Royal Pains 1.3: 'Strategic Planning' Review - Featured

I think the greatest aspect of USA Network shows is that they're on the edge of being cute, but have just the right balance of fun and drama without taking it over to cutesy.

They're made for a lighter dramedy fix, and Royal Pains is fitting in perfectly!

So this week in 'Strategic Planning', we didn't get much Hank-Jill development like I was hoping, but that's worth moving along slowly anyway, so it will do.

We got the most development for "Hank Med" as a business as Evan tried to scheme up some "strategic planning," aka his belief one in every 10 women has an ailment they're ignoring. As for Hank, he kept busy with a patient caused by Evan's plan and the senator's football-prodigy son.

While the medical cases on this show aren't quite the exciting mysteries on House, they still manage to create some unusual cases that make the medical side of the show interesting while not pushing to make it a full-on "case of the week" show.

The senator's son case brought in the fun guest star appearance of Gossip Girl's Eleanor Waldorf (Margaret Colin), as the senator's wife, another well-to-do socialite who put tons of pressure on her children about the extraordinary futures they're meant to have. Despite her pressures, the teenage athlete and his sister were extremely well-adjusted and not snobby in the least. Nonetheless, they were just afraid enough of that pressure for the daughter to run after Hank after her brother had collapsed and his body was shutting down to tell Hank she was afraid she'd made that happen to her brother, and he couldn't tell her mom.

But luckily, after a little investigation and a slight fear that if Hank messed it up, his time in the Hampton elites' good graces could end quickly, Hank realized the kid had a tick in his ear, and nothing wrong with his brain. Hooray, Hank! The great part of discoveries and other maverick-type moments Hank has is that, as mentioned above, without the strong emphasis on a "case of the week" theme, Hank's medical genius isn't the focus of the show either. I really enjoy that we know he's an excellent, intelligent, and usual doctor, but him discovering the problem with a patient isn't the conclusion and point of an episode.

The point of the episode was instead more the fact that Hank is going to hopefully be able to find a good balance of helping the rich who pay him far too much for his confidential and private services, and the poor(er) like the nice dog walker he helped this week. This almost sounds like a very easy thing to do as he won't need to charge those without as much money because of those big checks from the elite, but of course, it won't be that simple.

He's going to have to continue to deal with the rich who tend to insist on a lot of attention and care, and also he's going to have to deal with the hospital in situations where he can't help such as an infected dog-bitten hand, and also the need for medical records and supplies from the hospital.

But while all these conflicts will be complicated, they will also often include Jill and her struggle, so it sounds like a twisty and double-intentioned plot that I will definitely look forward to! I also am intrigued by Evan's comments about how hot Divya is... either this is a slight flirtation growing among others for Evan, or perhaps something more... we shall see!

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1 comment

Default avatar cat

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Jul 13, 2009 10:38AM EDT

"While the medical cases on this show aren't quite the exciting mysteries on House"
- Actually there is a case exactly like this on House. In season 2, episode 16, where Michelle Trachtenberg guest stars, she becomes paralyzed and they first think its guillain barre and then botchulism and finally House realizes it's a tick and while the whole family wants to get away from House's treatments and have Cuddy treat her, House finds the tick.
Wow. That sounds familiar...

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