Royal Pains

Brilliant NYC ER doctor Hank Lawson gets fired for not saving a wealthy hospital benefactor goes to the Hamptons with accountant brother, saves supermodel and others, becomes concierge doctor to the rich. I wasn’t going to watch this show because I right now have a fundamental distaste for the fabulously wealthy. Not right, but I don’t care. What lead me to write this post was the 2nd episode.

There was a ballerina who kept passing out because her body couldn’t process carbs. Cool. But the episode was about food and only one bite was only seen taken. When Hank got a call after making his breakfast his brother said “work first, food later”. Uh, no. It’s breakfast. Every time it was time for him to eat, something happened. It was annoying and I was annoyed I kept noticing. 

But the “work first, food later” really upset me because it’s indicative of the greater problem of the Protestant work ethic. The idea that working for money trumps one’s personal care. The message of this show is that we must follow our true instincts to make positive changes in the world. Pollyanna-ish, but true. But Hank became the concierge doctor despite his personal reluctance and insistence that he’s not doing it for money. It’s like everyone else in that universe can see that he needs the money but him. He takes the job to help people. Now that’s a little too boring for 21st century television. He apparently has no flaws because he’s good and not like House or Nurse Jackie. The story being told for him not by him is one of a man who is still reacting to circumstances and not propelled by his own will. 

It would have taken him 2 seconds to eat a little egg and fruit while heading out the door. I know they had to set it up that he is no longer allowed in the kitchen to allow for the set up for the shows dynamics with him and his brother, but that was really bad direction. 

All in all, if I hadn’t noticed that and how he never ate a bite until he was sitting with his crush in the black couples backyard at the very end of the episode, I wouldn’t have written about this show.

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