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The Resident - Pilot - Review: "Questioning the System"

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I’m not going to lie; I mainly decided to watch the pilot because of the cast. I mean, we’ve got enough medical dramas out there, right? But the show managed to put together a solid cast so I thought I’d give it a shot. How bad can a show with Emily Thorne, Ryan Ray and Logan Read be?

The premise has nothing out of the ordinary, nothing that makes “The Resident” particularly stand out, but it was enjoyable enough. The show is neither a hit nor a miss; the pilot was somewhere in between. It was enough to get me to watch at least the net few episodes. It seems lacking a voice, like it just hasn’t found just what it wants to be when it grows up yet, and wouldn’t fully commit to anything, or anyone. It has potential, demonstrating health as the multi-billion industry it has become in the United States, it just wasn’t there yet.

“Medicine isn’t practiced by saints Devon, it’s a business.” – Nic

The Pilot gives its go with an appendectomy that goes from bad to worse. It starts with some nurses taking selfies in the OR and leads to a surgeon having difficulty holding his scalpel straight. Right off the bat, you know this surgery isn’t going to end well. On cue, the patient starts to wake up and blood starts to piss everywhere. Within seconds, they’ve lost their patient. No, but seriously, that was a really, really fast death. They work together in order to cover for the chief, and as it seems, this isn’t the first time this has happened.

That short intro established Dr. Randalph Bell’s character, the chief of surgery, the face of the hospital. He is the one plastered on buildings, and buses, and parc benches… This short scene introduces is us to HoDAD, aka Hands of Death And Destruction. It’s clear from the beginning, the audience won’t be rooting for him.

Shortly after, we are introduced to the hospital hottie, who bikes to work and hates when people park in handicapped spots. Just like that, you hope he’ll be the main protagonist for the show, which he is.

The next character to be introduced is the new resident: Devon Pravesh, a Harvard graduate. In my opinion, his introduction felt a little too cheesy. I don’t think characters who have everything going for them are relatable. I need my characters flawed to be able to root for them, and he’s too confident for my taste. There is something off with the character. Anyone with me?

“No, no, no. It’s not like that, we’re not laughing together. Everything you thought you knew about medicine is wrong. All the rules you followed we’ll break. I only have one rule, it covers everything. I’m never wrong. You do whatever the hell I tell you to, no questions asked.” - Conrad

Right off the bat, you get what type of relationship it is going to be between them, how their dynamic will work. There is going to be the rule breaker, and the rule follower clashing, but Conrad has all the power, and he did not lose any time letting his protégé know it. At least there won’t be any will they won’t they tension between these two, as many shows have tried. Or will there?

For their first patient, Parvesh is asked to put his fingers up in where the sun don’t shine, in order to determine at what stage of paralysis their patient is, and he isn’t happy about it. He’s uptight, and he doesn’t think any of it is funny, but he listens to orders. Conrad is rude, dismissive and arrogant so Devon’s first instinct is to switch residents, but Nick strongly advises against it, if he wants to learn something for real. Devon needs some tough love, he definitely needs to be put in his place, get notched down a bit. I though during the first episode, we already started to see some kind of growth within the character which is good. By the end of the episode, even Conrad had opened up about Mary-Beth, the 5 year old who died after he gave her too much potassium. Despite Conrad’s tough exterior, he’s a good guy, with a good heart, and that makes you appreciate the character even more.

“Watch and learn. Conrad is the guy who tightens the bolt.” – Nic

I know there is a dirty joke in their somewhere, but my mind can’t seem to go there right now. Obviously, there is/was something going on between Nic and Conrad, and while she may think he is a great doctor, she doesn’t seem to think he’s great boyfriend material. For now. Their make out session revealed some tattoos on Conrad, and you know there is another story there. He probably has a military background, which, if done right, can give the character an interesting edge.

Another dynamic that will be interesting to follow is Bell and Conrad’s: two arrogant beings battling each other. In this relationship, Conrad clearly doesn’t have the upper hand, yet he doesn’t back down. He sticks to his morals. It’s the good vs evil type of relationship, where the evil has most of the power. Sometimes, having morals is costly. The resident that blew the whistle on a medical error and cost the hospital millions can bear witness to it. Bruce Greenwood makes for an interesting bad guy.

“All we want to do is help our patients, but what they don’t teach us in medical school is that there are so many ways to do harm.” – Conrad

When a 21 year old girl loses conscience and falls, the newbie is the one in charge. 24 minutes later, the girl still does not have a pulse, but he doesn’t give up. Even when Conrad tells him it’s time to stop, he doesn’t give up and finally, he gets a pulse. Devon thinks he’s done a good thing. He is proud of himself for having saved her, and we believe so too, until Conrad steps in, unimpressed. She’s brain dead. Conrad explains the repercussion on the victim’s family that will believe that she’ll wake up from this even though her brain has been deprived of oxygen for more than 26 minutes, it makes you realise the repercussions on the family, on the hospital… It was a good lesson in humility for Devon.

Of course Conrad was right. What was that one rule?

Part two of the episode was focused on “The Hand of God.” I call it part two because it seemed to be separated from the first half of the episode. I felt the storylines could have been better intertwined so that it felt like one episode instead of two shorter ones. The latter part of the episode focused mainly on the rest of the episode, giving a little breather to Conrad and Devon. Bell decides he will be the one to do the highly anticipated surgery, when he hasn’t practiced with the Titian until the night before. He’s egotistical and his pride gets in the way of his judgement. The staff is expecting him to crash and burn, but he doesn’t, not officially, which is good news for the patient.

“It did suck.” – Mina

We get introduced to another surgeon, Mina Okafor, a Christina type surgeon, that is too cool to care, but brilliant. I am allowing myself this Grey’s Anatomy analogy since the show itself made one when Bell was compared to McDreamy in a glowing patient review. (Which he probably sent to himself.) Honeslty, she might be my favorite character. She is really something else. That girl really has no fucks to give, none. She has one job, and the rest can go to hell. She does the surgery in Bell’s place and takes none of the credit.

Overall, the episode was good. The characters were well defined and had enough baggage to make them interesting. The dynamics were engaging and the music score was on spot, usually a testament of great shows. Also, I appreciated the fact that the patients seemed like normal ER patients, not a la Grey’s Anatomy where a building explodes, or a Ferry crashed every couple episodes. There was the girl with cancer, the diabetic who needed to be amputated (and seriously couldn’t care less), a Croatian with paralysis. Then there was the 21 year old girl with the drug problem and endocarditis. It doesn’t necessarily need to be flashy to make it interesting, this episode proved just that.

I’ll be tuning in for at least the next few episodes. How about you?


On another note, I can’t be the only one that screamed, “It’s never Lupus!” when Conrad diagnosed the hospital’s new admission. I guess it sometimes is Lupus in this medical drama.

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