Since I’m a fan of another show from this same network, I took a chance on another, knowing next to nothing about it. Basing my opinion on a single trailer, I – quite impulsively, rented Royal Pains.
Royal Pains, Season One (2009) TV Show Review
Life in the E.R. can be stressful as any good doctor will attest to. Dr. Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) has just rushed a young man to the E.R. after he collapses on the basketball court. With attention directed on this teen, Hank is disgusted when the hospital directors instead direct him towards an elderly patient in the E.R. with chest pains. When things go wrong, and the elderly patient dies, Hank’s ethics are questioned, and he’s then promptly fired. His plans further crumble when his fiancée leaves him. Becoming something of a hermit, Hank mourns his losses until his brother, Evan (Paulo Costanzo) “orders” him to the Hamptons for a long weekend – his motives for nothing more than to par-ty, as only the rich can.
Disillusioned to be rubbing shoulders with the wealthy, Hank comes upon a potentially life-threatening situation while attending a party that Evan conned his way into. There he saves a woman, and catches the attention of the homeowner, Boris (Campbell Scott). Offered the position as a “concierge doctor,” Hank refuses only to discover he’s already got the job, and new patients. To complicate matters more, this also brings three women to his doorstep; Physician’s Assistant, Divya (Reshma Shetty) applies for a job; the woman he saved stakes a claim on his heart; and a pretty hospital administrator, Jill (Jill Flint) who maybe can change his mind about leaving.
Medical shows have never been my jam. Not even the evening-drama-filled-soap-opera types could lure me, if anything, they were turn-offs. No, I prefer to stick with some of the decent crime-based shows I’ve come to enjoy. This is in part because as a medical show, writers aren’t squeamish about writing into scripts any and all terms related to the body that might make some of us, pardon the pun, sick.
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USA Network likes to promote their shows based on the characters. Though I’m a fan by only two of their offerings, I can honestly say this applies to Royal Pains. Though I may change my mind with any given episode, Divya is my favorite of the bunch. She is a stitch, and she and Evan share some interesting dynamics as do she and fiancé, Raj. One of the best lines comes when Evan makes some smart-mouth comment about Divya’s body and she pertly replies, “Don’t objectify me, Sidekick.” The delivery is perfection. Hank on the other hand is the complete opposite of his philandering brother. Some viewers think the character is too contrived, and unrealistic, but I find his characterization refreshing. Hank is a very honest person who believes truth is always the best option. This is especially helpful in his blossoming relationship with Jill; plus disallows typical stereotype tropes.
Royal Pains is far from flawless but there is a fun vibe that, I’m going to just say it, is contagious. It’s a new idea that features episode titles relating to more than just one meaning that weaves into each episode. The settings are gorgeous (especially when they include picnics on the beach with a stunning sunset as a backdrop – after all, this is the Hamptons), the cast shares some fantastic camaraderie, and above all, the forty-five minutes offers up more than one laugh. The story leaves us with more than one thing to think on, all the while wishing that it wouldn’t be another year before Hank Med would return.
Royal Pains is TV14 for its sexual material, both in medical terms and as pre-marital sex and/or casual sex in relationships [a few suggestive scenes depict the latter instances]. A married couple is briefly seen trying to induce labor with sex. There is some talk of virginity and birth control. There’s social drinking and references to drugs. There’s some profanity throughout the show. The show deals with several medical issues.