“The Resident” Should Be Allowed to Die a Natural (Swift) Death

 

Always one to watch and critique medical dramas, I sat down with a beer to watch the newest entry to the genre. “The Resident” is the Fox network’s answer to other edgy shows that promote liberal agendas.

Much like those other edgy shows, this one also bears little resemblance to reality. Rather than overly romanticizing medicine or treating doctors like gods, this show delights in bringing physicians to their (im)moral knees. Doctors are at once shown to be rebel anti-heroes or establishment goons who get off on swimming in dollar bills the way Scrooge McDuck swims in his golden pool of coins.

The episode begins with two C-level doctors taking their lobbyist and Congressman out quail hunting. Reminiscent of a Dick Cheney moment, the Congressman accidentally sprays shot into the backside of the lobbyist. While everyone rushes over to him, the Congressman grabs his chest and keels over. Thankfully, there is not one, but two(!) excellent physicians/surgeons present to begin CPR. The entire party presents via ambulance to the main stage of our tragedy.

Meanwhile, The Resident himself is giving a talk to an apparent high-school science class, taught by his long-term patient: an idealistic, young, handsome, suspiciously well do-gooder black teacher. While giving the lecture, the teacher suddenly begins gasping for air. The Resident creates a makeshift stethoscope out of tubing, a funnel, and nitrile gloves (the second most realistic moment in this show) and listens to his patient’s lung sounds and heart. He examines him. It’s flash pulmonary edema! He commands the class to call 911. They do and as medics arrive, he administers a precordial thump, and tells the medics that the patient is now perfusing, but was in V-fib. He runs alongside them to arrive at the hospital.

The Congressman’s party and the teacher’s party arrive via ambulance to Chastain Park Hospital at the same time. The shooting victim is taken to have the pellets removed from his gluteus maximus while the Congressman is rushed to a treatment bed. The C-level doctors begin discussing what a PR nightmare this is and how the only way to fix it is to ensure a good outcome (which is exactly what mustache-twirling Old White Men do).

As the episode progresses, we find that The Resident is named Conrad Hawkins, an ex-military (we know because he still wears his dog tags) idealist who isn’t afraid to break the rules to ensure a good outcome for his patients. He is teaching the overwhelmed newbie Indian-American intern, Dr. Pravesh, who works with another doctor who is barely seen or discussed. Together with a nurse only referred to as Nic, we meet some of the other patients on the floors.

Of course, our Sainted Teacher needs a heart transplant. His heart is failing quickly and this will be the fourth attempt. A heart is found through UNOS and allocated to the selfless, faithful (and we know because his church groups comes to pray with him), young man in need. Meanwhile, the Congressman’s heart has failed as well. Evil Old White Man Doctor, sometimes called Dr. Randolph Bell, determines that the heart should be reallocated to the Congressman. That way, they will save his life not once, but twice! The Resident, not able to stand for this sort of corruption, insists that the doctor do the right thing and give the heart back to his Selfless Teacher who has been waiting for years. Corrupt Old White Man Doctor, only thinking of his own reputation, says no and mocks Conrad to boot.

Meanwhile, nurse “Nic” is taking care of a cancer patient. Pandering Female Doctor from the Hunting Mishap is the doctor on the case and clears the very attractive young lady to be discharged to home, so long as she returns to her outpatient cancer clinic. Nic asks the doctor if she saw the recent labs, and Big Britches Lady Oncologist Doctor says that she did, but she ordered later labs that were fine. The patient is at no risk and will have a smaller chance of infection if she goes home. Nic sullenly takes the doctor’s order, but goes into the computer to read the Attractive Cancer Patient’s records. Upon discovering nothing, she asks The Resident if he knows something. Oh yes, everyone knows: Fancypants Oncologist (aka Dr. Lane Hunter) keeps all of her own records and the hospital has no rights to them. After all, she’s a Big Stinking Deal and has many protocols and experimental products that she’s working on. To have the records open to everyone, she risks losing her patents or her products. All her patients go to her special private clinic which only she benefits from. Cue outrage.

Luckily, The Resident has come up with a solution to his problem. There is a Hispanic girl lingering on life support. She is certifiably brain dead and has been for at least a few hours since a drunk driver hit her car. No one has approached the family about organ donation. This is where we meet Brilliant Robotic Nigerian Immigrant Doctor. Unfeeling Beautiful Nigerian Female Doctor says that she is willing to take on the job, however it is swiftly nixed by everyone, since she has the worst bedside manners and anyone from the transplant team would be seen to have a conflict of interests. The mother is consulted and no, she will not donate, she still has hope for her “vegetable” daughter (we know she’s a vegetable because all of the doctors talk about the lack of hope at great length and even use the word “vegetable”).

Meanwhile, The Resident goes to the lab to check in on the Congressman’s labs. He inquires about them and about Randomly Useful Patient X to the attractive lab technician. He smiles at her, coos, comments on her beautiful new earrings (they are cats), massages her earlobes and flirts with her. She instantly gets him those blood samples that he needs stat. After doctoring the labels so the Congressman is no longer a match for the heart, he returns them to the Gullible Lab Tech, who questions nothing and takes them back. When Greedy Old White Doctor sees the labs, he is irate. Knowing they have been relabeled, he angrily confronts The Resident about it. Smarmy and smug, The Resident notifies him that there’s another perfectly good heart … in a Hispanic teenager: if he is willing to convince the mother.

Grudgingly, Corrupt White Executive Surgeon sits down with the family and discusses the option of giving life. They miraculously agree!

Happily for everyone, the manipulations and blackmails have worked to the advantage of the doctors and the hospital. You get a heart! You get a heart! Everyone gets what they need!

…but wait, we’re not done yet.

Perfect Heartless Nigerian Surgeon meets up with Corrupt White Surgeon to discuss her doing his surgery. Why, the audience wonders, would he let a lesser surgeon do the Congressman’s surgery? Ah, but we find out that it is because his hands are shaking. He either has a drug problem or early onset Parkinson’s. Rather than notify appropriate people, Old Corrupt Parkinson’s Surgeon continues practicing, instead placing lives in danger. Robotic Unfeeling Beautiful Nigerian Surgeon riles at his request: she will not cover for him yet again, particularly after he elected not to help her with her H1 visa. But after some expert manipulation by The Resident, she agrees.

The Selfless Teacher gets his heart and lives. The Congressman gets his heart and lives. The Lobbyist with shot pellets in his rear is in pain, but lives.

And The Resident holds hands with Nic.

And they all lived politically correctly thereafter.

The only correct thing in this episode is from a moment where two of the doctors are removing pellets from the lobbyist having a brief conversation about the nurse only known as “Nic”:

Dr. Pravesh: “She’s so good … she should be a doctor.”

Other Doctor: “Yeah, but she’s smart. She has no interest. She likes to actually spend time with the patients.”

Dr. Pravesh: “Bbbbut … she could be a doctor!”

Other Doctor: “Actually, she’s working on that.”

Dr. Pravesh: “See!”

Other Doctor: “In Nursing. Doctor of Nursing Practice.”

This show makes you actively more stupid for having watched it. It is worse than a propaganda film because at least those were somewhat believable. This is so heavy-handed that it is nearly and unintentionally funny.

Please join me in avoiding this show at all costs. Even if Emily Van Camp is in it.

The tagline for the show, “Can one doctor save a broken system?” seems to make the struggle seem worthwhile. The real question is, “Can familiar faces save a patronizingly low-quality TV show?” The answer?

No.

There are 51 comments.

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  1. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    Excellent write-up. Very funny.

    Thanks for taking this one for the team, and watching it so we don’t have to!

    • #1
    • January 28, 2018, at 11:28 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  2. DocJay Inactive

    Good God what an unintentional parody.

    • #2
    • January 28, 2018, at 11:31 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse Post author

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    Excellent write-up. Very funny.

    Thanks for taking this one for the team, and watching it so we don’t have to!

    I just about lost it watching this show. I didn’t even get into the parts where they had to “jump start” the new heart with paddles (because hearts run on electricity, you know).

    It was just so, so bad. So bad.

    • #3
    • January 28, 2018, at 11:36 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse Post author

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Good God what an unintentional parody.

    I think they’re really trying to be serious. It’s not even so bad it’s good. It’s just…bad.

    The nurse? Nic? She’s only listed in the credits as “Nurse Nicolette”.

    It’s okay. Nurses don’t have last names. We’re barely human.

    • #4
    • January 28, 2018, at 11:38 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  5. Judge Mental Member

    Emily Van Camp.

    *sighs*

    • #5
    • January 28, 2018, at 11:50 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Gary McVey Contributor

    What I like about this review is the way that first, it’s like filming the effects of a close-up atomic blast: TheRightNurse, in a flash of light and thunder, demolishes any pretense that the show is any good.

    Then an aftershock; the review is well written by any TV critic’s standard.

    Then TheRightNurse sends out random fallacy-killers to remorselessly search the rubble for political and social cliches that were apparently tossed in just for the “fun” of it.

    I believe that at this point she sends in teams of Roman slaves, struggling to pull massive stone cylinders over the remains of “The Resident”, crushing that rubble into gravel.

    • #6
    • January 29, 2018, at 12:28 AM PDT
    • 17 likes
  7. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse Post author

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    What I like about this review is the way that first, it’s like filming the effects of a close-up atomic blast: TheRightNurse, in a flash of light and thunder, demolishes any pretense that the show is any good.

    Then an aftershock; the review is well written by any TV critic’s standard.

    Then TheRightNurse sends out random fallacy-killers to remorselessly search the rubble for political and social cliches that were apparently tossed in just for the “fun” of it.

    I believe that at this point she sends in teams of Roman slaves, struggling to pull massive stone cylinders over the remains of “The Resident”, crushing that rubble into gravel.

    Thank you.

    The only politically correct group that wasn’t touched upon is the homosexual contingent. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the Beautiful Oncology Patient is actually a lesbian.

    For those keeping score we have:

    Single Successful Woman-Doctor (not white)

    Corrupt Blackmailing Disabled Doctor

    The Resident himself: ex-military idealist

    Not one, but two minority physicians, one of which is an actual immigrant.

    Single Hot Independently Thinking Nurse

    Overtly Religious Selfless Black Science Teacher

    Single-mom, Evidently Pro-Life, Hispanic family with Brain-dead Daughter

    White Lobbyist Man

    Old White Smoker Congressman

    Beautiful Oncology Patient with No Hair (because that’s how you can tell she has cancer)

    What generalizations have I missed? There’s a fair amount of discussion about “this system” being about insurance. One particular section (which I overlooked for brevity) was The Resident talking with Greedy Disabled Doctor Dude about how he was fine with Sad Hispanic Family keeping their daughter on life support so long as the “hundreds of thousands of dollars roll in from the insurance companies!”. Old Corrupt Dude agrees that the money is nice and important and he’s fine with adhering to her wishes because it makes them money (not because it’s the right thing to do).

    I was beyond words when I saw this show. Just beyond words.

    • #7
    • January 29, 2018, at 12:38 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    TheRightNurse:You get a heart! You get a heart!

    That was golden.

    • #8
    • January 29, 2018, at 1:04 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse Post author

    TBA (View Comment):

    TheRightNurse:You get a heart! You get a heart!

    That was golden.

    I would’ve found an Oprah picture, but I generally try to keep the pictorials to a minimum. :)

    • #9
    • January 29, 2018, at 1:05 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Gary McVey Contributor

    Old White Smoker Congressman

    I have to laugh, because even mediocre cliches should get adjusted for time’s passage every now and again. They never learn. About a dozen years ago, when “Brokeback Mountain” was a leading Oscar contender, I read a British critic, and usually not a bad one, snarling that the picture didn’t have a chance (as it turns out, it did), because great numbers of the “blue haired” Academy membership, a well known bastion of hidebound social conservatism, had made “oaters” (Westerns) with John Wayne. Simple math would have told her that the admittedly grey-haired elite of the film and television industry were in kindergarten during the Forties and Fifties; people of our vintage out here do not, in fact, remember the Saturday afternoon serials so beloved of film historians. We’re the generation of “Woodstock”, not “The Searchers”. I never met Abe Lincoln.

    Diminutive (and it must be said, outspoken and funny) Clinton administration member Robert Reich had a scene in his memoirs (“Locked in the Cabinet”) where he was all but insulted to his face by a skeptical, sexist, snarling, cigar-smoking mob of men from the US Chamber of Commerce. You won’t be surprised to hear that Reich stood up to the cold wall of hate pretty well by his own account. But liberal editor Michael Kinsey looked at the chapter and did a demolition job that would have done TheRightNurse good. The hotel didn’t allow smoking of any kind; the crowd was recorded on tape and notably polite, if subdued. The attendees were 40% female.

    • #10
    • January 29, 2018, at 1:12 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. Doug Watt Member

    It’s like cop shows. Three of them were fairly good portrayals of police work; Dragnet, Adam-12, and Police Story. Blue Bloods brings up some interesting themes, but Danny shoots at least one person, sometimes two on a weekly basis, and within moments he’s back on the street. One of the most laughable was the Rookies, it died a swift death. Maybe Danny found them.

    • #11
    • January 29, 2018, at 6:19 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  12. Boss Mongo Member

    Outstanding takedown. When this hits Main Feed, I’ll push it to the lovely and talented Mrs. Supernurse Mongo and Mongettes #s 1 & 2, both currently in nursing school.

    • #12
    • January 29, 2018, at 6:25 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Saxonburg Member

    Thank you, TheRightNurse. I like how you named the characters by their caricature. That made it very easy to follow. The advertisements for this show were dripping with sanctimony, so I had not considered watching it.

    Maybe I’ve become a conservative snowflake, but I will stop watching a show if I find it insulting my ideals. For much of the season, my wife and I watched “The Gifted” (a show about society persecuting X-men-superpower mutants). We like Sci-fi, and it was OK, but we stopped watching when one of the characters was attacked by a crowd of men wearing crosses on their shirts. Maybe the writers were using this scene to show how far society had fallen — even people from a faith founded on forgiveness had joined in the hysterical attacks on the mutants. Right…

    • #13
    • January 29, 2018, at 6:33 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Outstanding takedown. When this hits Main Feed, I’ll push it to the lovely and talented Mrs. Supernurse Mongo and Mongettes #s 1 & 2, both currently in nursing school.

    ‘Mongettes’ is adorable.

    • #14
    • January 29, 2018, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Hypatia Inactive

    I wasn’t tempted to watch it. I noticed a long time ago that TV dramas are so stylized, kinda like Kabuki: you see a clip in the preview, and you already know  the character, everything he or she will do and say. (Whether there are still any lawyer shows, I don’t know; I shopped watching those ages ago. They all eventually get into some preposterous silliness like two members of the same firm litigating against each other. )

    i think you can thank Hillary for this show and it’s underlying attitudes, though. Remember Bill put her in charge of fixing healthcare? She made it her business to demonize physicians. Before then, doctors still received the well-deserved secondary gain of generally being well-thought of, even idealized. It was some compensation for all o the unpaid work they did. That and the spillover from hatred of the HMOs put an end to any

    • #15
    • January 29, 2018, at 10:13 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Hypatia Inactive

    I wasn’t tempted to watch it. I noticed a long time ago that TV dramas are so stylized, kinda like Kabuki: you see a clip in the preview, and you already know  the character, everything he or she will do and say. (Whether there are still any lawyer shows, I don’t know; I shopped watching those ages ago. They all eventually get into some preposterous silliness like two members of the same firm litigating against each other. )

    i think you can thank Hillary for this show and it’s underlying attitudes, though. Remember Bill put her in charge of fixing healthcare? She made it her business to demonize physicians. Before then, doctors still received the well-deserved secondary gain of generally being well-thought of, even idealized. It was some compensation for all o the unpaid work they did. That and the spilloverfrom hatred of the HMOs put an end to,any public regard for the medical profession.

    • #16
    • January 29, 2018, at 10:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Hypatia Inactive

    (Re 15 and 16 above, I dky, but every time I try to edit, I end up,with a duplicate…)

    • #17
    • January 29, 2018, at 10:16 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. La Tapada Member

    Oh! I got such a kick out of the adjectives! What fun!!

    But… there wasn’t a heart for the Perfect Heartless Nigerian Surgeon? ;-)

    • #18
    • January 29, 2018, at 10:23 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Cow Girl Thatcher

    I really appreciate it when other people watch new TV shows and tell me about them. Then, I don’t have to spend my time rolling my eyes and sighing while I watch it and groan.

    • #19
    • January 29, 2018, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. danok1 Member

    TheRightNurse: A heart is found through UNOS and allocated to the selfless, faithful (and we know because his church groups comes to pray with him), young man in need. Meanwhile, the Congressman’s heart has failed as well. Evil Old White Man Doctor, sometimes called Dr. Randolph Bell, determines that the heart should be reallocated to the Congressman.

    This show stinks for all the reasons Right Nurse listed, but it was also predictable! SWMBO was watching it while I was getting the dogs ready for a walk. When the scene came up where the Congress-critter had a heart attack, I said, “They’re gonna give the heart to him, not the teacher.” SWMBO said that would be ridiculous….

    • #20
    • January 29, 2018, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Paul Erickson Member

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):
    I was beyond words when I saw this show. Just beyond words.

    Figuratively, but not literally beyond words. Your words are actually quite good!

    • #21
    • January 29, 2018, at 10:46 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. Marythefifth Member

    I saw the ads for that show. The young male doctor’s smarmy smile and the blond female’s kittenish response in that ad was enough to warn me off. The young male doctor successfully played in something for which his smarmy, used salesman smile fit well. I can’t believe him in any other role.

    • #22
    • January 29, 2018, at 10:51 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Stina Member

    I think you missed an episode. Beautiful Flawless Nigerian was blackmailed into Congressman’s prostate surgery in pilot by Corrupt Parkinson White Doctor who threatened her H1 Visa status, threatening to sabotage her and have her sent back to Nigeria.

    You would have liked that episode.

    Husband and I enjoy The Good Doctor more, though I enjoy watching Matt Czuchry. Highmore has been a favorite since August Rush and Finding Neverland, though.

    • #23
    • January 29, 2018, at 11:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Yet another perfect example of why this household almost always decides to pay Netflix their 10 bucks a month.

    And thank you for the write up. And now should someone come up with pulmonary edema in my presence, I will know exactly what to do before I take the time to call 911.

    • #24
    • January 29, 2018, at 1:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    La Tapada (View Comment):
    But… there wasn’t a heart for the Perfect Heartless Nigerian Surgeon? ;-)

    She had already been given a diploma by the Great and Powerful Oz and it would break the rules to get more than one organ per person per episode.

    • #25
    • January 29, 2018, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Metalheaddoc Member

    I hate medical shows in general. Pretty unrealistic. Nobody ever makes mistakes. The hero doc who makes some rare zebra diagnosis ends up being right. Nobody ever consults a radiologist. And there are always random x-rays hung up in the background, many upside down.

    • #26
    • January 29, 2018, at 2:08 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Bishop Wash Member

    I’m curious what you thought about Scrubs, if you ever watched it. My wife and I enjoyed it and heard once that medical people found it closer to reality than dramas like ERGrey’s Anatomy, etc.

    • #27
    • January 29, 2018, at 2:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Hoyacon Member

    Thanks for the review. Hopefully, syndication isn’t in the cards. If it shows up on the rerun channels in a few years (replacing the never-ending Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, and Law & Order, SVU), I won’t be happy.

    • #28
    • January 29, 2018, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse Post author

    La Tapada (View Comment):
    Oh! I got such a kick out of the adjectives! What fun!!

    But… there wasn’t a heart for the Perfect Heartless Nigerian Surgeon? ;-)

    She could clearly function without one. ;)

    • #29
    • January 29, 2018, at 3:16 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse Post author

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):
    I was beyond words when I saw this show. Just beyond words.

    Figuratively, but not literally beyond words. Your words are actually quite good!

    It took me days before I could stop sputtering enough to write something!

    • #30
    • January 29, 2018, at 3:18 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
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