What: The Good Doctor
Why: The Good Doctor offers a fresh outlook on your typical medical drama. Through new surgical resident, played by British actor Freddie Highmore ‘Dr. Shaun Murphy‘ who has both autism and savant syndrome, social stigma surrounding disabilities are reviewed and subsequently challenged.
Stylistically, each series is scattered with flashbacks of Shaun’s upbringing as well as visual diagrams which show the way Shaun’s brain processes surgical cases. Such visuals reinforce the words of Shaun’s first advocate and mentor Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) who re-labels Shaun’s disabilities as differences which allow him genius surgical skills. As he downplays the challenges Shaun faces in a professional career, Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) plays the antagonist and opportunist who only needs one screw up from Shaun to advance his career and replace Dr. Glassman as president of San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.
The Good Doctor features a racially diverse ensemble of likeable characters and as an audience, you grow to care about each individually and genuinely route for them as they navigate the highs, lows and sometimes political and moral judgments of relationship woes, guilt, sexual harassment, and resident – supervisor conflicts.
Other surgical residents are Dr. Claire Browne and Dr. Jared Kalu played by British actors Antonia Thomas (Misfits) and Chuku Modu (Game of Thrones) respectively. The Good Doctor initially pairs this duo in a ‘situationship’ where Dr. Browne is content as friends with benefits whilst Dr. Kalu is unhappy being her out of work hours secret. Amongst the doctors’ attempts at balancing work life and relationships are interesting patients which present the surgical cases of the week. Each is cleverly woven between each doctors personal story, creating an empathy which allows you to realise why they chose to become doctors in the first place.
The Good Doctor’s setting is unlike most hospitals. You can’t help but notice how the doctors treat both adult and children patients, the hospital waiting room is always empty with the exception of one patients family member who is required for the next scene and all except Dr Glassman have no specialist surgeries – meaning they pretty much get to muck in with any and everything. The balance is much like Shaun’s social awkwardness and lack of filter with his words which are cleverly placed and often make for laughable moments which then very quickly cause you to reflect on the typical mannerisms of society.
One case is presented in the very first episode where Dr. Browne (Thomas) approaches Shaun at lunch in a friendly manner wondering if he has any questions about adapting to a new hospital setting. Shaun has one question, “The first time you met me, you were rude to me, then you were nicer, and now you want to be my friend …. which time was it that you were pretending “
Shaun’s analysis of typical human behaviours cause you to realise that even the nicest of people carry preconceived notions, bias, and prejudices in some way – often without realising. Each episode is heartwarming and we as the audience get to watch all the doctors evolve and learn to handle new people, situations, and gain the respect of their colleagues.
Who: Antonia Thomas, Chuku Modu, and Hill Harper.
Where: Sky Witness
When: Tuesdays @
Catch up with the Doctor via Sky Witness
Article by Lilly-Belle