It’s hard to know how to describe The Good Doctor from just one episode. The basic premise is a high-functioning autistic boy becoming a surgical resident. In the opener, while the Hospital board debates whether to hire the autistic resident, the kid saves the life of a boy injured at the airport. He sees problems with the boy’s response, diagnoses unusual symptoms, and comes up with unique solutions of almost impossible to detect glitches in the boy’s condition, thus saving him.
It’s almost like a combination of House and Sherlock Holmes, farther back on the autism spectrum.
Unfortunately, the autistic character isn’t particularly compelling. There’s really only one or two scenes where he connects with anyone, and without connections, he can’t connect with the audience either. The whole backstory for him is told in flashback and it is almost clinical detachment for the viewer too.
Add in hospital politics between people we don’t know, multiple doctors romancing others, a whole host of other relationships running around that look like a soap opera, and the show is a mess. The only bright spot? Richard Schiff (Toby from West Wing) is the doctor who wants to hire him. He has lots of gravitas, but the show doesn’t.
When I did my preview, I thought it would make it to renewal, partly as it is an in-house production. Now that I’ve seen Ep 1? Not sure the House audience will find it in time.