Another drama about a brilliant but socially flawed surgeon.
Shaun Murphy is a young but brilliant pediatric surgeon, with photographic recall of hundreds of medical textbooks and the ability to intuit procedures with amazing ease. But Shaun is also autistic, making him extremely blunt, naïve, and unable to communicate coherently with others. Championed by his old mentor Dr. Glassman, President of San Jose St. Bonaventure hospital, Shaun is offered a place on the surgical staff – over the objection of Neil Melendez, chief of surgical residents. Now, Shaun must face his own learning challenges and also win his fellow surgeons over…while saving lives in the bargain.
Based on a Korean series of the same name and developed and produced by House creator David Shore, The Good Doctor is, unsurprisingly, similar to the latter series, which also featured a brilliant doctor with problems relating to others. Typical for a prime-time medical drama, the first episode contained a large amount of medical-related graphic content, including an opened chest with organs pumping, children being injured and dying, and copious amounts of blood. As is also typical, several of the doctors are romantically involved, and are carrying on sexual liaisons in broom cupboards and the like. Finally, there is some profanity, including doctors referring to one another as “bitch” and similar language.
That said, the program does have a positive side: that of showing that those with mental or physical handicaps, like autism, can lead full, productive lives and be helpful to others. In a world where some nations are “curing” other disabilities like Down’s syndrome by eliminating those who have it, this is not only a positive, but a necessary message. And, despite its similarities to House, this show is different in one very important way: while House was a social outcast largely because he was an egomaniac who deliberately chose to be obnoxious to everyone around him, Shaun social difficulties are not his own fault, he tries hard to overcome them, and the program holds out hope that one day, he may.
While its graphic content and language may make it inappropriate for some younger viewers, The Good Doctor provides interesting medical storylines, with a positive character and uplifting moral.
The Good Doctor premieres Mond ay, September 25 at 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC.