Name: The Good Doctor
Genre: Medical Drama
The Good Doctor is another medical drama showing strange and unusual diagnosis and treatments, but this time the main focus doctor is on the spectrum. The show is packed with hospital melodrama, scientific medical storylines and even staff romance and scandal. This show will get those tears running down your face for sure.
Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), is our main man, a new surgeon whose inability to connect emotionally to his colleagues and patients won’t stop him from becoming a Good Doctor.
Shaun has autism and savant syndrome which often means having simple patients’ reactions and responses explained to him, for example, why parents of a patient would be sad that their son is going to lose his leg, when the amputation will save his life. This may be obvious to us, but it is very interesting to watch and understand how Shaun sees it.
But this doesn’t stop Shaun being an amazing surgeon. Shaun can visualise the procedure in his mind like a 3D diagram, showing every detail perfectly of the surgery. This gives Shaun the brilliance to think of ideas his co-workers wouldn’t. But life isn’t so easy for Shaun, as many doctors see him as a liability.
The Good Doctor shows this amazingly well, as when he is visualising everything we see the graphics that Shaun is imagining. Shaun goes blank when he does this, like a computer stuck on a loading screen, building the tension of the situation. The audience, like his colleagues, can see Shaun acting this way forcing the sense of wonder if something is wrong.
This show is driven by the challenges and emotional encounters that Shaun has to learn to maintain his position and status as a doctor. I’m not a doctor, nor do I know much about autism, but the show concentrates on the message that a condition shouldn’t limit somebody’s dreams and accomplishments.
Shaun isn’t the only doctor that has a few life lessons to learn. We come to meet his fellow young doctors who must learn the art of dealing with frightened patients, honesty, sympathy and sometimes the willingness to bend the rules. The Good Doctor shares the message that being something good is something to aspire to.
But Shaun isn’t the only piece to this show. We see shockingly heart-wrenching scenarios, keeping the audience invested and glued to the screen. One episode we meet a patients from a bus crash carrying a wedding party, the next we could meet a young intelligent boy dying of cancer.
A lot of the show is focused on the medical side, but we do have a few sorrowful flashbacks, showing us Shaun’s childhood struggles – an abusive father and his brother dying.
The Good Doctor hasn’t re-invented hospital dramas but it has found a new and exciting way to restructure and conduct the idea. With human connection being the best medicine – How will Shaun cope in this high intensity medical drama? Only time will tell with more seasons on its way.