• The Good Doctor Is A More Positive House (ABC)

    by  • September 11, 2017 • ABC, Broadcast Decency, Paleyfest 2017 Reviews • 5 Comments

    The Good Doctor

    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.

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    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    5 Responses to The Good Doctor Is A More Positive House (ABC)

    1. Kimberly
      September 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      I saw this show listed under your best new fall shows. I made the mistake of not reading your full article and sat down and watched it with my tweens. It would have been such a great show if they had left out the sex and bad language. I won’t make that mistake again. It’s too bad. Not a family show.

    2. Debby Ravino
      September 28, 2017 at 10:13 am

      I saw the first episode and enjoyed it very much, however, I cannot relate to any of the characters yet. Especially the Good Doctor. I think he was portrayed too socially dysfunctional. I have only been exposed to few autistic people and while they do not seem comfortable with eye contact or physical contact, they were able to hold a conversation and were overall smart. The Good Doctor, while having a steady hand to operate, was portrayed as not having proper motor skills as depicted when he attempted to run both at the airport and at the hospital. I think his character needs to be more functional for the average TV viewer to believe the story line and connect with him. I think this series has great potential.

    3. J Gary Staudt
      September 26, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      My wife and I saw this show last night. Your commentary is spot on, and some cautions for young children are advised.
      But otherwise, other than the sexual crap, the show was mostly excellent, and we’ll watch again.
      But the producers and advertisers need to choose their audiences wisely.
      See “Kim’s” comment above.
      Bottom line, we don’t consider crude and demeaning scripts as worth our time, nor are we titillated by the gratuitous semi-graphic sex stuff.
      Continue those negatives and we’ll stop watching.

    4. Kim
      September 16, 2017 at 9:41 am

      Now this looks appealing..as long as there is no nasty words, no sex, no sex jokes, no Christian bashing..i’d watch it.

    5. Diane Abegglen
      September 15, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      I can’t wait for this one! It’s about time we had something uplifting yet educational to watch! I think it will really help people to know more about autism and the different stages of it.

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