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Royal Pains

Submitted by on June 18, 2009 – 7:44 AMNo Comment
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The USA Network has the makings of another hit on their hands. In the pilot episode of the newest series to grace the airwaves on the USA Network, Royal Pains, Hank Lawson (played by Mark Feuerstein, who most of will probably recognize as Mel Gibson’s sidekick in What Women Want) becomes ostracized by the New York City medical community when he saves the life of a patient that would have died without him.

Royal PainsIt’s not that he saved a guy. He just saved the wrong guy.  A hospital trustee, who appeared to be fine before Hank saved the other patient, ended up dying while Hank was busy with the other patient.  To add insult to injury, turns out his fiancé was more interested in marrying a working doctor, not necessarily him.

After months of wallowing in self-pity, Hank’s brother Evan (played by Paulo Costanzo), manages to drag Hank to the Hamptons, a playground to the rich on Long Island, for the weekend.  It is at a posh party where Hank inadvertently reinvents himself. At the party of a Hampton billionaire, one of the guests falls ill.  Hank steps in and saves the day right before the current concierge doctor (doctor on demand) was about to make a deadly mistake.

Word travels fast and Hank is assaulted all weekend with people in need his services.  He complains the whole time and refuses to do anything, but still ends up responding to a kid that just wrecked daddy’s sports car. He patches up the obnoxious girlfriend before saving the kid’s life and comes to the rescue to a local plastic surgeon junkie when her new breasts become imbalanced.

Hank is played by the talented Mark Feuerstein, who most of will probably recognize as Mel Gibson’s sidekick in What Women Want.   His brother Evan is played by Paulo Costanzo, an extremely busy guy over the last ten years appearing in a number of movies and television shows.

The show follows the typical USA Network formula- witty banter packed around the central storyline.  Also like other USA shows, the cast is full of talented actors that have yet to become house hold names.

While the writing is good, in the case of Royal Pains, it falls a little short.  It is obvious why Hank would be a bit jaded — he got screwed by the medical community when he was doing the right thing.  His objection to taking the position is not believable at all.

Before he accepts the job in the Hamptons he gets paid with a bar of gold for helping one patient.  The Hamptons provide an interesting backdrop full of colorful characters, but the writing for the show will have to improve for Royal Pains to last. Until then, the strength of the show will lie in the cast with talents like Paulo Costanzo and Mark Feuerstein leading the charge.

Beer Pairing: Samuel Adam’s Utopias- at $78/pint, Hampton socialites must be the only ones able to afford it?