Critical Condition: The Good Doctor

The Good Doctor | Lightbox, from Monday

➢ “The Good Doctor has something crucial to say, and it has a killer cast, and it does an amazing amount of setup in Monday’s efficient pilot hour. Young doctor-to-be Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, Bates Motel) is on his way to a new life in a city sure to test his autistic senses. And medical mentor Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff, The West Wing) is determined to ensure the challenged savant gets every opportunity to help himself. And, not so incidentally, to help us. … If you like your drama with heart and hope, this may well be The Good Series for you.” — Newsday.

➢ “See the TV hospital, all lust and backstabbery … Into this Shondabulous promised land wanders Shaun Murphy, a surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. It’s a complex neurological foundation, so cue tragic-origin flashbacks and CSI-style X-ray effects! Highmore aims for sensitivity with his portrayal. But despite his careful portrayal of Murphy’s condition, there’s something unconvincing about how The Good Doctor beams its good doctor into the show’s world.” — Entertainment Weekly.

➢ “Created by David Shore (House) The Good Doctor has all the typical beats of the medical procedural, including heart-tugging emotional moments, life-and-death drama and the miraculous save … Like Netflix’s Atypical, another recent series focusing on a lead with autism, The Good Doctor struggles to balance its tone. In an effort to prevent Shaun from being the butt of its jokes, the series leans too far in the other direction, venturing into mawkishness when it comes to his interactions with others. It also does not paint a particularly clear picture of what autism is.” — USA Today.

➢ “Highmore is an immensely talented actor, and he brings intelligence and depth to his portrayal of his character. A newly minted surgeon with both autism and savant syndrome, he must navigate a range of challenging workplace situations and social dilemmas. The problem with The Good Doctor is that it doesn’t trust Highmore’s versatile and substantial acting skills. Every other aspect of the show is either overwrought or frustratingly simplistic.” — Variety.

➢ “You’ll probably fall for the mush that is The Good Doctor, but whether you’ll hate yourself in the morning is the question only you can answer … The Good Doctor is shameless in its emotional manipulation, going so far as to include a dead bunny at one point. We may want to resist having our heartstrings pulled, but regardless of how hokey the series is, get out your handkerchiefs and call me in the morning.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

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