Is anything better than the arrival of fall? The fresh scent of winter in the air, the fumes of pumpkin spice lattes rising in the air, leaves floating on the edges of sidewalks, leggings and uggs returning triumphantly to the wardrobe of every teenage girl, football games kicking off… Fall has many meanings to teenagers across the nation, but for Hollywood, it generally implies one thing. Season Premieres. This week, we’ve seen the return of TV shows from every genre. NBC brought back “The Voice” (now starring Jennifer Hudson), and their showstopper “This is Us”. While ABC welcomed plenty of new and old plots to their weekly lineup, including another season of comedic “American Housewife” and brand-new “Marvel’s Inhumans” (which actually premieres tomorrow). Still, one premiere has stood out above the rest. One premiere that everyone should watch…
The Good Doctor.
As a dedicated television viewer, I prefer to watch good and original tv. In this day and age, cliches are so common, and seemingly unavoidable. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I tuned into ABC Monday night and caught the premiere of The Good Doctor. The medical-drama follows Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) a surgeon with autism. It’s an interesting spin on the usual hospital drama and definitely challenges the viewer to think about things they normally wouldn’t think about.
I feel like that’s a major aspect of television. The media has an influential effect on society as Hollywood often challenges the social norm. Mental illness and disability is not as commonly talked about compared to other subjects in the political realm. However, it’s clear ABC is trying to input such an idea into the American conversation. After all, the Good Doctor isn’t the first disability related tv-show for ABC to produce. The company also produces Speechless, a comedy following the trials of a disabled/handicapped teenage boy and his family.
In general though, the show trailer reminded many viewers of “Doogie Howser MD” from back in the day. It’s entirely different. The Good Doctor is quick-paced but also entertaining. In the pilot, the writers do a nice job of establishing relationships quickly as well as diving in Shaun Murphy’s past. However, my favorite part about the show is how likable Shaun Murphy is. Mostly because he’s extremely relatable. His character represents all of us in our raw perserverance as well as determination to overcome the odds. The show isn’t entirely dramatic (though it does keep you on the edge of your seat), it has some comedic moments and some moments worth a smile. My other favorite aspect of the show is how the producers present autism with Shaun. Through the use of creative graphics and intelligent music, ABC invites viewers into how Shaun views things, opening up another way to meet the show’s protagonist. They really make the viewer think differently about what it means to be different.
The Good Doctor’s originality is a nice change in pace and it’s truly feel-good. So, when the credits rolled, I asked myself. Did I enjoy it? Yep. Would I watch it again? Totally, again and again. The Good Doctor will have competition including CBS’s Young Sheldon and NBC’s This is Us. But I have faith in the new tv show… and Shaun Murphy.