GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By CHRISTINA QUACH
While The Good Doctor has its flaws, people should give it a shot.
The Good Doctor revolves around Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), a talented young surgeon who has both autism and savant syndrome, which makes him act like a child. Despite some skepticism from his higher-ups, Shaun showcases his extraordinary medical skills and intuition in order to save lives.
While the show does have some faults, such as the huge amounts of science thrown at the audience and the scarce amount of exciting characters, the pros outweigh the cons. However,the series also has its good moments, such as its exposure to many misunderstood topics— including autism and savant syndrome.
An example of a common misconception is the idea that autistic people are intellectually disabled. This misbelief plays a vital role in the show as Shaun’s superiors were all hesitant to hire him because they believe he would be a disruption to the surgeons. Despite Shaun being unbelievably intelligent and a “medical whiz,” the hospital administration does not consider hiring him until he gains attention on the internet for saving a child’s life. Additionally, this stereotype is further perpetuated when many of the surgeons underestimate him and mock him for his childlike persona. By involving both of these scenarios, the show is able to dismiss the common misconception. The series also highlights the prejudice autistic people face, which in turn, educates the audience on autism as many people have an over-exaggerated or incorrect perception of this illness.
Moreover, The Good Doctor includes lots of dry humor (aka the best humor). The jokes in the show are incorporated so fluidly that it does not distract from the original story.
For instance, Claire Brown (Antonia Thomas), a doctor, initially acts hostile towards Shaun. However, after he helps with a surgery, Claire is suddenly nice towards him. This causes him to ask, “At which point were you pretending?” This scene not only develops his character as a person who is socially inept, it also helps lighten up the otherwise serious show.
Nevertheless, the show does have minor drawbacks. A prime example would be the abundance of medical information thrown at the audience. Whenever Shaun sees a patient, pages from a medical textbook quickly overlay the scene. This plethora of information only seems to cloud the storyline rather than help it progress, which in turn, confuses the audience.
Furthermore, the show has the typical “cookie-cutter” characters, such as the obligatory father figure, the smart yet flirty character and the narcissistic antagonist— all clichés that everyone has already seen in multiple shows before. There is also an evident lack of interesting characters; the only interesting one being Shaun himself.
Despite some shortcomings, The Good Doctor manages to raise awareness for misunderstood topics and tell an exciting story with its humerus jokes.