ABC’s “The Good Doctor” Starts Out With Not so Good Reviews

Freddie Highmore in The Good Doctor(Photo: ABC/Liane Hentscher)

Freddie Highmore in The Good Doctor(Photo: ABC/Liane Hentscher)

TechnoMark thought this would be a good show for me to write about since I’m knowledgeable about Autism, and I like hospital dramas like Grey’s Anatomy.

Having only seen the pilot episode, I can’t say if I like the show or not. It received a lukewarm reception from many reviewers such as this one from The Vulture and Rotten Tomatoes has the show at only 31 percent, although the audience generally seems to like it at 92 percent.

The show, from the makers of House, features the main character, Dr. Shawn Murphy, played by Freddie Highmore- who does a pretty commendable acting job on the show. Of course, he has been great since he was a young kid in movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, August Rush, and The Spiderwick Chronicles.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the premise of the show is Murphy’s mentor, Dr. Aaron Glassman(played by Richard Schiff), is trying to convince the hospital’s board of directors to accept him as part of the hospital’s team in spite of his Autism. Frankly, I find it surprising that a hospital board could have such a misunderstanding of Autism, but I suppose it could happen.

The pilot episode should have been longer, because trying to jam in multiple back stories did a disservice to the show. Also, do all hospitals have doctors getting it on in the on-call room? I guess this is a way to introduce characters in a medical show now, but it seems laughable to me.

Is this show a credit to Autism awareness? Some people are pointing out that only 10 percent of people with Autism are savants, like this character. I was asked this summer if my son had a special niche like being able to play music by ear, or being a math genius. Well, I guess at age 2 1/2, he did teach himself how to read, but you wouldn’t know that today as he struggles with comprehension(he’s good at spelling, though!). I wouldn’t say that he has any special savant talents, though. I guess he would be in the 90 percent category. I did appreciate that Shawn was able to show compassion and emotion, as many people tend to think that people on the spectrum have more Vulcan tendencies.

I thought the show could have some merits, though it might take another episode or two before people start to enjoy it. Do I see it lasting 8 seasons as House, or 14 seasons like Grey’s Anatomy? I don’t think that would happen, but I’ve been surprised before.