Welcome once again to “Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday“, where Tiffany White and I take on the arduous task of watching the latest TV has to offer, letting you know what’s worth tuning in to, and what is better left alone.
This week I talk medical drama on TNT and USA, in HawthoRNe and Royal Pains.
I like medical drama. I accept that it is generally overdramatic, and often unrealistic. I mean, I’ve been to an ER. No hot doctors, no one running around like it’s a matter of life and death, no power struggles unfolding in front of the patients; it’s just dull and expensive.
While I can suspend some belief, I only do so when the characters are likeable and the situations they find themselves in are at least somewhat plausible.
HawthoRNe (the RN tells you it’s about nurses) centers around Christina Hawthorne (Jada Pinkett-Smith) a no nonsense, tough as nails nurse.
Or at least that is what they want the viewer to think of her.
Instead, we get a bossy woman who is implausibly always right, surrounded by people who are never as smart, who never take risks, who all-in-all can’t live up to the standard set by her mere existence. In case you aren’t getting it, I don’t like the main character. And I am supposed to. That translates into big fail.
Now, I’ll be honest. I’ve seen two episodes, both from the beginning of the second season. In the first episode, there were so many things that should have tugged at my heartstrings. Should have. I’m about to give you a spoiler, just to be clear in how much I don’t like this show. Someone loses their baby. Being a mom, that usually means I am in instant tears.
I didn’t even flinch. Somehow, this show has been written in a way that I care so little for the characters in it, that dead babies don’t even make me tear up. Typing that sentence made me more emotional than watching this show did.
It is sad that a program showcasing eye candy like Michael Vartan, James Morrison, David Julian Hirsh, and Adam Rayner is so unlikable.
HawthoRNe, I would declare you DOA, as cheesy and trite as that sounds since that formula seems to be your go to, but you have already survived an entire season.
I will instead bestow upon you the very first LOTV. Liver and onions all the way. Not even bacon can save this bad boy.
USA Network, can you save us from the atrocity that is the TNT medical drama?
Royal Pains, now in its third season, follows the story of Henry “Hank” Lawson (Mark Feurstein), a doctor who loses his job as a successful ER doc after he focuses his attention on the “wrong” patient. Giving attention to the patient he thought was in more dire need, a wealthy contributor to the hospital dies.
From the start, the series sets us up with the idea that Dr. Lawson is a caring individual who doesn’t like to let politics or other non-medical factors affect his choices.
Through a series of events that include saving a life while in The Hamptons, he finds himself taking a job as the private doctor to a German nobleman named Boris (the oh so pretty Campbell Scott). In addition to taking care of Boris, who allows Hank to live in his guest house, he is able to attend to other wealthy patients.
He doesn’t work alone. His brother, Evan (Paulo Costanzo), serves as HankMed’s CFO, an job title he bestows on himself. He approaches his brother’s medical practice as a business, often to the annoyance of Hank and his Physicial Assistant, Divya (Reshma Shetty).
The show has a nice blend of funny, dramatic, and just a touch of MacGyver, as Hank tends to make the best of whatever is handy when he comes across emergency situations. His character, while obviously talented, is caring, never the know-it-all.
Even his often annoying brother has his endearing moments, and the seemingly stiff Divya has her soft side as well. Well introduced back story (without the aid of lengthy and unecessary flashbacks) clue you in to each characters personalities and idiosyncrasies.
All in all, good characters and good stories.
It doesn’t hurt that Divya wears some killer outfits, and the Lawson brothers are pretty adorable in their own right.
I give Royal Pains a MacTV rating.* Maybe it’s Lobster Mac N’ Cheese, something worthy of theHamptons? It is definitely satisfying, and maybe has just a little bit extra. If you don’t want to take my word for it, this is one case where the majority agrees with me – Royal Pains is one of the highest rated shows on cable.
So, are you watching any medical drama this summer? What do you think of HawthoRNe and Royal Pains? Give us your two cents in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #watchwed.
Next week, we give a quick recap of the summer reviews. What are we still watching? Have our opinions changed?
Head over to see Tiffany explore whether cons can change from bad to good as she reviews Leverage and White Collar.
What shows are you looking forward to this fall? Let us know what you’d like to see reviewed in the future.
Also, don’t forget to get your votes in for the Tamberny Awards!
*A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech