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TV review

Bad dialogue stinks up new Jekyll-Hyde drama

Time for another attempt to reinvent “Jekyll & Hyde,” this time with neurosurgeon Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale, “Rescue Me”), who is only himself from 8:25 a.m. to 8:25 p.m. Overnight he turns into a troublemaker called Ian Price, who is, frankly, a lot more fun to watch.

Cole has kept Ian in check for many years, but in the pilot episode of NBC’s “Do No Harm” (10 p.m. today), Ian returns to wreak havoc. He’s like the Incredible Hulk on a timer.

“Do No Harm” is a ridiculous show that’s almost so-bad-it’s-not-good-but-at-least-fun-to-mock. If only there weren’t so many groaner bits of dialogue. The show is lousy with exposition (“I may be supplying experimental drugs to the chief of neurosurgery, but I still have standards,” says Ruben, Cole’s accomplice in keeping Ian in check) and punny retorts (“Is there someone else?” asks fellow doc Lena Solis, who crushes on Cole. “You could say that,” he replies).

If Cole is a bit of a dull, milquetoast do-gooder, Ian is a quip-prone baddie. When Cole fears for a patient who’s been abused, he visits her abusive husband at just the right time so he’ll be with the abuser when he turns into Ian. Cole tries to get the guy to back off, to no avail. And then Ian arrives.

“Whatever deal you previously made has now expired!” Ian says between punches to the suddenly apologetic abuser.

Later, when Ian encounters a child from his past who’s dropped a stuffed monkey, he quips, “Be careful. Monkeys have been known to eat their young.”

Every now and then, Phylicia Rashad’s Dr. Vanessa Young wanders into a scene to cheer or reprimand Cole or play referee between Cole and a colleague. But these scenes are just filler between the silly Cole-vs.-Ian scenes that play like “Spy vs. Spy” from Mad magazine.

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