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The Telefile
<I>Royal Pains</I>: Not Nearly As Painful As Expected

When writing about this show for our summer preview, I expressed my thought that it didn't have a lot of potential based on the completely moronic premise and the fact that it starred not one, but two showkillers. I now stand corrected. Sometimes, two wrongs do make a right.

Dr. Hank Lawson (played by Mark Feuerstein, who starred briefly in The Hustler, On the Lot, Good Morning, Miamiand 3 lbs) is a rising star at some swanky NYC hospital ER, until a rich patient dies while he's doing surgery on some underprivleged basketball-playing kid. The hospital staff is not amused that a VIP, who had an entire wing named after him, who was undergoing a routine procedure, kicked the bucket under Hank's watch, so they totally can him (and sue him, and blackball him from other ERs). After a month of watching him wallow (and watch Mask and Field of Dreams and Jerry Springer), his hot, money-grubbing fiancée follows suit. In walks his CPA brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo, of Joey "fame") who wants to whisk him away for a weekend in the Hamptons where they'll live it up and go to some swanky parties and he can forget his troubles and increasing debt. He reluctantly agrees, but mostly because Netflix has frozen his account.

Brother Evan is a total schemer and social climber, and he talks his way into a party at the home of Boris, who is some sort of German royalty. While there, Hank sees a girl pass out. The on-staff concierge doctor presumes it's drugs and nearly kills her, but Hank steps in and saves her life, and earns the appreciation of Boris (who is awesomely played by Campbell Scott). Boris wants Hank to join his staff and take care of these patients, so they don't have to go to the trashy hospital in the Hamptons, or have to draw attention to themselves by having them flown into Manhattan for care. Hank says he's not interested, but soon he's saving the life of a spoiled teenager with Daddy issues, interviewing a persistent assistant (Reshma Shetty), helping a socialite (Christine Ebersole) with her breast implant issues and earning the appreciation of local hospital admin Jill (Jill Flint) who is thrilled he's dealing with the high maintenance patients. And thus, Hank's concierge (a.k.a. doctor who makes house calls) practice was born

After the first episode, I was totally charmed, didn't hate anyone on the cast, and actually laughed a few times. My favorite line (Hank to Evan, who was dressed in a suit jacket and a purple Speedo): "You look like an Olympic swimmer from Queeristan." I know, lowbrow humor, but the rest of the show was high-quality, so its nice to see they can go both ways. The biggest problem, aside from the stupid name of the show, is that I'm jealous that I don't get to spend my summer in the Hamptons.

What'd you think of the first episode? Let us know below, then talk about it some more in our Royal Pains forums.

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