Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In the Company of Doctors

I want to become a doctor someday. Unfortunately someday is now. I dreamt too late to pursue medicine. Too bad. If only I were one of those kids who thought that it’ll be cool to slash and sew people’s gut, then I might have gone with science instead of the arts.

So I was not one of those kids. But I happen to be a fan of doctors and what better way to know about them without getting sued for stalking than to turn on the TV and watch.

Doogie Howser, M.D.

As the title suggests, the series revolves around sixteen-year-old Doogie, a whiz kid turned doctor. The premise makes the story distinct as compared with all the other medical dramas out there. It has a younger take on medicine as seen on TV.

Doogie will forever be remembered as the dad of on-line journaling as he regularly ends the show updating his journal saved on his blue-screened PC. His life is spiced up by best friend Vinnie Delpino who regularly pops-out of his bedroom window, and Wanda, the girl who allegedly steals his genius heart.

Other doctors in the show are his colleagues and his dad, Mr. H. I have lost any recollection about daddy Howser. I was around nine to ten years old when this show came out and am proud to have witnessed its pilot episode one Friday in the past. But I didn’t pay much attention to guys older than Doogie. I hope Mr. H forgives me for that.

E. R.

Created by brilliant Michael Crichton, E. R. captures the cacophonic lives of the emergency room staff of Chicago County Hospital. Sometimes, characters cross over from the O. R. to the E. R. thus a somewhat variety to this weekly show.

We see Mark Greene, a dedicated practitioner of emergency medicine who constantly finds himself in a silent competition against Kerry Weaver, the by-the-book doctor with a limp. There’s also Pediatrician, Doug Ross, the Casanova, who ends up capturing Nurse Carol Hathaway’s heart. They end up having twins. Probably the youngest doctor when E. R. started was John Carter. It is amazing to watch reruns of the earlier season of the series and see how Carter has evolved to the doctor he is in the latter seasons. Of course, he got where he was with the guidance, or lack thereof, of Surgeon, Peter Benton. Benton can be obnoxious sometimes when it comes to his practice. However, throughout the series, we see that he does have a soft spot. Susan Lewis was one of the early characters to leave the show but ends up returning come the latter seasons. She’s the one who refuses to move her career up if it is in the expense of her family. Susan and Mark almost hit it off but it was Elizabeth Corday, Benton’s ex-girlfriend, who ends up marrying Mark and eventually becomes his widow. Many more doctors became part of the show but they are too many to enumerate.

I think E.R. was at its peak in 1995, the same time when I had my biology class in high school. But it wasn’t until 1998 when I started to get hooked on this series. I’ve lost count as to what season it is running these days. I no longer know who among the original cast are still there and who the new additions are. I can only assume that if E. R. is continuously airing new episodes in the States every week, then it must still be delivering something good to its loyal audience.


This I know little about. Scrubs is packaged as a medical comedy featuring medical interns who don’t look smart enough to be doctors.

Because of that I have judged and dismissed this show maybe too prematurely for me to dig in to any potential depth, let alone know the characters’ names. I don’t know. There’s something about Scrubs which reminds me of that old TV show called Parker Lewis Just Can’t Lose which I think is horrible!


With several Medical shows out there, including Chicago Hope which I have never seen, the makers of Nip/Tuck diverts to the less noble side of medicine we all know as cosmetic surgery.

Here we meet Sean McNamara who is in search of the deeper purpose of his practice and Christian Troy who has no problems with the superficiality of his job. Sean insists that in between treating their patients, who reasonably and unreasonably have problems about themselves, they do probono consultations and operations for patients who are in dire need of their services yet could not afford their fee. Sean’s goodwill infects Christian, probably by virtue of diffusion, and becomes charitable himself. The plot also circulates outside their clinic as it touches on the lives of Sean’s family, headed by his desperate housewife, Julia, and son, Matt, who has a seriously striking resemblance to Michael Jackson. Plus there are the stories of Christian’s women. Being the philanderer that he is, they’re quite a number!

Although this show is not really for kids (mainly because of Christian) it has its good points to boast. However, it tends to lean on being soap opera-ish which can make healthy people sick. One unforgettable scene, though, is when Christian who’s all prepped up to become a dad, even ready to relinquish womanizing, delivers his supposedly future son. To his surprise, the baby that comes out of his supposed son’s white mother is a black infant. His facial expression was funny but what he says in the end, that—That!—is what I meant by the show having its share of good points.


This series is another deviation from our picture of compassionate doctors. Dr. Gregory House is as rude as he is good. (Wow, that rhymes!) He is a sick doctor who, as he admits, is perennially in pain thus his regular popping of pills. Needless to say, he works well when drugged.

House doesn’t hesitate calling his patients stupid if he has too. Nor does he have any qualms threatening a patient's life, ironically, to save him. He’s into treating his patients even before arriving with an accurate diagnosis of their disease, something which gets him into trouble especially with his boss, modern-woman Dr. Cuddy. Even with his expertise in infectious diseases, House is backed by his over-qualified staff, as his best friend Oncologist Dr. Wilson placed it. Juvenile delinquent Eric Foreman who is a House in the making, pretty boy Chase who was once on his way to priesthood, and gorgeous Cameron who seem to have a problem dealing with death comprise the brains with whom House discusses differential diagnosis with every week. Theirs are the tough cases to solve and they manage to emerge successfully, most of the time.

I almost dismissed House because its main character is too rude to be true. I still dread that one doctor out there is as bad-mannered as he is. But if his impoliteness is the price for his expertise then I’d swallow my pride and have him look at me. Still, after deciding on sticking with House, you’d see that there’s more to him than his offensive ways. There’s dedication, intellect (make that genius), humor, passion for music, eccentricity, humanity, sexiness, and if that’s not enough, heart.

Grey’s Anatomy

Probably the most famous among medical shows, thanks to its good looking cast! Grey’s Anatomy is set in Seattle Grace Hospital and the characters presented to us are surgical interns. Grey’s Anatomy is out to prove that it is not only Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte who’s getting laid. Even doctors get some, too—actually a lot. And there’s sex even outside New York!

The central character obviously is Meredith Grey, a bimbo who unknowingly sleeps with her boss on the night before her first day at work. We can’t blame her. Derek Shepherd with his two-million-dollar-a-year hands is simply hard to resist. Later, Meredith finds herself caught in Derek’s marital problems with wife, Addison Montgomery-Shepherd. Probably the thrill of having to fight for Derek makes him more attractive to Meredith who, based on her character, gets by with sleeping around. In spite of that, George O’ Malley remains a loyal admirer. Sweet George finds a best friend in Izzie Stevens, the intern who cannot seem to keep emotional distance from her patients. Such weakness broke the Izzie-Alex affair which was too bad. And we all thought Izzie will help soften Alex Karev’s arrogance! Speaking of “soften”, Christina Yang needs a lot of softening in order to become a more humane doctor. Her sexy and brilliant boyfriend Preston Burke may just lead her to the right direction. Meredith, George, Izzie, Alex and Christina are all under the watchful supervision of Dr. Miranda Bailey, also known as “the Nazi.” Despite her title, Bailey proves to be the only rational character in the mix. When everything else goes crazy, it is Surgical Chief Richard Webber who gets the ultimate headache. Poor chief!

Grey’s Anatomy is Sex and the City crossed with E. R., sprinkled with Dawson’s Creek. Sex is its major come-on. Morals or, say, lessons come as a bonus. Its humor keeps its audience amused. Its music makes it hard to forget. You don’t have to be a sucker for medicine in order to like it since its medical aspect really comes second to the lives of its characters. Still, I’d continue to watch it when I have the time if only to decompress. I mean, it somehow has a therapeutic way of entertaining which can be occasionally good.

So there you go. Now you know whom or what shows to turn to when you’re sick of your everyday bum-tarat-tarat’s and itaktak mo’s. As for me, I'd feed on these pseudo doctors' lives while I remain loyal to the arts. Well, sort of.


Anonymous said...

Lab ko si dr. house. i like his short lines of unheard metaphors. tsaka Briton talaga sya na nagpapanggap na may American accent. para sa kin gwapo naman sya. tsaka may pagka-sarcastic ang lolo mo! (literal, konti na lang lolo na). Dr. Sheperd, sana maghubad na lang sya. wahahhahaha



Galing ng rebyu mo tye!!!!

call me tye said...

Hindi naman masyadong halata na adik ako sa TV! hehe.

Favorite ko nga si House. Asteeg! Kahit konti na lang lolo na, pwede pa ring maging crush!

May nabasa pala akong survey sa net. Kung ma-hohospitalize ka ba daw sino ang gusto mong gumamot sa iyo? Top answer was House, next si Shepherd, third si Lucca Kovac of E.R.

Panalo talaga si House!

Jenalyn said...

Hi Tye,nice review.=) although sa lahat ng iyon, grey's anatomy and House lang ang talagang na-addict ako, i did get to watch some episodes of Srcubs (which I also kinda like by the way, pero minsan nabo-bore ako). Iyong E.R. naman at Doogie Howser alam ko nakanood ako pero sobrang tagal na,wala na 'kong maalala. But I feel the same, these TV series make me want to be a doctor but since, like you said, it's a little too late to dream of being one (and I'm not that sure if I ACTUALLY have the guts to be one), these shows did make me a fan of doctors. I expecially love House, he's very witty, pero cguro if i ever run across a doctor na kasing-blunt at suplado nya, baka matakot ako sa kanya,hehe.

See you soon tye!