By Jordan Brown, Asst. Section Editor
ABC’s The Good Doctor aired on Sept. 25, the pilot starting off with Freddie Highmore making his way from his quiet life in the country to the hustle and bustle of California to work at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.
The show focuses on Dr. Shaun Murphy (played by Freddie Highmore) who was diagnosed with autism and savant syndrome in his childhood. His diagnosis makes it hard for people to take him seriously as a surgeon and to get a position at the hospital.
The show has many actors of color portraying high-ranking surgeons at the hospital. Dr. Melendez, played by Nicholas Gonzalez, plays the typical sexist and arrogant attending surgeon, but there’s a twist: He actually admits when he’s wrong unlike similar characters in across different forms of media. Dr. Browne, played by Antonia Thomas, is a woman of color that fights against Melendez to be taken seriously and to have her rightful place on his team of surgeons.
Just in the first episode, the show is already tackling heavy topics like child abuse, discrimination in the workplace and just plain ignorance. Murphy’s troubled childhood is told mainly through flashbacks triggered by certain events happening around him, such as a soccer ball rolling up to his feet.
As for discrimination in the workplace, Murphy’s mentor, Dr. Glassman, fights against the board of directors and their discriminatory and ignorant views on how having autism interferes with Murphy’s ability to save lives. Watching these characters deal with their respective problems draws you in and evokes emotion, whether that feeling is hatred and annoyance or sympathy and pride.
The center of the show revolves around how Murphy tries to earn his place at the hospital, be respected by his peers and balance work and his health all at the same time. So far, he seems to have various coping mechanisms to keep his autism in check.
The caliber of acting in this show is impeccable, especially Highmore. Highmore seems to understand how to properly portray and represent a disabled actor without offending people in that community. After watching the first episode, I think that this show could go for multiple seasons without any problems and I highly recommend this show to anyone who enjoys drama and being drawn in.
Posted: October 10