A Regular Doctor Reviews Fox's "The Resident" / by F. Perry Wilson

The well-worn genre gets a hefty dose of overwrought schlock in this joyless midseason replacement.

Video Transcript:

It's mid-season replacement time, again, and Fox has prescribed us a hefty dose of medical schlock in its new series, "The Resident".

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Physicians love to criticize doctor shows. It makes us feel superior and mollifies our fragile egos. But I will be the first to admit that there are some good doctor shows out there. Well, there's one. It's called "Scrubs," and it is why I went to medical school.

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"The Resident" is no "Scrubs." In fact, it may be the most joyless doctor show I've come across.

The titular resident is Dr. Conrad Hawkins, played by the handsome Matt Czuchry – a brilliant but troubled physician who tells it like it is. He's harsh on his new intern Devon Pravesh, played by the equally handsome Manish Dayal.

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Intern Pravesh didn't sign up for this, so he goes to Nurse Nicolette Nevin, played by the beautiful Emily VanCamp, to ask to be reassigned. Is that a nursing role?

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The inaccuracies don't stop at the fact that every single person in this hospital is Hollywood good-looking – though take a look at Chief of Surgery and habitual accidental patient-killer Dr. Randolph Bell, played by Bruce Greenwood.

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Dr. Bell is the chief of surgery. All surgeries apparently, as he is seen in the pilot performing both an appendectomy (spoiler alert: it doesn't go well) and later, a robotic prostatectomy. In terms of medical accuracy, I've seen worse. I mean, using a scalpel for a central line.

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Probably not. But I get the drama.

Dr. Bell giving himself 5-star patient reviews?

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Love it.

This scene in a call room?

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I wish.

This call room scene is a bit more familiar to me though.

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But somewhere a physician was helping because of this little gem:

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Thank you, "The Resident," thank you. For once the person having a cardiac arrest doesn't get defibrillated. My life is complete.

Here's the deal. What "The Resident" gets wrong is that it serves up lots of medical drama, codes, overdoses, accidents in the OR, but at the expense of character. These doctors and nurses are hardly people at all, and while I know some practitioners as one-dimensional as these denizens of Chastain Park Memorial Hospital, I wouldn't want to spend an hour a week with them.

Literally everyone in this show seems to be having a terrible time. This doesn't make medicine look glamorous, but like a weird torture chamber.

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Sure it is.

Look, bad stuff happens in hospitals. But good stuff happens too – and not just the heavy good stuff, like, you know, saving a life – but like someone bringing in a bag of Oreos. A small dose of fun would go a long way to making "The Resident" more realistic, and more watchable.