Friday, June 12, 2009

'Pains' Takes it To the Good People

'Royal Pains' Airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on USA NetworkBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

So, I am just wondering if I can trade places with Dr. Hank Lawson for ... oh, I don't know. A day? A week? Forever?


I know I should be watching Royal Pains with some sort of semi-critical eye. But, seeing as I just can't get past all the frak-tastic cinematography of all-things Hamptons, I find myself doing my own WALL-E impression - staring at the TV screen, wanting to press my little record button so I can play back the sweeping aerials and beachfront views when I'm all by myself.

This week's second episode picked up brilliantly from the series premiere. More importantly, it further cemented what Mark Feuerstein told us in that Dr. Hank isn't just catering to rich folk.

He's actually trying to be a pretty darn good doctor to those who really need it, but can't afford it (yes, Virginia, they are some folks out Hampton way who don't have all the money in the world). I'm digging the fact Hank actually cares about his patients and recognizes the rather cushy position in which he finds himself allows him to do a whole lot more good for those who DON'T have oodles of Benjamins lying around. And it's not done in a soap-boxy, preachy, doesn't-the-medical-system-suck-and-I'm-going-to-single-handedly-change-it kind of way. It's more like a lightbulb going on in his head, and he's quietly taking to it one at a time.

I also dig the wonderful budding frimance (sorry, did I just make that up? Friendship and romance as one word? Whatever) that is blossoming between Hank and Jill. Jill's position as hospital administrator allows her to essentially aid Hank in his Robin Hood of Medicine routine - which may seem too convenient for some, but not for me. Forgive me if I like it when sometimes you just know the right people at the right time and space, and through the creative license of television, good things get to happen to good people.

And the dialogue ... w.o.w. Fast. Funny. Sharp. And just spot on.

I'm trying to figure out how I can start planning a trip east.

New episodes of Royal Pains air Thursdays at 10 p.m. on USA Network. You can join other fans on Facebook; follow Royal Pains on Twitter, or visit the official Royal Pains Web site for the scoop on the series!


John said...

I liked this episode probably more than the pilot, which I also liked.

And this is despite the fact that I do think Hank is helping the medically needy in “a soap-boxy, preachy, doesn't-the-medical-system-suck-and-I'm-going-to-single-handedly-change-it kind of way.” His speech to the fisherman with hepatitis C saw to that.

I still don’t care much for Jill either. I don’t dislike her, but she seems to have two roles, Hank’s guide to the world of the Hamptons and his coconspirator in being a “Robin Hood” doctor.

I do like Hank and his brother. I was worried his brother would be an annoying source of problems for Hank and so far this is not the case.

And I liked the fact that Evan’s tale of a great meal in Machu Picchu was revealed as BS. I was afraid we were supposed to swallow that (pun intended).

The dialog is good and the guest characters are pretty good also, except Tucker’s father was too much of a stereotype.

I am pleasantly surprised by the series, but it still isn’t any Burn Notice.

LillyKat said...

I am also appreciating Hank's bro Evan (played just brilliantly by Paulo Costanzo; you'd swear he and Mark were actually brothers in real life).

I thought that preachy speech at the dock could've been beaten into our heads a whole lot more throughout the ep, but the fact we really only heard - in that much detail - one time kind of lends it to not being over the top. I think I might get tired if we hear that in every ep, but so far, seems OK for me. Or maybe I just like the idea of a Robin Hood doctor. LOL!

So you are a 'Burn Notice' fan, John? Have you watched since the beginning? (I confess I haven't seen an ep, but swear the previews always make me go, "Wow.")

John said...

I have watched Burn Notice since the pilot.

It has an excellent cast. Early on his mother and brother were very annoying,but that has improved.

John said...

If you are interested in catching up on Burn Notice, the first two (yes, 2) seasons will be available from Amazon starting tomorrow (Tuesday) for just $42.99. I realize they are short seasons, but that sounds like a good deal.

DVR Life said...

I completely agree - the Hamptons footage is beyond amazing. I also like that they are showing the other side of the Hamptons - not just all rich folks but everyone in town.