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TV Series Review

Who says doctors don't make house calls?

In USA's light, escapist medical dramedy Royal Pains, Dr. Hank Lawson makes nothing but house calls. He's what is known as a "concierge doctor," a physician who brings quality health care right to your door with a smile—in return for a four-figure check, of course.

Not that Hank planned to practice his medicine in the well-to-do Hamptons—a near-mythical seaside land so littered with rich people that Fabergé eggs are sold by the dozen at the local QuikMart. Originally an emergency room doc in New York City, he was summarily banished for letting a wealthy man die under his care. Now operating under the umbrella of HankMed—the name being a brainstorm by Hank's brother and self-appointed CFO, Evan—Hank serves up the best medicine money can buy. Capable assistant Divya and awkward fellow doc Jeremiah round out the staff.

HankMed operates out of the guest house of Boris Kuester von Jurgens-Ratenicz—Hank's fabulously wealthy friend, benefactor and patient. But while you can take the doctor out of the ER, you can't take the ER out of the doctor. Between making house calls, Hank also cares for the resort's lesser-moneyed residents, often free of charge. It's a trope that makes Hank feel better about his day job … and it might remove a little guilt from viewers of this guilty pleasure of a show.

Royal Pains is one pinch House, three dashes Magnum, P.I. and a whole sloshing bucket load of summer escapism. It's as deep as a light sunburn, as provocative as a sensible winter coat. But at least there aren't any dismemberments, right? No nudity. No f- or s-words. The Hamptons may be just 200 miles from Ocean City, N.J., but Royal Pains is light-years away from Jersey Shore.

That's not the complete picture, though. Bikini-clad women have infiltrated the Hamptons like fire ants, and sexual innuendo can occasionally mar the dialogue. Unmarried couples are sometimes shown in bed together. Certain intimate scenes can be suggestive and sultry, if not out-and-out salacious. And occasionally, Hank doesn't just make clever diagnoses: He sometimes plunges into a graphically rendered medical procedure right on the spot.

It's also worth noting that Hank's do-gooder mentality has led him to take license with the law—skirting or bending the rules that get in his way. He tries to preserve the medical ethics that are most convenient to keep (he makes a big show of adhering to doctor-patient confidentiality, for one), but he casually dispenses with other standards he feels might hinder him.

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Episode Reviews

RoyalPains: 8-12-2014
RoyalPains: 6-26-2013
RoyalPains: 8-10-2011



Readability Age Range



Mark Feuerstein as Dr. Hank Lawson; Paulo Costanzo as Evan R. Lawson; Jill Flint as Jill Casey; Reshma Shetty as Divya Katdare; Campbell Scott as Boris Kuester von Jurgens-Ratenicz; Brooke D'Orsay as Paige Collins; Ben Shenkman as Jeremiah Sacani; Stephen Spinella as Russell Berger; Willa Fitzgerald as Emma; Jeremy Davidson as Ray






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Paul Asay

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