Doug Coutts’ TV Preview: Rush

TV Preview: Rush | TV3, 9.30 Sunday


A PERSONAL VIEW By Doug Coutts

A PERSONAL VIEW
By Doug Coutts

Cast your mind back 50 years or so, to the glory days of Dr Findlay’s Casebook. What if, one day, the Good Doctor gets fed up with Tannochbrae and Janet’s home cooking – bagies and neeps aren’t to everyone’s taste – and decides to try his luck in the big city?

Through a rip in the time continuum he ends up in LA and, to make matters worse, he ends up channelling another doctor, Hunter S Thompson. I’d call it Fear and Loathing in the Consulting Room, TV3 prefers to call it Rush.

Dr William Rush embraces pharmacology with an enthusiasm that would get most other doctors struck off or placed in a small urn on the mantelpiece.

His attitude to medicine in general is a little different as well – cash up front, no questions asked (except for “You were told it’s cash up front, right?”) and his patients are going private not because they want their own rooms but because they want no one to know.

His libertine lifestyle has caused him a few headaches in the past literally and with the um er authorities but, he assures the former love of his life, he’s got it sorted now. That just means is the uppers are now in a different container to the downers and the cocaine has its own compartment in the fridge.

Having an interest in substance abuse means that Rush, the show as well as the doc, will never be short of seedy plotlines, or seedy characters. It’ll be hard to get seedier than Dr Will through.

Three quarters of the way through the pilot, Dr Rush – played by Welshman Tom Ellis – has proved to have no redeeming features whatsoever, having mistreated almost everyone around, apart from his patients of course. That’s because – surprise surprise – he’s a brilliant doctor.

And then, right at the last minute – or last three minutes – he shows that deep down he cares. In quite a violent way, but he still shows he cares about more than money. Just a little … okay, it’s probably even. He’s no House, after all, or even a Dr Geiger. And Dr Cameron would be appalled.


What other critics said:

“Writer/director Jonathan Levine created Rush and he brings the show a confidence that new dramas are often lacking.” — RogerEbert.com.

“It’s as deeply cynical as its doctor anti-hero, but like Rush, it’s aware of the path it’s on and doesn’t have the pretensions of being something it’s not.” — Hitflix.

“Rush is apparently a fine surgeon, but whoever is writing this show needs to transplant more personality into him. The bad behaviour and occasional wisecracks aren’t enough.” — New York Times.

“The show and its central character are thoroughly repulsive.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

Doug Coutts has had a career in and around television for close to 40 years. He spent 13 years as a floor manager at Avalon Studios before going freelance and never earning as much again. His writing has spanned TV genres — from Shortland Street dialoguery and quiz shows to documentaries and comedy — while a lengthy stint as TV reviewer in the Auckland Star earned him two mentions in Metro magazine’s Hot List and an angry letter from Jon Gadsby. You can read more of Doug (the satirist) at: Weakly Whirled News.
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