Royal Pains: Season Three, Volume 2 (2011)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer’s favorite doctor is back.

Secrets have no place in HankMed’s concierge organization. Or they don’t where its doctor, Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) is concerned. Following the near death of one of his wealthy Hampton clients, Hank is furious to find out he was prescribed the wrong medication by someone at Hampton’s hospital. And he knows who it was: Hampton’s cocky Dr. Van Dyke (Kyle Howard). Fortunately, Hank finds the patient in time to rush him to the hospital but for one of his staff members, the trouble has just begun. Physicians’ Assistant Divya (Reshma Shetty) has had to earn money wherever she can. After a botched arranged marriage by her wealthy and traditional British parents, Divya took a job at Hampton’s Heritage in order to pay back the money her fiancé’s family demands and threatened to sue her for. Her father has cut her off completely which means Divya has not only had to earn her own living but also rent her own place – for the first time in her life, she has to earn a paycheck instead of working because she wants to. Learning that her fatigue caused this horrible accident, Divya takes responsibility but how will her double life – and dishonesty affect her relationship with Hank?  And will she still have a place working for HankMed?

Younger brother Evan Lawson (Paulo Costanzo) is coming to terms with his brother not disclosing the illness of his fiancée’s mother. Paige (Brooke D’Orsay) asked Hank’s professional opinion about her mother’s failing health, a conversation that Hank cannot reveal to anyone – brother or not and it drove a wedge between the brothers. Now with the fall-out from that, HankMed is already is a precarious position but Hank has learned that his little brother has a lot of good ideas to grow the business – it is about time he took them seriously. Just when things seem to be getting back to normal, Hanks golf pro friend, Jack (Tom Cavanaugh) takes a bad turn and his girlfriend Jill (Jill Flint) decides things between them has to end. HankMed has some serious ‘healing’ to do.

Medical dramas are not my “thing,” usually they are far too much like a soap opera for my tastes but I’ve fallen in love with this breezy, happy-go-lucky show. It is flawed and has caused me to question it a time or two but most of the time, it delights more than disappoints. The writing is sharp without being crude (usually) and the embedded mysteries keep getting more fun. (If that is possible!) Not something that will challenge our intellect, Royal Pains is a great form of summer escapism that sparkles with personality in more ways than one. The fact that this takes place in the beautiful Hamptons only adds to the beauty of this show’s backdrop – I have never been but the filming sure has tempted me to one day visit. The beach scenery is breathtaking and the architecture always overwhelming but stunning. Consisting of a mere six episodes, this second volume is more focused on one HankMed patient than multiple cases.

Tom Cavanaugh wasn’t credited as a “main” character but he plays a big part this go-round both to Hank’s feeling of worth as a medical professional… and as a friend. For the first time, I think these installments open some of the most personal floodgates for the brothers Lawson. Hank because he doubts his abilities in his profession (again!) and Evan because he seems more concerned with growing the business than seeing that the patients receive the best care humanly possible (again!). There is a moment when we think he finally “gets” it but by season end, he is again recklessly diving into something he shouldn’t be. It is a gag that may have run its course considering this isn’t the first time Evan thinks he could know better than a doctor. This all plays into the finale and isn’t one that is all that pleasant for those of us who don’t like to see such division between our favorite pair of fictional brothers.

As always the characters are great fun and I must give props to the writers for continuing to deepen Paige and Evan’s already adorable relationship. Seeing how sweet their romance is and how well I love it makes me realize that I am getting tired of the back-and-forth between Jill and Hank – either split them up for good or keep them together adding in tension and conflict whenever appropriate. It is wearing very thin. I also miss Adam, the guy Divya felt guilty about possibly being the one-that-got-away prior to her called-off engagement – I’d sure love to see writer’s bring his character back because now that she is unattached, she deserves to be happy. Everything about these episodes make great additions to a fun, witty, crowd–pleaser of show. Its finale begs for a quick resolution to the tension and its characters – although sometimes ‘royal pains’ themselves, keep us laughing at their antics.  

(Parental review: Medical terms are discussed – sometimes delicately, others times in more detail. Evan and Paige are shown in bed together [clothed] as they live together for a period of time. There is some suggestive dialogue and language includes sh*t, GD and other mild profanities. The show is rated TV14.)

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