Friday, June 4, 2010

Royal Pains “Spasticity” Recap & Review

Photo from USA Network

Summer “lite” TV viewing returns with ”Royal Pains”(USA Network). The same cast is back, and thankfully there was a short recap before the show began to remind viewers what transpired last season. Dr. Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) finds that his brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo) has placed HankMed in dire financial straits by trusting their estranged father, Fonzie – er, I mean Eddie Lawson, played by Henry Winkler. Meanwhile, Divya (Reshma Shetty) is dealing with the fact that she’s engaged (it’s an arranged marriage). Jill Casey (Jill Flint) is now having problems at Hamptons Heritage Hospital when Dr. Elizabeth Blair (Marcia Gay Harden), who is also on the board of the hospital, wants to oust Casey for what Blair sees as bad judgment on Casey’s part. Jill also announces that she’s sent her now ex-husband packing and signed the divorce papers. And rich-guy Boris (Campbell Scott) gets a little pissy with Hank when he doesn’t seem to think Hank is handling his case with the proper attention and care.

Of course, there has to be a patient of the week, and in this episode, we get a guy called “Spencer the Spaz" who is a well known klutzy infomercial actor. Because this show seems to hinge on rich people AND rich people being a little stupid or clueless, Hank and his team have to save Spencer from himself several times before Hank is able to deduce that part of Spencer’s problem goes back to exposure to mercury. Like the other well-known medical TV series House(Fox), I don’t care about the patients too much because they seem to only serve as a backdrop to advancing the stories of the regular characters.

The episode centers on making amends. Hank convinces Boris he is committed to solving his medical problem and wants to be the “quarterback” for Boris' medical case and work with all Boris’ previous doctors to get a “big picture” look at his illness. Boris gives Hank the contact information for his first doctor on the case – Dr. Asseras in Cuba - and she has some connection to the Cuban roses in Boris’ rose garden. Evan wants to make amends with Hank for Evan's trusting their father with so much of their money, which he appears to have lost. Evan gets disappointed when his father seems to ditch him at a New York City hotel, and Hank is only more upset with Evan that Evan really thinks his father will repay them. With a little nudging from Divya to meet Hank halfway in making peace, Evan sells his prized sports car in order to pay back the debt. Hank seems to soften a bit, but at the end of the episode, when he and Evan are tossing around a football, it is clear that Hank is still stinging a bit. They all get a surprise when they get back to the house and find that their father Eddie is already there, and he has a big check to repay them. Hank hands the money to Evan and then Hank punches his father.

Just because I think this show is “lite” summer television doesn’t mean that this show is not entertaining. The cast has great chemistry and, for the most part, the characters are interesting. The only character that seems a little flat is Jill Casey, who seems to be all over the place. Her relationship with Hank is not very well defined and I find that I am not interested in whether they get together or not. The relationship that seems to be more compelling is Evan and Divya, with Divya announcing she will be getting married in 60 days and moving to London. I figure they will run this storyline out to the end of the season. Hopefully, Evan will continue in his “growing up” process, but not so much to the point that he becomes dull and boring. We already have that with Hank, who seems to be too squeaky clean and nice. I would be nice to see Hank with some sort of weakness or secret that can give his character some depth, because he seems a little too perfect right now, and perfect can get boring.

”Royal Pains” is not deep, dark, heavy drama, but it is an engaging series that mixes fun with drama, a combination that make for great viewing when you just want to sit back and relax. If you missed last season, don’t worry, there are no complicated story lines that will make you feel lost if you start watching now. So if you are looking for a cure to the summer TV doldrums, ”Royal Pains” may be the cure.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

1 comment:

Numote Team said...

Dear I like to Watch TV,

I'm working with a team to create a social TV iPhone application, which would allow TV watchers to interact with one another while watching the same shows from different locations. I'd love to get your thoughts on the app (called Numote), and I think there would be a great fit for us to work with you on the app. Many of the features of the app require short pieces of additional content that should be written by bloggers and tv critics. This would also allow you to advertise your blog on the mobile platform at no cost, and pull TV watchers to your site.

It would be great if I could speak to you by phone to explain the app a bit more and discuss how we could work together on this.

Please feel free to message me if this sounds interesting to you, and we can set up a time to talk.

Numote Team