There’s always some dark drama happening behind-the-scenes at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital, where often patients would have been better off had they never walked through the doors of the medical center. The Resident follows recent Harvard Medical School graduate, the wide-eyed Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal, Halt and Catch Fire), as he embarks on his new internship at the hospital. As he arrives for his first day, Dr. Pravesh learns that his supervisor will be hot shot third year resident Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry, Gilmore Girls), who has a reputation for being a bit of a jerk. As Dr. Hawkins uses tough love to teach his new intern the ropes, Dr. Pravesh quickly discovers that for the doctors in this hospital, the ethical lines for treating patients are constantly blurred. Meanwhile, Conrad constantly finds himself at odds with the Chief of Surgery, Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), and forced to clean up his messes. The aging chief refuses to acknowledge that he’s no longer the sharp surgeon he once was. He often puts patients at unnecessary (and sometimes fatal) risk, and then uses his power and reputation to intimidate the other doctors into covering up his mistakes.
Helping to keep Conrad from doing something illegal is his former flame nurse Nicolette “Nic” Nevin (Emily VanCamp, Everwood). She’s an intelligent nurse who knows a lot more than some of the doctors at the hospital. While treating a long time cancer patient, Nic starts to sense that something suspicious and unusual is going on with Dr. Lane Hunter (Melina Kanakaredes), who runs a private cancer clinic inside the facility. The hospital staff also includes gifted surgeon Dr. Mina Okafor (Shaunette Renée Wilson, Billions), who has absolutely no bedside manner and little patience for the chief, who has been using his position to force her to perform important surgeries he can’t afford to mess up. And providing some comic relief is Dr. Irving Feldman (Tasso Feldman, Black Box), a surgeon who seems to have no luck in his personal life, and is always getting stuck with the dirty grunt work in the operating room.
I really enjoyed this series the first time around when I watched it on FOX, and it was just as enjoyable binging it again on this DVD release. The series is fast-paced, blending interesting medical drama with some really engaging character drama, and mixing case-of-the-week stories along with longer patient arcs. A lot of the focus is on the drama going on behind the scenes at this hospital as the doctors struggle to fix the broken system, starting with how to deal with this chief who is putting lives in danger while hiding behind his notoriety, fame and power.
The series has a unique, beautiful look that feels very cinematic, making use of some creative camera angles, and scenes shot from the P.O.V. of the patient. The cast is great—there is a lot of chemistry between Conrad and Nic, and you quickly get the sense of the history between these two. While Conrad is a bit of a wild guy, Nic is serves as his voice of reason, stopping him from crossing too far over line. Dr. Pravesh is the audience’s entry point into this new world, as he is quickly thrown into the deep end thanks to Conrad’s tough-love approach. Bruce Greenwood is delightfully evil as the despicable Dr. Bell, the man you love to hate and desperately wish is never the type of doctor in the operating room when you need help. He was once this brilliant surgeon, and may still be, but his pride and ego won’t let him admit that he’s not as sharp as he used to be, and this puts patients in mortal danger. Just when you think he’s reached his lowest, things get even worse!
Like other recent FOX TV-on-DVD drama releases, season one of The Resident has only received a DVD release, despite the fact that the series originally aired in HD. The picture quality of the DVD is excellent, just marginally duller and less detailed than the original HD airings on FOX. The audio track is likely the same as the FOX airings, primarily utilizing the center channel fot the dialogue but also making nice use of the stereo and surround channels to add ambiance and excitement to the on-screen action. The fourteen episodes of the season are split across three DVD discs, each offering a Play All option. Unfortunately, there is no bonus material included. The discs are packed in a standard DVD keepcase without a slipcover.
While the series itself comes highly recommended, it is a little disappointing to see the lack of bonus material, especially when there was likely some EPK material available for a first season series. That said, you can’t go wrong picking this show up either on this DVD, or preferably Digital HD (available at iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Google Play, etc.), in order to experience this excellent series in its full HD quality. I wish FOX would do what HBO does, and at least include an HD streaming version with the DVD-only releases of shows that were originally aired in HD.
The series was recently picked up for a full 22-episode second season, so now is the time to catch up on season one as there’s plenty more to come!
- All 14 episodes of the first season:
Disc 1: “Pilot”, “Independence Day”, “Comrades in Arms”, “Identity Crisis”
Disc 2: “None the Wiser”, “No Matter the Cost”, “The Elopement”, “Family Affair”, “Lost Love”
Disc 3: “Haunted”, “And the Nurses Get Screwed”, “Rude Awakenings and the Raptor”, “Run, Doctor, Run”, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
- 480p / Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
- Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
- There is no bonus material included with this release.
The Resident is a riveting drama that will make you think twice the next time you need to go to a hospital. It has a great cast, interesting medical storylines, and exciting behind-the-scenes hospital drama. The DVD release comes recommended based on the high quality of the series itself, even though it doesn’t include any bonus material. However, for those who don’t have an aversion to streaming, I would suggest picking up the Digital HD version in order to enjoy the series in full HD.