You can imagine my surprise when I was on HULU one night, trying to find something to watch. I used to avoid doctor dramas because I thought the shows were graphic in their efforts to show the true horror of death and how much blood and sweat goes into saving the human body. My mom used to watch House M.D. when it aired on TV and I only managed to see a few moments of the show when it was on. Now, thanks to streaming, I can watch all the doctor dramas I want.
The Good Doctor was on a break when I discovered ER (E.R.?), a doctor drama from the nighties with young George Clooney. I admit, the fact that George Clooney was a main character in the show was one of the main reasons I watched it. The second push to hit PLAY was that ER had taken place in the nighties and I had been watching The Good Doctor, a show that takes place almost thirty years later. I wanted to see the differences.
And boy, there are tons.
As expected, the methods the surgical residents use when it comes to caring for their patients are huge. In The Good Doctor, you can practice surgery with 3D holograms. In ER, there is no such thing. They’re still popping x-ray printouts in a projector screen for crying out loud. There are still files to keep up with and maintain, but everything is so much faster, such as typing for example, in The Good Doctor versus the concise and dreary process of writing updates in patients’ files by hand.
I’m still in season one (Hulu has all 300 episodes), but the show is holding my attention so far. I do have a few complaints, such as story progression and relationship changes between characters. One of our new residents, John Carter, makes a move on an established resident, Dr. Lewis, at the end of an early episode in season one. This is never addressed again by either of them, nor is the fact that Carter caught an STD from sleeping with a patient earlier in the season. Dr. Green (chief resident) and his wife are all lovey dovey at the beginning of the season and around episode 17 (only because of long commutes for the wife), the wife wants to divorce Dr. Green.
Even Carol Hathaway, a resident who attempts suicide in the pilot episode, is allowed to continue work as normal three episodes later and no one checks on her throughout the entire season. Now, maybe at this point I’m being picky, but I find it hard to believe that they let a coworker back to work without having a random moment every five episodes to make sure she’s alright. Doug Ross, an old lover of hers, doesn’t bring this up to Carol either. Like, come on.
Little inconsistencies like this are making it hard for the writer in me to enjoy the show, but as a doctor drama fan, I’m having fun. I believe that The Good Doctor is a much more consistent, as all the relationships endure some challenges that the viewers are constantly reminded of, but so far, ER is suffering from that lull I was talking about earlier: where the emergency room is only about the patient, even if the residents are getting in trouble while trying to catch each other’s attention.
I plan to finish the entire series, one episode at a time, while continuing The Good Doctor. I like to see the technology advancements.
Have you discovered a new favorite show lately? Let’s talk about it.