The Resident
US TV

Review: The Resident 1×1 (US: Fox; UK: Universal Channel)

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, Fox
In the UK: Acquired by Universal Channel

There’s a timing to everything. Back in 2004 when House first aired, the idea of a brilliant dickish doctor seemed like a breath of fresh air, an antidote to the countless medical shows in which doctors are hard-working angels of mercy, tirelessly caring for their patients no matter what obstacles are thrown in their way. Sure there was the occasionally abrasive doctor – eg Bruce Greenwood in St Elsewhere – but full on dicks? Not so much.

Now, the brilliant dickish doctor is everywhere. Indeed, he’s so pervasive, so much de rigeur, that an otherwise insipid show about a nice doctor can turn out to be the 2017-2018 season’s big hit, people are so keen for a different kind of medical professional.

But we’re also in the post-Weinstein, #MeToo era, when abusive (male) bosses are being called to account, since women are feeling less inclined to put up with their sh*t any more. Brilliant? Genius at your job? Then work out how to have some social skills as well, since you shouldn’t be someone else’s boss if you can’t.

Resident evil

All of which potentially makes The Resident either awkwardly timed or prescient, depending on how later episodes work out. It sees Manish Dayal (Halt and Catch Fire) playing a brilliant ex-Yale, ex-Harvard student turning up to his new hospital on his first day of medical residency. He’s been inspired to come to said hospital by none other than Bruce Greenwood, the head of surgery at the hospital.

Unfortunately, he’s been placed in the care of senior resident Matt Czuchry (Gilmore Girls, The Good Wife), a brilliant but thoroughly dickish guy who’s going to re-educate him in the true ways of medicine, initially by getting Dayal to stick his fingers up people’s bottoms. Dayal can protest, but if he does, he’ll get given the heave-ho ASAP and never work in medicine again, no matter how dickish Czuchry gets.

Over the course of the episode, we naturally learn that Czuchry is indeed brilliant and cares about his patients, but definitely a dick in private life, as nurse and ex-girlfriend Emily VanCamp (Brothers & Sisters, Revenge, Captain America: Winter Soldier) can testify.

More importantly, we learn he’s also prepared to break the rules if he thinks it’s the right thing to do. Greenwood, for example, is actually going around killing patients by the ton, thanks to his tremulous hands, and everyone is having to cover up for him. Those that won’t cover up he blackmails, since either he’s covered up for them all as well whenever they’ve cocked up or they need his recommendation to get a visa to stay in the US in Shaunette Renée Wilson’s case.

To stop Greenwood without getting fired himself, Czuchry will do his best to bend the rules to make Greenwood stop himself. But Czuchry also has a touch of the Alec Baldwin in Malice and he’s prepared to bend the rules in darker ways, too.

What are you saying?

It’s a bit hard to know at this stage what The Resident‘s message actually is. On the one hand, as soon as Dayal requests a transfer to another resident, VanCamp spins a tedious analogy for him about whether he’d like his car repaired by someone who smiles a lot but overcharges and doesn’t get the job done versus a shoddy-looking garage that still fixes it at a bargain price. Initially, it therefore looks like the show is supporting the tedious and insidious “brilliant people are dicks – live with it or lose out” line.

But by the end, the show does seem to be suggesting that maybe brilliant people who are dicks really need to stop being dicks. But as neither Greenwood nor Czuchry get fired, it’s a bit hard to tell which way the show is going. Maybe it doesn’t know either.

That ambiguity does at least allow for some more cynical and realistic examinations of medical ethics and politics. Should doctors have that much power? Given that medical errors are the third greatest cause of death in the US (according to VanCamp), should we have a more realistic attitude towards their occurrence, including the money paid out to compensate those who’ve suffered from them? Do the efforts made to attract rich donors distort US health care? Are brilliant immigrants mistreated and subject to racism and xenophobia? Is death better than survival, not just for the patient but their family, past a certain point, and do doctors have the right to judge that for themselves?

The Resident

All the same, with its jarringly bad dialogue and cookie cutter characterisations, The Resident doesn’t really feel like the show to do the issues justice. Everyone’s character is pretty generic and stems from the job, rather than any real background information supplied. VanCamp is utterly wasted in a thankless role one can only hope gets fleshed out to as many as two dimensions in later episodes. Greenwood is great, as always, but doesn’t exactly have to fire even half his cylinders for the part. Czuchry’s fine and surprisingly unlikable, but feels too young to be the source of all wisdom.

The Resident is definitely a cut above the usual medical drama and does at least fire a few caveats at the dickish doctors of Code Black, House et al. But it’s more like a medical Training Day than anything with real edge or import, and it might have come at just the wrong time.

No Activity
US TV

Third-episode verdict: No Activity (US: CBS All Access)

In the US: Sundays, CBS All Access

I think Patrick Brammall has a plan for world domination. I really do. He was certainly doing his best to take over Australia, with The Moodys and then Upper Middle Bogan. Then there was Glitch, in which he was the lead, but that didn’t stop him from cameoing in The Letdown.

But that wasn’t enough for him, oh no. Then he tried his luck in the US with appearances in Life In Pieces and New Girl, as well two pilots: Furst Born and a remake of Upper Middle Bogan (what would they have called that, I wonder?).

Apparently, that still wasn’t enough for Brammall, because he also decided that as well as acting in TV shows, he’d start writing them, too. His first effort was No Activity, an award-winning comedy cop show that’s so far run for two seasons on Australian streaming service Stan and is going to start its third season this week. He co-created it and starred in it, too.

Enough? Never. Not for the Bond villain-esque Brammall. He naturally took the show to America and is now starring in and co-writing an adaptation that is now airing on US streaming service CBS All Access.

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Mr Robot - Season 3
US TV

What have you been watching? Including Mr Robot, Travelers and Halt and Catch Fire

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you each week what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching. TMINE recommends has all the reviews of all the TV shows TMINE has ever recommended, but for a complete list of TMINE’s reviews of (good, bad and insipid) TV shows and movies, there’s the definitive TV Reviews A-Z and Film Reviews A-Z

The wave of new US shows is dying down at last, so WHYBW has returned to its usual day of Tuesday. In the past week, I’ve reviewed the whole of season 1 of Mindhunter (Netflix), as well as the first episodes of Valor (US: The CW) and Ghost Wars (US: Syfy; UK: Netflix), and passed third-episode verdicts on SEAL Team (US: CBS) and Wisdom of the Crowd (US: CBS).

There have been a couple of other new shows, though. The reboot of Dynasty (US: The CW; UK: Netflix) has just started, but you can work out for yourselves if you like that, since I’m not touching it. However, I will be reviewing Superstition (US: Syfy) tomorrow, you lucky people, as well as passing a third-episode verdict on The Gifted (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK).

Now I did promise you all a review of Alias Grace (Canada: CBC; UK: Netflix). However, I got about 15 minutes into the episode, before the various attempts at Irish and American accents proved so grating that I couldn’t get any further. Sorry about that. Hopefully you can get over it to enjoy this somewhat cheap looking adaptation.

After the jump, the usual regulars: The Brave, Great News, Marvel’s Inhumans, Me, Myself and I, Professor T, Star Trek: Discovery and Will & Grace. We’ll also be talking about the return of both Mr Robot and Travelers, as well as the final ever episodes of Halt and Catch Fire. I couldn’t be bothered watching any more Valor though.

See you in a mo.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Mr Robot, Travelers and Halt and Catch Fire”

The Last Ship
TV reviews

What have you been watching? Including Ten Days in the Valley, The Flash and The Last Ship

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you each week what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching. TMINE recommends has all the reviews of all the TV shows TMINE has ever recommended, but for a complete list of TMINE’s reviews of (good, bad and insipid) TV shows and movies, there’s the definitive TV Reviews A-Z and Film Reviews A-Z

It’s that time again. No, I’m not talking about WHYBW. For starters, it’s Wednesday. Oh dear.

Hopefully, we’ll be back to the regular Tuesday slot for WHYBW next week, since Sunday and Monday’s schedules seem to be dying down. But I was actually referring to my usual October cull of the schedules, to weed out shows that for me are no-hopers, which should help, too.

For just a little sense of excitement, I won’t reveal which ones those are until after the jump, but at least two regulars are for the chop, in fact – ooh! On top of that, a lot of the new shows didn’t make it passed their second episodes, either.

Elsewhere, I’ve reviewed the first episodes of Kevin (Probably) Saves The World (US: ABC) and The Gifted (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK). I’ve also passed third-episode verdicts on Absentia (AXN), The Brave (US: NBC) and Me, Myself and I (US: CBS).

No, I didn’t get round to Alias Grace (Canada: CBS; UK: Netflix). Sorry. That’s three episodes in. Some day, though. Some day. However, Ghost Wars (US: Syfy; UK: Netflix) and Valor (US: The CW) will be getting their turn tomorrow for sure.

I did also promise a review of Ten Days in the Valley (US: ABC), Kyra Sedgwick’s new show in which she plays a TV producer whose daughter goes missing. However, so terrible, so boring, so unbearably by the numbers was it that I didn’t even get as far as her daughter going missing. Fortunately, the ratings are so low I doubt ABC will air the entire series, so not a huge omission on my part, I feel.

So follow me after the jump where I’ll be discussing the latest episodes of Get Krack!n, Ghosted, The Gifted, Great News, Halt and Catch Fire, Kevin (Probably) Saves The World, Lethal Weapon, Lucifer, Marvel’s Inhumans, The Mayor, Professor T, SEAL Team, Star Trek: Discovery and Will & Grace, as well as the season finale of The Last Ship and the returns of The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Which do you reckon will be getting the boot?

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Ten Days in the Valley, The Flash and The Last Ship”

Will and Grace
TV reviews

What have you been watching? Including Bad Blood, 9JKL and Will and Grace

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you each week what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching. TMINE recommends has all the reviews of all the TV shows TMINE has ever recommended, but for a complete list of TMINE’s reviews of (good, bad and insipid) TV shows and movies, there’s the definitive TV Reviews A-Z and Film Reviews A-Z. But it’s what you have you been watching? I bet it’s better than what I’ve been watching. And I watched a lot

Week one into the new US TV season and I reckon I’m keeping up pretty well. Admittedly, I’ve had to ditch Boxset Monday and move WHYBW? from Tuesday to Wednesday to do it, but I don’t think that’s going to cause too many fainting fits.

This week, I’ve reviewed (and even previewed) the first episodes of:

That’s not the whole gamut of new shows, mind, and still to come this week are my reviews of Kevin (Probably) Saves The World (US: ABC), Ten Days in the Valley (US: ABC) and The Gifted (US: Fox; UK: Fox UK). I’m also planning to have a look at Alias Grace (Canada: CBC; UK: Netflix) and Absentia (AXN), and I might even give 4 Blocks (Germany: TNT Serie; UK: Amazon) a whirl if I have the time.

On top of that, there are a few other new shows – but I’ll be dealing with them after the jump, along with the regulars, both old and new. So follow me over the page to where I will cast my eye over the latest episodes of The Brave, Get Krack!n, Great News, Halt and Catch Fire, The Last Ship, Lethal Weapon, Lucifer, My Myself and I, Professor T and Star Trek: Discovery, as well as fill you in on new arrivals Bad Blood, 9JKL and – what’s this? – Will and Grace. Is that right?

(Yep, I dropped Bang and The Good Doctor. What you gonna do?)

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Bad Blood, 9JKL and Will and Grace”