the resident cover

Jeri Jacquin

Just in time for the new season, on DVD this week from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is THE RESIDENTS: Complete Season One.

Chastain Park Memorial Hospital is just like any other complicated hospital filled with patients looking for help and staff trying to provide it. Into the fray is new resident intern Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal) who comes in with fresh energy. Assigned to third year resident Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) they both see to leukemia patient Lily (Violett Beane). Hawkins likes Lily and continues to help her with recurring problems. Also caring is Nicolette ‘Nic’ (Emily VanCamp), a no-nonsense nurse practioner that Hawkins seems to have an eye for.

Watching over them is narcissistic Chief of Surgery Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood) or, as the staff refers to him as “Hodad” (Hands of Death and Destruction) who is in under the gun for an incident during surgery. Hawkins gets the opportunity to talk with kids about being a doctor when the teacher collapses. Needing a transplant, the first of many conflicts with Bell about who can afford treatment comes into play. To make things happen, Hawkins has to leave Devon to swim in the ER alone.

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Head of the hospitals oncology department, Lane Hunter (Melina Kanakaredes) visits Lily and to the dismay of the staff, discharges the young woman. Bell is coming to terms with a condition he has recently discovered that could stop him from performing surgery. Putting his needs before the patients, he quickly decides he isn’t about to help an undocumented immigrant with a procedure she needs.

Mina (Shaunette Wilson) is a young surgeon who doesn’t have the best bedside manner but is brilliant in the operating room. Constantly up against Bell’s ego, she knows that there is something wrong with him that is putting patience in jeopardy. Nic begins to suspect that Dr. Lane’s clinic where Lily has been suggested to go is a problem, especially when she sees an overcrowded treatment room.

When Nic shares her suspicions with Devon and Hawkins, Dr. Lane makes sure that she doesn’t have any more contact with her patience. With money for the hospital in short supply, a new investor makes himself known to Dr. Bell. Marshall Winthrop (Glenn Morshower) wants the hospital to get back on a paying basis but looks for suggestions in the most unlikely place.

Lily is back in the hospital much to the dismay of Hawkins, Devon and Nic, especially when it’s discovered that her functions are failing. As if she doesn’t have enough to deal with, Nic also suspects that Mina is doing something wrong that could put her career at an end and a athlete decides he can have his way with her.

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Devon’s and Priya (Tasie Lawrence) welcome his parents to discuss upcoming nuptials but the problem is that the family is from India that still has the caste system. When the hospital decides to put cameras in the operating room, Bell becomes even more nervous, especially since his medicine isn’t working any longer.

Lily comes back to the hospital again for a reaction to medication and Lane is upset that the young girl has sought other medical advice with the support of Nic. After a dose of medicine ordered by Lane, Nic receives some devastating news.

Lane and Bell, both hungry for power in their own way are hooking up. Lane has woven her magic spell around him and he loves the pep talks she gives. Especially the pep talk suggesting that Bell replace the current hospital CEO and willing to help make that happen.

Lily’s parents decide that they want the hospital held responsible for everything their daughter went through. Dr. Lane, being quick on the draw, decides to lay the blame at Nic’s feet. That doesn’t sit well with Hawkins and Devon who immediately begin to look at the history of Dr. Lane’s other patients. Yet in the board room, Bell becomes the new hospital CEO and his first duty is to fire Nic.

Mina meets cardiothoracic surgeon AJ ‘The Raptor’ Austin (Malcolm Jamal Warner) who is almost as arrogant as Dr. Bell. Quietly and without a job, Nic begins searching the back history of Dr. Lane and it brings physical danger. Getting help from a friend from nursing school, Nic is mysteriously arrested and put in jail.

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Hawkins knows there is a link and isn’t about to give up looking for it. Especially when Dr. Lane is recruiting more patients and Devon knows she is fudging the medical records. Once they have proof, they immediately go to the FBI. Now Bell must make the decision as to what to do next and plays right into the hands of the government and Bell’s new superior!

Czuchry as Hawkins portrays his character who never takes his eyes off the patient. A former soldiers, he came to understand that if you are going to help people – you have to be all in. That’s what Hawkins does at Chastain; he goes all in and isn’t about to let anyone, especially Dr. Bell, take health care away from people because it doesn’t fit the bottom line. I like Czuchry’s portrayal of this character because it’s strong, unexpected at times but always with the belief that the patient comes first.

Dayal as Devon is a resident who trusts Hawkins and the way he believes in the staff. He is also keenly aware that residents are not always looked upon favorably but it doesn’t stop what he also knows – that this is the only profession he wants to be part of. I am a Dayal fan so having him on a series means I just get to watch his performance grow and grow.

VanCamp as Nic is a nurse practioner who loves her job, has a thing for Hawkins and will do just about anything to protect the rights of her patience – even go to jail. VanCamp gives her character strength in many ways that equals the residents and even doctors who may want to challenge her ability to stand strong. I enjoy her performance and it’s not just a woman thing, it’s a do what is right by the jobs these professionals chose making their characters believable and powerful.

Greenwood as Bell is absolutely amazing. Trust me when I say that I wasn’t sure I’d be too thrilled about him playing what could only be considered a douchy-character roll. Instead, I am watching this stellar actor ride the razor leaning on the narcissist side to occasionally dip back onto the human side of life. He jumps from one disaster to another like a gazelle and I kinda dig it.

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Wilson as Mina is a woman who has done everything right by her education and equally right by the gift she obviously has for healing. She has found her friendships with Nic, Devon and Hawkins but also with AJ. Warner as AJ doesn’t have a problem saying exactly what he’s thinking but can back it up. Being at Chastain tests everyone but there are beautiful moments when he’s not being ‘The Raptor’.

Kanakaredes as Hunter is just the worst character anyone wants to see on a medical television show but there it is. Watching Kanakaredes waltz into Chastain and feel bulletproof, there are moments where I am stunned at the nerve and a cheer section for those who are not going to let her get away with it.

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The three-disc DVD includes the Pilot episode as well as Independence Day, Comrades in Arms, Identity Crisis, None the Wiser, No Matter the Cost, The Elopement, Family Affair, Lost Love, Haunted, And the Nurses Get Screwed, Rude Awakenings and the Raptor, Run Doctor Run, and Total Eclipse of the Heart.

This series broke the ground running last year and hasn’t stopped for a moment. Dealing with the struggles of patience who need help and the bureaucracy that keeps the doctors and staff fighting are what the series is about. Of course there is intense drama and conflict that one could find in any hospital on any given day.

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The cast brings the drama on strong yet lets us know the characters they portray also have all the human frailties. Even though Dr. Bell would like to think he’s one step above everyone at Chastain, I can over look him with people like Hawkins, Devon and Nic fighting the good fight.

This is a series that I see so much potential for in the stories that they tell. As a huge fan of the successful series E.R. from 1994, THE RESIDENT takes it all a step further and I can’t wait to see where it leads. Fox has given us another amazing series so if you happened to miss the first season, now you can binge quickly and catch up because the first two episodes of the new season are loaded!

The new second season of THE RESIDENT has begun and airs on Fox every Monday at 8/7c. Be there to see the staff, residents and patients work to make Chastain work for all.

In the end – it is the good and the bad behind hospital doors!