Jordan Peele's 'Us' is a Creepy Tale That Sadly Mirrors Our Reality

On May 25, 1986, approximately 6.5 million Americans stood hand in hand forming a human chain that stretched from New York to California for an event called Hands Across America. It was a fundraiser project from USA for Africa (the same people who produced the “We Are the World” single the year before) in hopes of raising $100 million to fight hunger and homelessness. The hope was that everyone who participated would donate $10 for the cause. Families stood and sang together for 15 minutes. And then it was over.

I had trouble remembering if Hands Across America really happened or if it was a gimmick for the film when the original commercial for the event flashed on the big screen during the opening of Us. I only vaguely remember the event, which might have to do more with the fact that I have lived in Washington State my whole life and we weren’t involved in the project. I doubt that I’m the only one and I suspect that was also some of Jordan Peele’s reasoning as well whe…

Freddie Highmore Steals the Show in 'The Good Doctor'

"The Good Doctor" review
Freddie Highmore and Nicholas Gonzalez in The Good Doctor. (ABC)


After being promoted heavily by ABC for months now, audiences will get their first look at the new medical drama series, The Good Doctor, to see if it worth the wait. The show is from David Shore who created the FOX hit series, House and Daniel Dae Kim known for his acting work in Lost and the new version of Hawaii Five-O.

The new series centers on a young new surgeon, Dr. Shaun Murphy (played by Freddie Highmore) who has autism and has been diagnosed with savant syndrome meaning that he is pretty much a walking medical textbook. Upon the urging of Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), Murphy relocates to Glassman’s hospital to join the hospital’s surgical unit. However, knowing Murphy’s issues, the Glassman’s colleagues have their doubts about hiring the young man and challenge Glassman before bringing him on. Meanwhile, as you no doubtably seen from the millions of commercials, Murphy is late to his interview due to a medical emergency that happens at the neighby airport. Like Sherlock, Murphy can “see” things that others cannot. The graphics give viewers an idea of how Murphy’s brain works, but it still seems complicated.

Having starred in Bates Motel and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it is no surprise how excellent the actor is in portraying the autistic doctor. His mannerisms and speech patterns are spot on even if some of his lines are a little off. The line about one doctor being arrogant seems realistic. The following line asking if that arrogance makes that doctor a better surgeon does not. Still, you know that the hospital will end up learning more from Murphy than he will learn from the others.

Though the show appears to be all about Dr. Shaun Murphy (from watching the pilot episode) it appears that the show may head to become more of an ensemble piece given how many characters they introduce during the pilot. Even if some of those characters are not too original. During the first few minutes of the episode, we are introduced to two friends-with-benefits doctors canoodling in the one of the side rooms in the hospital because it just isn’t a hospital drama without one or more staff members sleeping around. The staff has its share of know-it-all doctors too. Then there are the usual “we’ve never done anything like this before” doctor speech from some of the others. Other characters are brought in for a line or two without much else to do. This makes the show feel lopsided and unfortunately, the show becomes less interesting whenever Highmore is not present.

The highlight, of course, is seeing how Glassman and Murphy interact together. The show shares a few flashbacks to show how to the two men met years earlier. No matter how much trouble Murphy is bound to get into, you know that Glassman will also be on his side – except for the eventual episode where he’ll say something to the effect of, “I just can’t clean up your mess this time, Shaun…” The first episode is uneven with a lot of talk and banter between the hospital, but not enough action. Maybe that will improve with future episodes as this show has a lot of potential. In short, The Good Doctor is good, not great. At least, not just yet.

The series also stars Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Browne, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neil Melendez, Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Beau Garrett as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews and Tamlyn Tomita as Allegra Aoki.

The Good Doctor airs on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.


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