Good Sam (Pilot)

Starring: Sophia Bush and Jason Issacs.

Where I Watched It: Paramount plus (though it airs on CBS)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

The Plot: The Good Sam in this question is a doctor (Bush) who works at the same hospital as her father (Issacs), who is the Chief of Surgery, and the two have a contentious relationship. He’s a brilliant doctor, but she believes she is as well, and he just doesn’t see that. She’s about to leave when (this is not a spoiler) her dad is shot and lands in a coma. While he’s in a coma, she becomes in charge, and the position is finalized just in time so that when he wakes up, he now works for her.

What Works: While i love Sophia Bush, I do have a hard time believing she could be a brilliant surgeon. She’ll always be that cheerleader trying to sleep her way to the top in One Tree hill (before, of course, a ton of character development for her character that took her from a supporting character to the lead of the series). She’s actually so likable, I don’t mind that I don’t think she can convince me she’s a surgeon. Sophia Bush has always had charisma for days, and just like in One Tree hill, or later Chicago PD, she has a way of becoming the focus, whether she was originally or not. So it is nice to see a show start off with her in that position so she doesn’t take over and shift the direction of the series.

She’s matched with Jason Issacs, who is just a terrific utility actor. He can play anything, any role, movie or tv, and he finds a way to be likable as a protagonist (the short lived Awake) or make you hate him as a villain (The Patriot). Here, he has to do a bit of both, and just in one episode, he showed me how incredibly perfect he is in this role.

What Doesn’t Work: While I enjoyed the pilot, I take off huge points. HUGE. Someone in that writers room needs to be smacked. look, you almost set up a solid premise, and an intelligent concept, and I can even forgive that all of that family seem to work in the same place. But what I cannot forgive is that he happens to wake up on the EXACT same day that her position moves from temporary to permanent. EXACT. SAME. DAY. No. no sir. you sit down. Go away. Whoever came up with that brilliant nugget needs to go back to writing lifetime movies.

And, while it’s not necessarily something that is a problem right now, but I didn’t care about anyone other than our leads. the other doctors, and the attempts at giving them personality…I appreciated it, but you threw two big, heavy hitter actors into the top spots. They are sucking up all the oxygen. Future episodes need to continue to flesh out the ensemble as much as humanly possible, or all the extra hospital staff will seem unnecessary or irrelevant, and the audience will find it hard to connect with the times their characters are featured.

The Blind Perspective: The narrator had a lovely voice doing the audio description, and for a show with a decent amount of dialogue, they did a good job of keeping us on track, and the actual filmed product makes up the rest. I found it really easy to follow.

Final Thoughts: Other than a giant blunder off idiocy in the pilot, I thought it was strong. Even though I will never believe Sophia Bush as a doctor (I never bought her as a cop either), it never seems to matter. Her charisma always makes up for any misgivings you may have with her casting. I hope the next series she does has her as president, or perhaps a Supreme Court Justice. It will be interesting to see if CBS sticks with this show.

Final Grade: B+

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