The Good Doctor has a two-dimensional way of looking at things which might have worked a few years back at a time when we were watching gripping stories and deeply underlined characters.
After doing a terrific job as Norman Bates in Bates Motel, Freddie Highmore is back as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with Autism and Savant Syndrome. He is recruited as a surgical Resident at San Jose’ St. Bonaventure Hospital. The show starts with a regular network’s version of on-the-face boasting of the main characters, which is followed by a meeting of board members being a little skeptic about the hiring and putting a doctor with autism in charge of someone’s life.
Unlike the juggernaut of medical shows flooding our TV sets, this show promises to show a doctor with his own problem. Sounds familiar? Yes! Because it is. Who can forget Dr. Gregory House which is now replaced by a young and sweet looking Dr. Shaun Murphy? Both the shows have the protagonist who cannot have superficial human interactions or attachments with the only difference that one of them cannot do it because he is Autistic and the other, because he was a douchebag. Because of its inclusiveness and diverse cast (thanks to the time of diversity hiring), the show manages to find its place. The show is so much centralised around the ‘the Good Doctor’ that from the very go, it asks the viewers to feel every emotion for him- happy, sad and proud. The protagonist has been given a sad background story which might have been successful in showcasing the trouble of growing up as an autistic kid, but adding so much drama and sadness to it just doesn’t give the audience any breathing space. It becomes tough to invest oneself so much in the very pilot itself. Unfortunately, it’s not a pretty picture as ‘Atypical’.
The biggest problem with the show is the creator’s vision for the doctors. Weaving in Hispanic, Black, and Asian actors (which by the way is also mentioned in the show) in the story is welcomed but the way these doctors look is so superficial that one just cannot relate to them. Everyone has the perfect jaw, hot body, and even half visible tattoos. Almost the entire cast seems like they came straight out of a ramp walk (which is just not relevant).
And even though The Good Doctor is just a clichéd example of things turning in favour of a single person, it still manages to give you chills and a small ray of hope when the entire board watches a video where Shaun is seen saving a kid (Thanks to digital age) as they listen to his sad story of why he wants to be a Doctor.
Highmore effortlessly pulls the role of Dr. Shaun though his talents aren’t used for better. The show has a two-dimensional way of looking at things which might have worked a few years back at a time when we were watching gripping stories and deeply underlined characters. The Good Doctor tries to balance out the drama with a few lighter moments. The writers have tried to bring layers to Shaun’s character by weaving in his past and tragic loss but I guess the show gave everything on in the pilot leaving little to grow the storyline further. I really like Shaun’s capability of analyzing a person and being brutally honest about it. It a refreshing idea and a trait I’d love to have in my best friend, it allows even the best of people to self-reflect.
Catch the series on Colors INFINITY or here
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