NOTE: This article is a review of a show currently in the midst of its’ first season. Opinions expressed here are subject to change as time goes on, and will likely be updated after the finale airs.
Stars: Sophia Bush, Jason Isaacs, Skye P. Marshall
Creator: Katie Wech
Released by: Sutton St. Productions · CBS Studios
Good Sam: . . .Where to properly begin… Season 1 of Good Sam is about to wrap up with its’ 13th episode, “To Whom It May Concern.” In honor of that occasion, let’s look at the show as a whole (so far). It is the most recent Medical Drama, following ABC’s 2017 The Good Doctor. It stars Sophia Bush as Sam Griffith, a Heart Surgeon who becomes the top surgeon at Lakeshore Sentinel Hospital after her boss and father – Dr. Rob Griffith – is shot by a gunman and ends up in a six month coma.
After six or so months, he wakes up and wants to resume being a surgeon, meaning that Sam would be supervising him. This… complicates things to put it lightly. Add on an affair between her best friend Dr. Lex Trulle and her dad, as well as a few makeout sessions and cliffhangers, and this show gets very weird and uncomfortable very fast, all while oddly managing to remain suspenseful.
To be perfectly honest, the show – being in its’ infant season so to speak, should be given some slack. To be fair, there is some merit here to be found. The 2-parter involving a snowstorm-induced blackout injuring Sam’s mom (played by Wendy Crewson) was well executed from a music-standpoint, had plenty of character interactions, and lots of drama regarding who lives and who dies.
Speaking of drama, the show keeps the on-off battle between the Griffiths the main focus of at least Season 1, while not overshadowing the surgeries performed in each episode, unlike some later episodes of ABC’s The Good Doctor in seasons 3 and 5. There’s even a special actress reunion in there for fans of One Tree Hill, another show starring Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz. The way they air and edit the previews following each episode deserves a good mention as well. The previews don’t actively spoil too much regarding the next episode, and the music used often fits the tone as well.
Of course, with all these pros, there are some cons to be addressed. First off, the family rivalry between the Griffiths. Sometimes, it’s the focus of an episode, and other times, it isn’t. It’s an inconsistency that bothers me somewhat. Another con is the few (thankfully), but lengthy make out sessions or sleep scenes in the show’s first season. Yeah, every medical show must have one, it seems. Sometimes it occurs at the beginning – which is relatively harmless, and other episodes it occurs at the end of said episode. It doesn’t make for a good cliffhanger leading into the next part of the Griffith battle.
I could barely care for the music made for each episode. While fitting the tone, generally, it’s generic instrumental music. While original song creation for shows is no doubt tough, I expect at least one medley I can remember per episode/season. On that front, the show failed.
Another con is the character roster. While some characters like Sam, Sam’s mom, Rob Griffith, and the ex-wife are all fleshed out and very interesting, the other characters – aside from Lex – are either on for a single episode (the patients), or just there with not too many roles in-show like Dr. Joey Costa – who’s only described as a doctor on Sam’s side. In addition, the doctors all seem to look the same when in scrub uniform, So out-of-operation interactions become to memorizing who is who.
In closing, I did not find it “boring” as others say. However, It wasn’t great either. It was just… mixed. Maybe the finale will spice things up significantly as the summary hints at. I sure hope so, as variety is the spice of life.