The Good Doctor: What is Plaguing This Medical Drama?
To no one’s surprise, The Good Doctor was a hit for ABC last season. Doctor shows are almost always a success among fans. The drama and suspense typically keep the intrigue alive season to season. Based on the South Korean show Good Doctor, The Good Doctor has a familiar tone to fans. The David Shore written show has all the makings of the hit success House but sets itself apart as well.
Everything from the socially awkward brilliant doctor, to the intrigue of diagnosis to cure, and even the theme music seems a bit of a piggyback on a show fans didn’t expect to end. Throughout season one the show would get lost into political and social issues that drifted too far from the overall plot of the show. In season two they’ll need to be much stronger in developing character relationships and connecting the audience to a favorite character. Too often shows like these don’t succeed when viewers lack the emotional connection and desire to see how these character’s lives play out. Can season two draw the emotion back in without going too overboard?
With season 2 kicking off they’re already starting on the wrong foot. So far on the show, anyone Shaun is getting close to has either left, is dying, or is transferring to another hospital. Not only do we have to struggle to connect with these characters, true to life, but these characters are also struggling to connect with each other. While *spoiler alert* season two does bring Lea back into Shaun’s life, it only foreshadows the long and dragged out death of Dr. Glassman. Aside from Shaun, there’s the issue with the rest of the doctors at St. Bonaventure.
Other than some workplace jealousy, none of the characters show even the slightest bit of on-screen chemistry. Without the connection between them, there’s no theories of future love interests, disconnect, and then eventual resolve theories to keep the viewers intrigued. While the cases are enough to fascinate the audience on an episode by episode basis, The Good Doctor will need to step up their game when it comes to long-term storylines. Especially if it wants to have the success of all the other long-running medical dramas.
Sure the fascination now with how Shaun overcomes the obstacles he faces with day-to-day challenges is enough to keep the show afloat for a couple of seasons but how long can that last? Who will be the secondary star of the show and who’s story will stand out most. Focusing all their attention on one character won’t ensure long-term success. As it stands now, the team of doctors chosen to play supporting roles have little to do with the overall quality of the show. It’s almost as if the writers chose to go with stereotypical minorities just for the sake of the show.
They really try to hit every demographic with the struggling African-American trying to overcome life’s biggest obstacles. Then there’s the bitchy Caucasian female trying to prove she’s just as essential as the men in her job. Chances are, to no one’s surprise, she’ll be the lesbian of the group. Lastly, there’s the Asian male, either brought in for comic relief or to be the straight-laced, tell it like it is, hard ass. Don’t worry, they went with hard ass for dramatic purposes. It’s a disservice to the actors in these roles because they seem no more than a carbon copy of the ones cast before them.
The challenge The Good Doctor faces now can easily be fixed. Viewers don’t want to see characters, they want to see people. Too much of the onscreen personas seem like characters and not people we connect with. While the show has strength in the right places, its longevity might be in jeopardy. In fact, the writers seemed to go down a checklist to hit all their marks of a stereotypical drama. While the premise is a bit different from other medical dramas, The Good Doctor does little to separate itself from the usual path. In order to succeed, they need to bring these characters to life and connect with viewers. Otherwise, the show won’t last more than a season or two more.
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