Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pilot Review: The Resident

The Resident (FOX)
Premiered January 21 at 9pm

Every time I watch a medical show, I look for whatever hook there’s supposed to be to set it apart from what seems like thousands of series that have premiered in the past decade and been forgotten due to their lack of creativity. It’s not necessarily true that those which ended up staying on the air for years are actually more original, but that’s the idea at least. I knew that Matt Czuchry, who went from being despicable in season one of “The Good Wife” to one of the most endearing characters throughout the show, was headlining this series, though he’s considerably less empathetic than I had expected, yelling at his resident that everything he learned about medicine is wrong and then nearly pulling the plug on a patient he knew was going to end up braindead at the end of the hour. While the resident experience here is nothing new, though Czuchry’s Conrad does like the trial by fire approach, having Devon do the procedure even though he’s arrived on time, what I suppose is different and extremely exaggerated is just how terrible the chief surgeon really is. Not only is he known for killing patients who should never have been in danger of dying, but he’s happy to lie regularly, writing his own positive reviews and then making it seem like he was doing a surgery when it was actually the Nigerian resident whose status he threatened to blackmail her into making him look good. Devon is too whiny and shellshocked for his own good, and Emily VanCamp’s Nicolette doesn’t have many interesting qualities aside from being the only smart and remotely kind person working in the hospital. I never anticipated being into this show, and nothing about the pilot drew me in.

How will it work as a series? The fact that Conrad was ready to kill a patient rather than have her suffer is questionable since it makes him just as bad as Dr. Bell but with the intentionality rather than lack of skill. He’ll waste no time whipping Devon into shape and in the process he’s going to continue to go to war with a man everyone knows to be incompetent but no one else is ready to try to take down. And there will be lots of sex and drama along the way, as any medical drama these days is required to have.
How long will it last? The reviews are mixed but leaning more on the positive side, certainly more favorable than mine. Starting this show on a Sunday night after a major football game was a huge ratings boost, which means that it dropped considerably on its second airing the following night and maintained those numbers for episode three, which puts it in relatively safe if unspectacular territory, making a renewal possible but not guaranteed.

Pilot grade: C

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