Can The Good Doctor have long term success?

If you’re not on the bandwagon for ABC’s newest drama The Good Doctor, you might be behind the curve. While critically panned, the show is still catching on with casual viewers. Rarely do doctor/hospital shows underperform and The Good Doctor seems to already be riding along on similar success.

For those still on the fence about starting yet another medical drama, fear not. The deciding factor can be narrowed down to one comparison. Did you enjoy House M.D. while it was on FOX? If so than jump on board and start streaming now. Even though the shows are different in premise they share the same style. Each created by David Shore, both shows share the same medical jargon and attention to detail that make them seem more realistic. While they have similarities the shows protagonists are what set the two apart. Dr. Shawn Murphy (Freddie Hightower) is a more caring, feeling, polar opposite version of Dr. House. However, the due to premise of the show, Dr. Murphy falls somewhere on the Autism spectrum.

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That alone poses a major challenge for the show. The real question going forward is not how good the show is now, but how long can it sustain long term success. The biggest challenges the writers will face is maintaining authenticity. Right now the show is enjoying success by being able to portray the disconnect of the main character and how it stays true to life to a person with a mild form of autism. While there are many cases, the one thing consistent with autism is the social disconnect.

One thing that makes dramas great to viewers is the emotional investment in the characters. Between the close friendships, the love interests, and colleague connections to show reliability dramas are based off emotion. So how does a show both portray social disconnect and emotional connections while staying true to the characters. If The Good Doctor is on for an extended period will those relationships seemed forced, or will they evolve and grow the characters past the premise of the original show? How do they stay true to what the show is intended to be? That will ultimately decide the show’s long term success.

ABC’s been struggling to find another prime time drama for some time now and seem to have nailed one down. The Good Doctor isn’t without it’s flaws, but as most medical dramas go, right now it’s near the top. If it can stay true to the characters and build a show that doesn’t seemed forced it can be around for years to come. If they venture too far off with character growth, they’ll quickly alienate their original fan base. The Good Doctor should be added to any medical-drama lover’s rotation, but proceed with caution.

 

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