All Souls is All Cheese with a Streak of Blood

All Souls cast, with Adam Rodríguez on far right
All Souls cast, with Adam Rodríguez on far right

All Souls, a creepy supernatural UPN Series from 2001 (still replays on SyFy) will make you afraid of old-timey hospitals forever if you weren’t already.   It lasted six episodes before it was cancelled, and that might not have been such a bad thing.  Here’s the plot: All Souls Hospital is a 300-year-old Boston institution with a dark history- insane asylum and dungeons included. Super-smart doctor Mitchell Grace (played by Grayson McCouch) arrives at All Souls after rejecting jobs at prestigious institutions. His father had mysteriously passed away while working as a janitor at All Souls, and this haunting memory became some kind of freaky incentive to work there. All Souls Hospital is well-known for its cutting edge research, and during the course of the series Mitch finds that this research is a tad bit… well, crazy unethical. But he must stay, because he is The Chosen One. Of course he is. He has two male friends, Patrick Fortado (Adam Rodríguez; CSI Miami, Roswell) and Dr. Brad Sterling (Daniel Cosgrove). Both of these actors are as handsome as McCouch but they get uglified with extremely bad haircuts to make Chosen One shine. Shame, because Adam Rodríguez is a deliciously handsome Puerto Rican and Cuban mix (raised in New York).

Rodríguez does a great job playing Patrick Fortado, a computer whiz. He’s the kind that can hack into anything *but* the hospital’s computers so you know somethin’ shady’s going on. Patrick is a paraplegic, recently confined to a wheelchair, and his spinal injury is one of the show’s plot points. He is a support character, the lead’s best friend, and appears in most episodes. Patrick lives in a trailer with his computers. Not sure how he actually can move around comfortably in a trailer, but whatever. Mitch and Patrick share 21 years of friendship, since Patrick’s parents “adopted” Mitch after he was orphaned.  They didn’t have time to develop a true bromance, but I believe they were well on their way. Adding to the mix, two Magical Negroes: a physic nurse and an American Civil War orderly ghost that hang out at the hospital dispensing cryptic advice and bossiness. This adds to the cheesiness in a good way.

It would have been nice to get some resolution to the series’ conflict, but it was short-lived for a reason.  My personal theory is that the hospital was a gateway to evil a la Sunnydale but instead of Buffy humor we get a weak The Shining. Still, if you see an All Souls marathon on TV, it is worth a watch, especially the pilot, episode two, Spineless, where Rodríguez really shines, and episode four, Bad Blood.

Bonus: Bad Blood has more latinos! So I’ll talk briefly about this particular episode. Dr. Márquez, played by Miguel Sandoval (Medium) flies to the hospital on the All Souls private jet (uh huh) for treatment of a mysterious ailment.  He is a world famous environmentalist, the “Nelson Mandela of the rainforest” since he was imprisoned many years for his efforts. Márquez also is a potential future president of a random Latin American country with dictators and torture who seemingly isn’t as saintly as he appears. You’ll notice Spanish guitar and South American pan flute music throughout the whole episode. I TOLD you it was cheesy!

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