Royal Pains

Ahh, the Hamptons in the summer. A Manhattanite tradition for ages, I always find it ironic that while "Everyone loves 'the City,'" come the weekend in good weather, the crowded masses flood onto the exclusive beaches of the South Fork of the East End. This forms one half of the new TV show, "Royal Pains."

The other half is that an Emergency Medicine doctor, a superstar in his own specialty (we're talking he does his own cardiac cath in the ED in the premiere opener- on his day off no less!), loses his job, and can't find work anywhere. After a month of slumming it, his furniture is repossessed, and his parasitic fiance heads for the hills as the bills pile up with the cash flow spigot stuck on off. His friend takes our fallen doc out to the Hamptons for some needed fun in the sun, and they wangle their way into a high society party. After a chance event, he ends up starting a Concierge Medicine practice despite his best efforts no to.

Huh? What the heck is that, you might be wondering. Well, Concierge Medicine is a national trend among the elite. Think of it as joining a country club. Rather than have a regular practice, these doctors typically restrict it to folks that pay membership dues, and limit the number of patients involved to an exclusive set. What they get is a personal physician on call 24/7 to respond to anything and everything (hence the title of the show). Cyberchondriasis anyone? Oh, and they don't accept insurance, so it is cash & carry only. And of course they want their doctor to help keep things discreet, and out of the news (better known as covering things up).

Does this really go on? Well, it does, and reportedly it is increasing in many areas. Apparently, rich folks don't want to wait in line for much. While I have no direct experience with this, I did hear a story once of a doc that made house calls to estates for flu shots. While hardly intellectually fulfilling, it did more than pay the rent supposedly. However, he did give it up, and move on to other things after a few years.

This shows is equal parts "Grey's Anatomy," "Gossip Girl," and "Dirty Sexy Money." I found the premiere to be fast moving, well written, and highly entertaining. Even on the typically mundane transition shots, I was entertained as they showed the LIE from overhead, and the new Mets stadium being built. I expect this to be the hit of the summer shows, so go ahead and check it out on the USA network, Thursdays at 10 PM.

Overall Grade: A

Reviewed by Jonas

See the pilot here.

Ok, ok, you didn't think I could make it through a medical show without some criticism. In the opening scene, at the basketball game, the player goes down, and the doctor goes over to take care of him. Whoever the technical advisor was got a lot of this wrong. They check for a pulse, state that they find one, and then start compressions anyway in the next cut. This makes no sense, and is BLS that we all learned in high school. Here's the review, no pulse= start compressions, pulse= no compressions. BTW, you're not supposed to transport a patient to the hospital in an SUV. That's why they have ambulances, that cannot only do the transport, but also bring equipment such as oxygen, medications, and monitoring to a patient. Got it? Oh, and I've never, ever heard of an Emergency Medicine physician taking a patient to the cath lab. Why the heck would they do that when they can just page a cardiologist to do it anyway? The other cases had less errors, but I'll forgive them and chalk it up to entertainment license.

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