Sunday, July 12, 2009

'Pains' Own Royal Pain

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

So, after enjoying a week off, Royal Pains returned last week with more of the same of what bothered me when we last left the Hamptons.

Evan Lawson.

Seriously, just.go.away.

As much as I liked the back and forth rapid fire one liners in the pilot (or that Paulo Costanzo and Mark Feuerstein could be brothers in real life), the subsequent episodes have left me feeling slightly smothered by this Evan character. As in, he's starting to seem like one of those rogue robots in WALL-E who needs to be sent to the repair ward.

Cue Sigourney Weaver's voice over.

Caution: Evan Lawson.

Caution: Evan Lawson.

I've also started to wonder if half of what Paulo Costanzo is saying in his scenes is actually written into the script, or if he is just riffing indefinitely and Mark Feuerstein is left to keep up.

If it is more riffing than script, I don't like it.

If it is more script than riffing, I still don't like it.

Again, we have the Trust Me problem. Too much random chatter from the mouth of a character that is supposed to seem witty or funny but ends up being way too much of an earsore. Or, we have such an absurdly spazball character opposite a straight arrow character that it makes you wonder how the straight arrow would allow the spazball to remain such a liability in his/her life for so long - especially if jobs are on the line and irregardless of whether they are related to one another.

At the end of the day, I've seen all this before.

It's not original.

I need to feel the Evan character is worth caring about. Right now, I don't. Right now, the show could be doing just fine WITHOUT the Evan character given there's plenty of interesting and neurotic stories to be told of the Hamptonites. Thus, wasting so much screen time on Evan and his non-stop rambling takes away from everyone - and everything - else.

If we were suppose to be seeing his "softer" side this past week, it didn't work for me. I didn't buy into the "manny" (read: nanny) act - especially after he once again pretended to have experience in something he does not so he could once again weasel his way into mooching off of another of Hank's patients/assignments (this time, the super-secluded getaway of super-exclusive family whose super-private matron is about to give birth and of whom Hank was charged to look after).

Is this all we're ever going to get with Evan? Is this all this characters has? I think it worked for me in the pilot because the character of Hank was so lost that Evan seemed his only out. That is, Evan - being so unlike Hank, so out there in his own being - was perhaps the only thing to snap Hank out of his downward spiral.

I just didn't think we'd have to get this episode after episode. It's already getting old - and we're only a few episodes into the series.

In other news ... I liked Jill trying to recruit Hank into being an ER doctor for Hamptons Heritage. This would obviously create a whole bunch of issues mixing personal with business BUT it forced Hank to admit he's actually enjoying what he's doing AND doesn't feel like he wants to give it up.

Note to writers: Can you do less with Evan and more Divya? She steals EVERY scene.

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 agree with all you said about Evan. If his fixing the sat phone was supposed to redeem him, it didn’t.

In addition to your complaints I want to add his attempts to run Hank’s life for his (Evan’s) benefit. And how does he walk in on his brother about to have sex and still stand there to push his own agenda.

And if Hank’s walking in on the husband and wife was supposed to parallel Evan walking in on Hank and Jill, it doesn’t. Hank suspected a medical emergency (wrongly), not a need to push his own agenda.

Burn Notice and In Plain Sight have this same problem with very annoying family members of the leads family.

For Burn Notice it was the mother and brother. The mother has improved and the brother largely written out.

In Plain Sight is finally improving the mother and sister this season.

I don’t want to have to wait a season or two for Evan to leave or become tolerable.

Unfortunately Evan was not the only idiot this week. The pregnant patient seemed to have no concept of medical reality.

I do like Divya. I want to know more about her story.

And for the first time, I liked Jill, as opposed to finding her boring.

By the way, how did the kid cause the accident? He was controlling the gear shift, not the brake, accelerator or the steering wheel. Blaming him (even if he were old enough to be held responsible –and with two adults “helping” him he isn’t) seems very odd.

And who goes to an island with a pregnant woman and only one way to communicate with the outside world. Or even without a pregnant woman, since accidents can happen. And who then treats the sole means of summoning help so cavalierly?

RichE said...

Yep. Evan's getting irritating. I refer you to my previous comments on people being oblivious to others when talking.

The crash was ridiculous. OK have the crash. Make the kid feel like he's screwed up again. But at least make it credible.

I can see how/why they are trying to stop Jill and Hank being "together" for now, but it could quickly become as frustrating for the viewer as much as them.

Kathryn Morris UK

John said...

Evan's and Hank's talking in the car, with each totally ignoring what the other was saying has to be one of the most blatant examples of what you (RichE.) were talking about.