I liked the premise and it seemed to be getting good reaction, so I figured I'd at least check out the pilot even though I have my doubts when it comes to network drama. What with a million shows with Chicago in the title, it's not like network TV tries very hard for substance. The Good Doctor was watchable, I could get through it, but I wasn't really sure if I liked or cared about anyone other than Freddie Highmore's character or his storyline. When he wasn't on screen I found myself fairly bored or cringing at bad acting. I guess other than Highmore and the administrator who is his advocate, they just cast for pretty or prettyish faces and played devil-may-care with actual ability.
And literally half the episode is spent in a board room debating whether the doctor they ALREADY hired is competent. Zzzzzzz. I kept thinking, what's the big deal? Is it really that big a deal? Clearly, despite the autism, the doctor is a genius and beyond valuable and competent. Not to mention it was extremely distracting from the plot, along with all of the handholding of delving into Shaun, the Highmore character's childhood flashbacks.
The whole thing was very cliché, trying for weepy moments, and really formulaic and forced. The whole holding the plastic knife his brother gave him in the operating room was really pushing it on my gag reflex and, "Is this really happening? Are the writers not even trying to pretend they're not cliché?" Not to mention, the writers seemed to have no confidence that the viewers could get this basic not particularly well thought out storyline without their breadcrumbs to lead them there. What makes a good or great show are the subtleties and nuances, which this show had none. All handholding.
I'm guessing by the high ratings for this show and for This Is Us, another okay show, that a lot of people only have cable and so their choices are limited and they're too lazy to explore beyond the network channels where you'll find much better shows. The best shows, typically are on the premiums channels like HBO or Showtime, or streaming like Netflix.
Nurse Jackie, that's one right there that manages to take a tired formula like a hospital and make it complex and interesting, and only in a half-hour program. I just don't know that I care enough or have enough confidence to go beyond the pilot. I know sometimes it takes a while to get the ball rolling on a show but what they gave me so far doesn't leave me with a lot of confidence. The Good Doctor is certainly no E.R. or House, and with all of the programming in TV land, I'm not sure why I should take an hour from quality viewing to stick with this one. Needs to work harder for my attention.