’ll be, talking literally right up till action and he’s, you know, a Brit, and then all of the sudden he just switches over on a dime, it’s shocking! I mean, especially involving all that jargon.” He chimed in with, “I can’t do it the other way. I can’t do it the other way where you stay in character all day.” Then Finnigan said his accent is having a strange effect on her because as she shared with us, “But then it’s weird because I think being Canadian I’m sometimes conscious of that slipping in which really it doesn’t when I’m sober but so sometimes talking to Jamie at length, because we do tend to sit together at those meetings and so 15 hours later I have a quasi-British accent for sure.”
So tune in tonight to see if you can hear either one of them accidentally slip into British accent. Especially since last week their affair was revealed and her marriage ended because of it. So you know there will be plenty of scenes between the two of them and I am so not complaining about that!