If there’s one attempted and actual TV genre that will never go out of date, it’s the medical drama. The weaving of interpersonal issues with emergency surgeries never ceases to thrill TV fans, although it’s often hard to stand out from the pack. But ABC is trying to do just that with its new show The Good Doctor full movie.
While the title makes it seem like another Good Wife spinoff, new series follows a group of surgeons in a San Jose hospital. The twist? Among these surgeons finds a young man with both autism and a genius level intellect. Besides Meredith Grey, there’s a new surgeon in town.
The Good Doctor movie was created by Hawaii 5-0 and Lost actor Daniel Dae Kim and writer/producer David Shore (House).
The series largely follow Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), as he starts his first days in the surgical program at San Jose Saint Bonaventure Hospital. Murphy’s entrance is an exciting and flashy one, and it sends waves through the hospital staff, particularly in the surgical program and Hospital Board. The show unfolds much like most medical dramas, as conflict arise both in the operating room and between the private drama of the staff.
While the show’s title may make it seem completely focused on Shaun’s storyline, the first few episodes introduce a fairly large cast of characters. Standouts include Dr. Claire Browne (played by Antonia Thomas), who instantly captures the audience and will likely become the secondary protagonist as The Good Doctor full movie carries on.
Shaun’s father figure Aaron Glassman is also the President of the Hospital, played with appropriate levels of anxiety and kindness by The West Wing’s Richard Schiff. The main cast also finds surgeons and members of the Hospital’s board, portrayed by Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu, Beau Garrett, and Tamlyn Tomita.
While The Good Doctor 2017 movie is a strong enough medical drama, it’s best scenes truly do surround its lead character. The way that Shaun sees and feels the world are shown via the use of visual effects. When he’s agitated by loud noises or crowded spaces, they’re amplified for the audience. But more engaging than this is when the young doctor is going through his extensive medical knowledge or assessing a medical emergency. Shaun’s knowledge becomes our own, and we see as he processes the situation and realizes a plan of action.
Aside from the sequences featuring the series lead, The Good Doctor full movie may still be able to separate itself from other medical shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Chicago Med. Because rather than focusing solely on the doctors and nurses of the hospital, ABC’s new series also heavily involves members of the board.
By involving the business side of running a hospital, The Good Doctor 2017 full movie can show moments of law and business drama, giving viewers a breather from the medical hoo-hah that comes with the genre. It’s these group of people that were taught a lesson in empathy by giving Shaun the chance to join the program, so perhaps his myriad skills and perspective will help change more minds in future episodes.
If there’s one thing that could be improved in the show, it would be fleshing out the supporting cast. The series has quite a few series regulars, so it’s going to take a number of episodes before they all start feeling real. One exception to this is Claire Brown. While she’s certainly a good person, her ignorant first interaction with Shaun will allow the series to deliver an educational narrative to the audience, without it feeling forced or exposition heavy.
Another standout is the surly Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) who is a stereotypical arrogant doctor. He frequently demeans both Claire and Shaun, and is the hard-ass doctor that every medical drama needs. Sadly, the rest of the starring cast members fail to make a solidly strong impression in the first few episodes.
It should be great to see how The Good Doctor 2017 works in the ratings, especially with Grey’s Anatomy already airing on the same channel. Grey’s is preparing for its huge 14th season this week, so will the network’s fans be willing to watch two similar series? They both involve dueling egos, shocking surgeries, and on-call room sex sessions; it’s going be up to the series’ two previously mentioned unique characteristics to captivate audiences. Thankfully, the moments featuring Shaun are quite great, so The Good Doctor movie may wind up having legs on it.
Because of the concept, The Good Doctor full movie will definitely be compared to Netflix’s recent drama-comedy Atypical. Both feature a young man on the autism spectrum, and unfold as he tries to navigate the world of personal and professional relationships. Atypical had received some backlash due to its portrayal of autism, and its currently unclear if The Good Doctor 2017 online free will fare any better. Yet I will say that Shaun is much more likable that Keir Gilchrist’s Sam, if only because of his vastly more optimistic outlook and natural charisma.