As we reflect on the first half of The Good Doctor season 2 in this Midseason Report Card feature, what worked? What still needs to be hammered out? There was a lot going on in the first several episodes, and there is absolutely a little bit more to explore.
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Let’s start here, first and foremost, with what the ABC show is doing quite brilliant: Presenting medicine and reality as it is. While there are some medical miracles and happy storylines on this show, there’s also a sense of honesty. Sometimes, patients die; meanwhile, character arcs don’t always go precisely how you want them to. A good example of that comes via Dr. Glassman’s cancer apparently being back, judging from the end of the midseason finale. While we want him to pull through, getting this news now is the sort of thing that makes us feel like it may not happen and that’s something that Shaun Murphy may need to adjust to.
Granted, adjustment is something that Shaun should really know how to do rather well at the moment given that he’s faced obstacle after obstacle ever since coming on board the St. Bonaventure Hospital. This brings us back to honesty and why the series is so brilliant at this. It would be easy for them to eventually just gloss over Shaun’s autism and assume that they’ve told most of the stories that they really need to, but the writers are simply not approaching things in this sort of way. They understand that Shaun is going to have to grow and improve throughout his entire life. Bringing back Lea was integral to better showing his evolution, who he is and the man he wants to be. It tests him in life while the hospital tests him on the job.
Meanwhile, kudos to the writers for figuring out ways in which to expand on characters such as Alex Park, Audrey Lim, and Morgan Reznick — they are people who we still could learn a little bit more about.
What still can the show do?
We’d love to see a little bit more of characters even still outside the hospital, or episodes that are stripped down to where you spend a lot of time just inhabiting one or two characters’ minds. Take even more storytelling risks and push the medical genre in ways that go outside the hospital and typical expectations. We’d also even more storytelling for Claire Browne in the second half of the season.
The Good Doctor is still the top medical drama on network TV — it’s well-written, poignant, and has an award-worthy performance from Freddie Highmore at the center of it. If we’re having to nitpick in order to find any significant flaws, then you know that you are clearly doing something right. Grade: A-.
What did you think about The Good Doctor season 2 to date overall? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments! (Photo: ABC.)