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Series / Off the Map

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"Practicing tropical medicine in a third-world country is a different game... You don't have high tech, you don't have big pharma; you have your brain, you have your instincts."

Off the Map was an American Medical Drama television series that airs on ABC. It was created by Jenna Bans, who also serves as an executive producer, along with Shonda Rhimes (of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice fame) and Betsy Beers. It premiered on January 12, 2011, at 10 pm Eastern (9 pm Central). The series is set in a remote South American village, where seven doctors search for reasons that brought each of them to medicine.

The show was unique due to its setting, as cases were usually either a) things like mumps that are mundane in the big cities but seriously threatening to the locals, or b) crazy exotic things such as a man getting crushed by an anaconda. However, the show was unable to garner the same amount of ratings that its cousin show had and was soon canceled after a 13 episode run.

This series features examples of:

  • Adopt the Food: Mina ends up with a chicken who she names Dinner because she intends to cook and eat it, but she ends up waiting too long and keeps it as a pet.. When she lays an egg and it hatches, she calls the chick Appetizer.
  • The Casanova: Tommy who hits on almost all female characters and seems to Really Gets Around with the natives.
  • Eating the Eye Candy:
    • Shortly after arriving, Mina and Lily catch Ben getting dressed and both openly ogle him.
    Lily: You realize we're objectifying one of the greatest humanitarians of our time?
    Mina Just admiring his credentials.
    • Ben returns the favor when he sees her bathing naked in the next episode.
    Lily: [cowering naked in the bushes] So... how much did you just see?
    Ben: I'm a doctor. Come on, I've seen it all before.
    Lily: [Beat] So you did see it all.
    Ben: Oh, yeah. I saw it all.
  • Fanservice: A lot for both sexes. Not only are all the main characters improbably attractive, but they also tend to wear much less clothing and show a lot of skin thanks to the wild locale.
  • Friends with Benefits: A major subplot between Zee and Otis, eventually becoming a full relationship.
  • From a Certain Point of View: When Lily discovers Mateo's family grows coca (cocaine).
    Lily: It's an illegal drug.
    Mateo: It's a leaf.
    Lily: That gets made into an illegal drug.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Sometimes invoked, sometimes averted. It's usually a good idea to watch surgery scenes with your hands over your eyes.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Justified, as they are somewhere in South America, though they would probably see more indigenous languages in real life.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Tommy realizes he has feelings for Mina once he catches having a Shower of Love with one of her patients.
  • Hospital Hottie: Several, as befitting of a Medical Drama most of the cast are doctors who are a Mr. Fanservice or a Ms. Fanservice.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Mina and Tommy end up having a drunken one-night-stand that makes things very awkward between them for a while.
  • The Lost Lenore: Lily's fiancĂ© was killed in a cycling accident before the series started. Ben's wife Abby is stuck on life support after an accident.
  • Love Dodecahedron: It started as a Love Triangle between Ryan/Ben/Lily, but it turns even more complicated when Ben's is revealed to have a wife he still loves but in a Convenient Coma and Mateo enters the picture and hooks up with Lily.
  • Mighty Whitey: Lampshaded in the Pilot episode, "Saved by the Great White Hope". Mostly averted, however; most of the patients are treated with native medicine and plants as opposed to medicine brought from the states, and there are many people who refuse treatment because they don't trust the doctors.
  • My Greatest Failure: Early in her career, Mina misdiagnosed a patient, a little boy named Eric, which led to his death. It still greatly affects her.
  • Naked First Impression: Dr. Ryan's first meeting with Lily, Tommy and Mina is when they walk in on her showering on a waterfall. Tommy immediately develops a crush on her.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Lily's reaction both time her Waterfall Shower gets interrupted.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: A group of Too Dumb to Live ones try building a church in the middle of the jungle. Mina ends up dating one briefly after his toes get cut off.
  • Overly Long Name: Zita Alareina Toledo Alvarez (Zee).
  • Patient of the Week: Occasionally averted.
  • Precocious Crush: Charlie quickly develops a crush on Dr. Lily.
  • Recovered Addict: Cole used to be addicted to morphine and heroin and consumes candy to stay clean. When Cole and Mina must retrieve heroin to use as painkillers, he contemplates relapsing, but manages to overcome it.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: Ryan and Ben are said to have this kind of relationship, having broken off and gotten back together multiple times over a year.
  • Short Runner: ABC canceled the series after the first 13-episode season.
  • Shower of Love:
    • Tommy has a couple with some natives, which piss off Mina and Lily since it screws up their shower schedule.
    • Lily's second Waterfall Shower turns into this after she and Mateo reconcile and he joins her.
    • Tommy later walks in on Mina showering with a patient, which makes him insanely jealous.
  • Suicide by Cop: A patient in the first season finale in a case of "Suicide By Charging Bull".
  • Tagalong Kid: Charlie. Subverted eventually, as he is learning medical basics and is a lot of help around the clinic.
  • Televisually Transmitted Disease: The quote at the top of this trope's page was used in the show. Inverted when Mina explains how she misdiagnosed a child and thought he just had a fever, and he died hours later.
    Mina: Sometimes... it is zebras.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Lily during both her Waterfall Shower scenes.
  • Waterfall Shower: Happens several times as a Running Gag, always in the same waterfall and always ends up with said character shower being interrupted.
    • In "Smile. Don't Kill Anyone", Lily, Tommy and Mina's first meeting with Dr. Ryan is when they stumble upon her bathing in a waterfall in the wild. She nonchalantly gets out and wraps herself in a Modesty Towel to properly greet them. When Mina questions it, Ryan calls the waterfall "God's Shower".
    • Later in the same episode, Lily decides to use the same waterfall to shower, but it turns into a Naked People Trapped Outside situation when her towel washes away... right as Ben is strolling by and happens to get an eyeful which causes Lily to have a Naked Freak-Out until he returns her towel and warns her she's bathing on a main hiking trail.
    • In "It's Good", Lily is again showering in the same waterfall at night, when Mateo walks in on her also telling her she's bathing in a main hiking trail. It turns into a Waterfall Shower of Love when he joins her.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: At the end of "It's Good", the doctors have saved a man suffering with appendicitis (and was treated without any medication) and two girls with potential heart disease. After loading them onto a helicopter that will take them to the bigger hospital in the city, it looks like everybody's going to live. The last shot of the episode is one of the engines blowing out and the helicopter crashing in the jungle.