A doctor who rides a motorcycle to work, parks illegally, calls out his peers and wears hip scrubs. Who wouldn’t want to see him square off with the hospital’s icon?
That’s the premise of “The Resident,” an irreverent – and highly watchable – new medical drama that suggests everyone isn’t playing fair in the world of medicine.
Set at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital, where photos of the seemingly wise Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood) – are plastered everywhere, the drama focuses on his brash underling, Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry), who intimidates the residents under his tutelage. One (Manish Dayal) attempts to challenge his authority and lives to regret it.
In the course of the first hour, we learn the imposing Dr. Bell isn’t as infallible as he thinks; the hotshot Hawkins doesn’t always have the bedside manner patients seek.
Directed by Executive Producer Phillip Noyce, the pilot moves as quickly as an action film and gives us just enough detail about the oh-so-large cast to get a handle on the premise.
Czuchry, who starred on “The Good Wife,” shows a great deal of personality (think: friendly House) to make us want to hang around to meet the others. Although he’s the “good” doctor, he gets in enough trouble to make you believe a showdown with the head of the medical team is likely.
Sure enough, the two butt heads and we learn plenty about Bell, a smoke-and-mirrors guy who often has others cover for his surgical mistakes. Hawkins tells him he should go and be a TV doctor (a nice hat tip) and make lots of money.
Instead, the ego hangs in.
Meanwhile, Hawkins bullies the new charges, hints at a relationship with another doctor (Emily VanCamp) and engages in enough brow-raising activity to get a less-celebrated doctor fired.
Next to “The Good Doctor,” the feel-good medical show of the year, this is pleasingly jarring. It makes audiences question the care they’re getting and provides clues to medical deaths most can’t understand.
“The Resident” has a hip factor that’s pushed a little too much, but it has an ensemble that bears engaging. Unlike “Grey’s Anatomy,” this isn’t all about the relationships. It’s just enough medicine to make us feel smarter but it’s not so much that it seems like a lecture.
Toss in the antagonistic relationship between medical stars and it’s like “Trapper John, M.D.” on steroids.
Czuchry is extremely good in a role you wouldn’t think he’d take. And Greenwood is just as smarmy as you’d want an arrogant doctor to be.
“The Resident” previews on Sunday, then moves to its 8 p.m. Monday timeslot on Fox.