Logline: An idealistic young doctor begins his first day under the supervision of a tough, brilliant senior resident who pulls the curtain back on all of the good and evil in modern-day medicine. Lives might be saved or lost, but expectations will always be shattered.
Cast: Manish Dayal, Matt Czuchry, Emily VanCamp, Bruce Greenwood, Valerie Cruz
Creators: Amy Holden Jones (W / EP), Hayley Schore (W / CoEp), Roshan Sethi (W / CoEP), Oly Obst (EP), Antoine Fuqua (EP), Phillip Noyce (D / EP)
Studios: 20th Century Fox Television, 3 Arts Entertainment, Fuqua Films
In a long opening teaser, The Resident gives us plenty of drama: murder as a result of medical negligence by Kings County’s top doctor, Solomon Bell. The murder is quickly concealed, reiterating Fox’s recurring theme of institutional corruption.
This is followed by the potent pairing of Devon (bright-eyed new doc, Indian) and Conrad (brilliant-but-douchey 3rd-year resident, White). Devon is Condrad’s intern. Will the combustible pair find common ground? Or will Conrad’s toxic worldview eventually destroy Devon’s optimistic, black-and-white view of what it means to be a doctor?
Initially, I was fairly put off by the pilot. Conrad and Bell are as unlikable as they come, and Devon too blue-eyed to be entirely convincing. The storyline is bleak and frustrating, and these qualities only intensify as the narrative progresses. For instance, just as Devon saves a patient’s life at the end of act one, Conrad promptly informs him that she will now be condemned to a permanent vegetative state. Cheerful.
But by the end, as Devon grows to understand Conrad better, I found my understanding and appreciation improve as well. Essentially Training Day in a hospital, The Resident does manage to give us a flawed mentor whose volatility, more than anything else, drives our curiosity about what happens next.
This is equal parts Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and General Hospital. The dark and twisted execution places it a notch above medical procedurals like last year’s dull Pure Genius. I’m curious enough to see where things might lead.