Beautiful people, scandalous affairs, celebrities on the verge of mental breakdowns: All are aspects of USA’s new series “Necessary Roughness” that should add up to a pleasing, breezy drama.
But as Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne) would tell us (she’s the tough-love therapist at the center of the show), nothing is as perfect as it seems. Then she would probably yell at us, storm out, calm down, come back and use a few more cliches. That appears to be a common sequence of events for this series, which has a promising cast but is bogged down with slow scenes and no shortage of well-worn situations.
Debuting Wednesday night, the drama is based on the true story of Donna Dannenfelser, who worked as mental health clinician for the New York Jets. In this fictitious version, Dr. Donna is Dr. Dani, newly single mom of two teenagers, a Long Island psychotherapist who specializes in analyzing high-profile clients. Dani first realizes this handy skill after she has a one-night fling with Matt (Marc Blucas), the charming trainer for a professional football team, the New York Hawks, who persuades her to help a talented but unstable player, Terrence King.