With the amount of TV series tackling the medical profession, it is no wonder that people would review the new TV show “The resident” with a fair amount of skepticism. When compared to other shows of the genre, such as House and Grey’s Anatomy, the resident, unfortunately, fell short, with reviews on rotten tomatoes standing at a 60% approval rates and mixed reviews that range from mild amusement to outright dislike.
However, the show does deserve a stronger rating than advertised due to the unique spin it presents; namely, showing the absolute horror story that goes on in the medical profession in the USA. Dr. Bell, Chief of Surgery at Chastain Hospital, starts in the very first five minutes of the show by killing a patient in what should have been a simple procedure. Instead of reprimanding him, the staff covers for him.
On season one of The Resident, every episode represents an ethical dilemma about what goes on in a money-hungry medical profession that has completely forsaken its sacred mission of saving lives towards making as much profit as possible. “It’s a business” the show proclaims, and like any business, it cannot run on a deficit.
On a personal level, the horror stories in the show are entirely believable. Having gone through a couple of the show’s stories myself, I was not surprised one bit. Not only that, but I felt relieved that finally there was a TV drama that presented a realistic view of the medical profession in the West. I remember once, during a two-year medical journey in my country, when one of my friends tried to convince me to go abroad to seek treatment. Trying patiently to explain to her that it’s not much better over there (at least in my case, where I have access to all available medications) than it is in a developing country, she was quite surprised. “So it’s not like we see on Grey’s Anatomy?” she asked innocently. I rolled my eyes at her nativity, “absolutely not.”
While it is nice to live in a fantasy when watching a TV show, I firmly believe that this type of overhyped other world reality belongs squarely in that genre, and nowhere else. One of the most annoying traits I find in American cop and medical series is how they exist solely to portray a glorified image of the American system, completely glossing over the realities of the day. While this is acceptable for an American audience, who understand more than anyone the harsh realities of their daily lives, such series serve as nothing more than propaganda machines for an economy that, just like the rest of the world, had its own struggles and hardships.
On the other hand, The Resident does have some artistic shortcomings. Shallow characters, a weak comeback in season two and failed attempts at dark humor leave some room for improvement. However, overall it does present a breath of fresh air in a saturated industry.