Off the Map is basically Grey's Anatomy set in South America. Of course, you can't beat a show that opens with the doctors going cliffdiving to save a man. The excitement continues when they have to pull a sting ray out of his leg. They're the only medical clinic for 200 miles, so they're always busy with odd cases and a lack of modern conveniences, not to mention the daily normal things. Treating people isn't always easy when they don't want it. Under-educated people don't always understand how medicine works and getting them to take it isn't easy. These doctors are going to have to convince the people that they know what they're doing and can really help, but sometimes things just take time to work!
As for the doctors, there are at least a few to help the people there. In charge is Dr. Ben Keeton (Martin Henderson). He's basically the Derek Shepard of Off the Map. Keeton is calm, cool, and collected, most of the time, not to mention hot. He does have a lot of baggage though, including a comatose wife and dead child. Of course, that wife doesn't keep him from having a girlfriend as well, Dr. Ryan Clark (Rachelle Lefevre). Ryan is really awesome. I didn't like her at the beginning of the series, but the more it went on, the more I liked her to the point that I think she was my favorite character in the end. Ryan has a secret though and the doctors are going to have to get it out of her and hope that they can save her! Other doctors also include Dr. Zita Alvarez (Valerie Cruz) and Dr. Otis Cole (Jason George). Zita likes to handle the pediatrics and deliver the babies. She's from South America, so she really tries her best to be the link between the doctors and the community. Cole is from Brooklyn originally, but his life is in the jungle now. He likes Zita and their relationship is quite interesting. I would have loved to see the series continue to find out more about how they end up. There's one more member of the current staff, even though he's not a doctor or nurse. Charlie (Jonathan Castellanos) is a kid who wants to be a doctor when he grows up. He hangs around at the clinic helping as much as he can. I really like Charlie as he provides a fresh looks at things that the doctors often miss.
New to the jungle are Dr. Lily Brenner (Caroline Dhavernas), Dr. Tommy Fuller (Zach Gilford), and Dr. Mina Minard (Mamie Gummer). Like the current staff, these doctors all have reasons for going to the middle of nowhere to practice medicine and most of it isn't related to being humanitarians. Lily really takes to the jungle. Keeton likes to put her in difficult positions to see how well she reacts and when pushed, she always shines. If she could figure out her personal life that easily, she'd be doing really well. When Mateo (Nicholas Gonzalez) enters her life, things get even more complicated! Tommy is an amusing character. He likes to present himself as a lecher, and he is, but he has a huge heart and really has a capacity to care for others when he wants to. Mina is an interesting character and I think if the series had continued, she really would have developed well. On the surface, she is very cold and logical; she sees things in black and white. But as time goes on in the jungle, she shows chinks in her armor and the potential to be a very caring person, on top of the excellent doctor that she already is.
There are several special features available on the DVD as well. Unfortunately, none of them are an extra episode that wraps everything up, which would have been nice, but I don't think they knew they were cancelled when the DVDs were printed to know that they needed one. There is a feature called "On the Set" which talks a bit about how they dealt with filming in Hawaii instead of South America and talked a bit about the show and what direction they were taking it in from the beginning. I think my favorite feature is "Jungle Medicine" which explains how the unconventional medicines they used in the show came about. When the clinic is robbed, the staff really has to get creative, down to using army ants as sutures and coconut milk as plasma, both of which are medical treatments that have been used in real life. I find the medicine amazing and I'm glad that they focused on how much you could use the natural plants from the rainforest as medicines.
I do wish Off the Map had been given time to develop, as it really is a good show. Yes, it follows pretty much the exact same construct as Grey's Anatomy, but the action and changes that they add for the jungle really make it a unique show. If you're a fan of Grey's, you need to go get Off the Map today! It's only 13 episodes and you will really enjoy them!