The Resident reveals the deep, dark secrets that lurk behind the closed doors of a hospital setting–and the truth is not pretty.
The Show: The Resident
The Network: Fox
The Genre: Drama
The Challenge: Give a show four episodes with which to draw you in, impress you, challenge you, make you feel something deeply. Four episodes for the chance to find out if you care what happens to the characters you’re watching enough to become invested in the story. If after all that, it does none of those things for you? Then no biggie. You gave it a good shot and you can move on. But if you love it, you’ll be glad you stuck around.
The Premise: Fox’s The Resident follows the story of a team of doctors working at Chastain Park Memorial. While medical dramas rule the world of television, The Resident takes a step further into exposing the ugly truths and ethics of this particular workplace. At the center of the drama is Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) who chooses to practice medicine from a realistic approach with his rough and tough attitude. Under the guidance of Dr. Hawkins is Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal), a first-year resident. Dr. Pravesh quickly realizes he must leave his soft-spoken, innocent demeanor behind in order to be a part of this less-than-perfect atmosphere. The Resident reveals that the hospital setting is run more like a business, rather than simply a place of medical care. Following this mindset heavily is Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood), the Chief of Surgery. He handles day-to-day manners for the hospital from a strictly money-making perspective and views the hospital as nothing more than endless dollar signs. His character epitomizes everything that is wrong and unethical about the medical setting as he finds himself making controversial choices in the name of money and fame.
Playing Conrad’s on-again-off-again love interest is Nurse Nic (Emily VanCamp) who stands for everything good about Chastain Park Memorial. Nic’s relentless dedication to her job and patients is the heartbeat of The Resident. Dr. Mina Okafor (Shaunette Renee Wilson) is another integral part of the medical team in the series and is a sassy, motivated, and extremely intelligent surgeon. Her stubborn stance on partaking in patient care adds an oddly comedic aspect to the series. Together, Dr. Hawkins, Pravesh, Okafor, and Nurse Nic tackle the turbulent hospital setting of Chastain Park Memorial, while trying to save lives.
The Resident proves to be strong in its inaugural season, setting itself apart in a genre that is difficult to stand out in. The first four episodes lay out a series of scenarios including immigration laws that push the boundaries of a typical medical show–making The Resident an exciting, intense, and emotional cocktail of drama. Conrad’s pursuit of equal treatment for all and Dr. Bell’s efforts to bring in the money lay the groundwork for The Resident and illustrate an impressive start to the premiere season.
The characters of The Resident are the heart and soul of this medical drama–and darn good looking too
One of the most enticing and inviting aspects of The Resident lie in its characters, and the cast that portrays them. Matt Czuchry, who plays Dr. Conrad, is no stranger to the world of television, and immediately captures our heart in any role he plays. While his character may not be anything like Logan from Gilmore Girls, his role as Dr. Conrad is courageous, tough, and endearing. We can’t help but connect with him as he fights for his patients and opts to do what is in their best interest–come hell or high water. In the first four episodes, his character development is extremely strong and inspiring. Whether he is fighting to get medical care for his immigrant patient or trying to prevent Dr. Bell from operating with a tremor, Conrad is the voice of The Resident–and resonates with the audience in each one of his scenes.
“I love this character’s moxie. I love his strength. I love how he stands up for the little guy and I love that mystery, too: Do you like him? Do you not like him? But, you’re going to grow to like him.” –Matt Czuchry (actor)
In a similar fashion, Nic, played by VanCamp, is the hospital’s guiding light and voice of reason. Having a character like Nic is something The Resident needs to be praised for. She speaks up for the rights of her patients, she advocates for treating them and isn’t afraid to take drastic measures to ensure the safety and well-being of her patients. The presence of a strong female role increases the value of The Resident by ten-fold and is reason enough to tune in. Another strong female lead can be found in Dr. Mina Okafor, played by Wilson. While she lacks the emotional aspect of treating patients, she makes up for it with her attitude and genius. Her character harbors no fear or regrets and focuses on one goal only–to perform surgery. The Resident unapologetically places its female characters front and center, giving them a voice and a huge part to play in this medical drama. While the characters of Nurse Nic and Dr. Okafor differ immensely in personality, their passion, and intensity to do their job allow for the audience to directly connect with them.
The character of Dr. Devon Pravesh, played by Dayal, is the stand-out character in this series for multiple reasons. When his character is first introduced, we see an awkward, reluctant insecure resident stepping into this world. Over the course of four episodes, we have seen him go from nervous to confident and become a voice of reason at Chastain Park Memorial. The Resident has done a phenomenal job with his character by making him relatable, easy-going, and vulnerable. While many doctors at this hospital rub the audience in the wrong way, Dr. Pravesh is a character we immediately connect with and root for. And this is what makes the character, along with the show, something worth gushing about. We do not have a shortage of hot, cocky doctors in the medical drama genre, but what we do pine for is a character with substance and humanity–which is exactly what Dr. Pravesh gives us in The Resident.
The unique, dedicated, and no-nonsense group of characters in The Resident pulls us right into the center of their lives and their jobs–keeping the audience engaged and invested in every aspect of their lives.
The Resident’s cynical and abrupt approach to revealing hospital secrets sparks debate over its medical inaccuracies
The premise of The Resident focuses solely on discussing the happenings behind the closed doors and curtains of the hospital. While many shows infuse this particular genre with romantic and idyllic emotions, The Resident dares to be different. Is there a love story to follow in this series? Yes, but it is not the focus of the show, instead, its primary purpose is to expose and educate its viewers about a myriad of issues that exist in a hospital setting. Over the course of its inaugural season, The Resident has had to face backlash and negative comments about the manner in which they practice medicine in the show and have been criticized for highlighting the negative aspects of this world.
“We’re showing the complexities of what it means to be a part of the healthcare system, whether that be the business of healthcare, losing patients or the difficult decisions doctors make. We’re taking the genre and peeking into it in a different way.” –Matt Czuchry (actor)
As The Resident looks to identify deeply rooted issues within the healthcare system, critics, actual residents, and fans took to Twitter to voice their frustration with the plot. While some spoke out against the mistakes, some supported the show by applauding their ability to speak the truths of the system. At times, this sort of debate is a testament to the attention a show is receiving. In the case of The Resident, it has added to the allure and intrigue of it. While the medical jargon and procedures may not be 100% accurate, the emotions, roadblocks, and the hospital red tape are indeed very real–and that is exactly what The Resident excels in uncovering. It is not afraid to face the noise and take down the haters. Their message is loud and clear, and while the reality of certain situations may be exaggerated, it is a wake-up call to become more aware of what secrets and questionable ethics take place behind the hospital boardrooms. We applaud you, The Resident.
The Resident approaches sensitive and controversial topics head-on with a strong and powerful voice
In the era of the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaign, The Resident unknowingly embraces the importance of this movement. In an episode that has not aired yet, The Resident will tackle the topic of sexual harassment involving Vancamp’s character, Nic. The ability to incorporate a difficult subject into the plot is one of The Resident’s redeeming qualities. While this particular episode has not aired yet, the first four episodes provide an ample amount of situations that leave the audience in utter disbelief. At the center of these predicaments is Dr. Bell, played by Greenwood, who suffers from a hand tremor but proceeds to perform surgeries despite his ailment. His quest to make the hospital money regardless of what has to be done provides for many controversial moments during the first four episodes of The Resident.
Due to his position in the hospital’s hierarchy, Dr. Bell’s mistakes and shortcomings are excused. The series brings a very important topic to our attention and one that is unfortunately much more common than we’d like to admit. Those in power have a hold over those that fall below them on the ladder of position. The Resident tragically identifies this through Dr. Bell’s character time and time again. His role as Chief of Surgery gives him an advantage over others in the hospital–regardless of the fact that his shortcomings have taken the life of a patient and may again. This is extremely brave story-telling in The Resident because it takes a topic of people abusing their power and places it at the epicenter of a familiar setting for all of us. The writers have done a wonderful job not only focusing on the heavy topics of hospital finances but also placing a microscope on the moments that may never cross our minds.
“Many doctors and nurses probably deal with this on a daily basis, and I was very particular with how I wanted to deal with it on the show.When I was talking to our writers, it was about approaching it in two ways: dealing with the actual culprit, the accuser, but also dealing with Conrad and how the men in our lives approach the situation.” –Emily VanCamp (actress)
The Resident also incorporates the controversial topic of illegal immigrants into its first four episodes. In the episode, “Comrades in Arms”, Conrad and the gang must figure out how to treat a beloved hospital employee, who is an illegal immigrant with no insurance. This episode is an abrupt reminder of the world we currently live in along with the reality of ridiculous hospital bills without insurance. The Resident faces this topic head-on and adds a level of humanity to it, rather than present it in a way that takes away from the harsh reality of it. However, tough critics of the show highlight the illegal connotations of a hospital not treating its patients based on their status or their ability to pay. They believe The Resident presents the healthcare system as an evil group of healthcare professionals looking to hurt their patients. We beg to differ because at the center of this medical drama is a group of doctors and nurses that are only seeking the benefit of their patients. So while the situations may be drastic and made-for-television, The Resident balances the good with the bad–and seeks to highlight their version of the truth.
The talented writers and creative team behind The Resident pen the emotional, heart-breaking, and adrenaline-inducing moments–and we are hanging onto every single word
What makes The Resident so enticing and thrilling to watch? The passionate and fervid writing behind each of its episodes, that’s what. In the first four episodes, the storylines have been diverse, unique, and have explored a wide variety of issues embedded in hospital administration, such as illegal immigration and financially motivated decisions. While many medical dramas are interested in focusing on sultry ‘on-call’ room affairs, The Resident shifts the attention to a bigger, deeper problem. These problems are brought to life on screen through the exceptional writing of showrunner Amy Holden Jones, Hayley Schore, Roshan Sethi, along with a team of additional talented writers. The stories written for the first four episodes bring its female characters into the spotlight–courtesy of showrunner Jones who advocates for female empowerment not only in her characters but in the writer’s room. This is an exceedingly refreshing change, especially for a medical drama, that tends to overshadow its female characters with its handsome, attractive male counterparts.
“It’s a female empowerment show. I’m a woman. Our staff is half female in the writers room as we’re trying to get as many female directors as we can.” –Amy Holden Jones (showrunner)
In the first four episodes, there have been specific episodes that really stand out amongst the rest including 1×02, “Independence Day” and 1×04, “Identity Crisis”. “Independence Day” highlights Dr. Pravesh’s first full-day on his on own, thus the cleverly named episode title. The writing in this particular episode shines because it is the first time each character stands out on their own and intense character development takes place. Whether it is Dr. Pravesh’s growing independence while juggling twenty patients on his own or Conrad’s past life being revealed, the writers bring us extremely close to each character and their lives. “Identity Crisis” is one of The Resident’s most controversial episodes of the four because it discusses a hospital employee turned patient that is an illegal immigrant. The emotional, turbulent writing of this episode reels the audience in as we watch a patient be treated poorly based on her status. The episode hones in on the hospital administration’s thirst for money and how patients are merely viewed as dollar signs. The episode is a literary culmination of emotions as the story digs deep into this harsh reality of medicine.
Final Verdict: The Resident dares to be different with its audacious story-telling, controversial plots, and relatable characters
The Resident does not shy away from discussing a unique angle to the stories within medical dramas. Instead of focusing on an outlandish case or a sensuous love story, it is slowly unraveling the secrets behind hospital administrations one layer at a time. It is addicting and galvanizing to watch its characters tackle the hospital’s problems along with their personal problems in the first four episodes. Each character has to face working with the corrupt boardroom of Chastain Park Memorial, that looks to assign each patient with a monetary value, rather than place their well-being first. This is the base of which The Resident builds off on as the story begins to move forward in this medical drama.
Thanks to the creative genius of Amy Holden Jones, Roshan Sethi, and Hayley Schore, we get an intense insight into the unknown world of boardroom secrets, hospital administration ethics–and the multitude of endless problems in this type of setting. The Resident may not convey situations that are 100% medically accurate or real, but it does give us a slight glimpse into this world. By writing stories that accentuate the tumultuous nature of hospital administrations, it gives the viewers a unique storyline and something to relate their personal stories to. Critics of the show may beg to differ, but this is indeed the beauty of The Resident.
The first four episodes of The Resident are brave, honest, and exciting. With each episode, a secret or truth about the world of medicine and its bureaucratic intricacies are brought to our attention. This is what makes The Resident a show worth watching and giving our time to. No other medical drama is willing to go to the lengths The Resident already has in four episodes, and will undoubtedly continue to as the season progresses. We applaud the series for taking a step in a controversial direction and for exploring a plot that has not been a point of discussion to this degree. We are here for all the drama–and Matt Czuchry, of course.