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Fox's 'The Resident' has Potential Despite its Many Ailments
January 21, 2018  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

Contrary to the promotion for Fox’s new medical drama The Resident, we’ve seen this patient before.

The Resident, which premieres at approximately 10 p.m. ET Sunday after the NFC Championship game and then moves to its regular slot Monday at 9 p.m. ET, gives us life-or-death patient drama, compassionate and arrogant doctors, underappreciated nurses and a steady drip of hospital romance.

Which is pretty much what medical dramas have been giving us back to the first doctor shows on radio in the 1930s.

The fact we keep watching means there’s nothing wrong with the formula. The diagnosis clearly is that we’ll keep watching if we like the characters, and with The Resident that certainly could happen.

We start with a core of five, though medical dramas by nature have large casts and there’s plenty of room to expand the roster or switch the lineup.

Matt Czuchry (left) from The Good Wife plays Dr. Conrad Hawkins, senior resident at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Memorial Hospital. He’s your basic brilliant doctor who’s in the game for all the right reasons. He’s tough but fair. He cares about his patients. When necessary, he can also play the handsome rascal card.

He’s scrambling a little, however, with nurse practitioner Nicolette (“Nic”), played by Emily VanCamp (below) from Revenge. They had a thing, and now they don’t, and he wants it back. At the moment they’re good friends, which means we viewers can expect an ongoing will they/won’t they dance.

While Nic prefers to remain a nurse, which is part of her backstory, she’s smart enough to be a doctor, and it’s clear that in everyday matters she’s often Chastain’s quarterback.

The most critical medical decisions, however, fall to chief surgeon Dr. Solomon Bell (Bruce Greenwood above), a classic surgeon in that he finds the rest of the world simply annoying. He has some secrets, though, and it doesn’t take long before it’s clear he’s not quite the deity he’d like people to treat him as.

The requisite young whippersnapper role falls to Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal). As Conrad’s intern, he chafes at the restrictions on “first years,” and he does know more than Conrad gives him credit for, though maybe not as much as he thinks he does. 

We also quickly get to know Mina Okafor (Shaunette Renee Wilson), a young immigrant surgeon who got into the hospital because Dr. Bell pulled strings. Now he is asking for professional payback, and that’s creating friction.  

So there’s a lot going on while everyone tries to save lives at Chastain, and not all of it reflects well on the medical profession.

None of it, however, will surprise TV viewers. Dysfunctional staffs, maddening administrators, and frustrated doctors are about as radical on a medical show as cheese on a slice of pizza.

Czuchry’s Hawkins, seemingly the central male character, doesn’t feel especially commanding, which will be fine if The Resident wants to become an ensemble drama. VanCamp’s Nic comes across as overqualified for her job, and she could probably take over the show if the writers choose to go in that direction, which they probably won’t.

Greenwood’s Dr. Bell will also have to evolve. We know he can be a jerk, and presumably, we will gradually find out that he can be other things, too.  

The Resident doesn’t immediately make clear how it will differ from other medical dramas. Then, given the popularity of the genre, maybe it doesn’t have to.

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The Resident is one of the best medical dramas on television right now. I love it and I can't wait to see more. Fantastic writing, superb characters and gripping actions. I am hoping we get a second season because it has a lot of potential and wonderful twist and turns. I like the realistic take on the way I believe hospitals are currently being run. Which means sadly it's becoming less and less about the patients and more about the bottom line witch is "money profit." The resident brings this current sad issue to light in a gripping way that needs to be addressed and because these residents are young they are trying to implement changes that should always be in a hospital setting such as holistic care first and profit later. The next episode is called family affair and in this episode Conrad and Nic will attempt to bring medical care to a homeless person while dealing with the policies and regulations that are currently in place and this is relevant to my comment. Rules first and..
Mar 16, 2018   |  Reply
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