‘Royal Pains’ season 4: Can you handle the new HankMed?

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We’re a little late in writing about the season premiere of “Royal Pains,” but we have to give the show some major credit when it comes to one thing — not settling for the status quo. On a show like this, it would have been so easy for the story to stay about Hank running a concierge doctor business with Evan at his side, and for Jill to stay firmly rooted in the city. This is, after all, the blueprint for many dramas out there with procedural elements — keep everything the same, and hope folks stick around.

“Royal Pains” opted instead to not do this in the slightest. Instead, the story continued in an unexpected direction with Hank and Evan at odds over whether this was a business or a medical practice, and with that in mind the two appear to be going their separate ways. Hank is interested primarily in helping people rather than doing things that distract from that message; meanwhile, Evan (as the primary shareholder in HankMed) wants to sponsor an eating contest.

While we’re still not positive about how the Evan vs. Hank angle would work several episodes down the road, it does make for a fascinating change — and a bit of irony to see an organization named after Hank without Hank actually being in it anymore. We’re also curious to see what happens moving forward with Jill. Is her move away from the Hamptons permanent, and how much more of her will we see?

With the HankMed drama hitting a peak, we’re pleased to see the show taking a more serialized tone for at least the first part of the season, as we slowly work to get to the bottom of this dysfunctional family relationship. There was also a cliffhanger set up at the end courtesy of an explosion — and a random cameo by “Top Chef” winner Paul Qui working at a booth.

Do you like the direction “Royal Pains” is going in, or do you think that this is really too big a departure from one that show typically does?

Photo: USA

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