Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Characters we love in mostly good stories
Cons: Two storylines really bugged me
The Bottom Line:
Two bad storylines
Mar otherwise fun season
Hank Med fans enjoy
A Step Down, but Still Royally Fun
It always pains me when a favorite show takes a step down from the level of excellence it had been on. That was the case with season 7 of Royal Pains. Don’t get me wrong, the show was still mostly fun, but a couple of the storylines were just too much to swallow.
The show picks up from the surprise announcement that Boris (recurring guest star Campbell Scott) has purchased Hamptons Heritage hospital and wants the HankMed gang to run it. While Evan Lawson (Paulo Costanzo) and Divya Katdare (Reshma Shetty) are definitely on board, it’s actually Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) who wants to keep things simple and just keep doing the concierge medicine he has come to love.
Evan’s adjustment to the temporary hospital administrator is a bit rough as he attempts to befriend everyone in his overly enthusiastic way. Meanwhile, everyone finds a way to balance their new jobs with that of keeping HankMed afloat. Over the course of the season, Hank must treat a triathlete while helping Boris with a top secret patient. Meanwhile, Dr. Jeremiah Sacani (Ben Shenkman) takes a step that he thinks will help only to cause major problems.
So, what are the storylines I didn’t care for? Let’s start with Divya. This single mother has found herself in a custody fight for her toddler. And what does she do? The absolute worst things she could possibly do, and in several episodes in a row. It left me cringing because I could always see the consequences of her bad actions coming a mile away. The thing is, Divya is way too smart for this behavior, and the writers didn’t really sell it to me.
Then there’s Evan and his wife Paige (Brooke D’Orsay). They’ve bought a house and are working on getting it remodeled while they work on starting a family. Sounds great, right? However, in the course of this season, they discover they are having problems conceiving and look toward adoption. Now, there was nothing wrong with this storyline at all. In fact, I was finding this storyline enjoyable until everything suddenly felt rushed in the second half of the season. I know things are compressed on TV, but everything they went through in the eight episodes here was too much. It would have felt better spread out over a normal TV season of 22 episodes or even if this story were finished up in the next season.
Now, that isn’t to say I wasn’t enjoying the show still. I love these characters. (I’m going to be so sad when the show goes off the air after the upcoming eighth season.) And even when a storyline made me roll my eyes, I still enjoyed the show overall. After all, there are always several things happening each episode, so no episode dwells on one story for too long, and most of the storylines were wonderful overall. The medical mysteries seem to be taking more of a backseat to the lives of the characters, but they are still there and still enjoyable.
Any issues I have with this season I blame solely on the writers. The actors continue to do a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life. They were just let down by the writing.
As I mentioned earlier, this season consisted of only eight episodes, and all eight of them are present in this two disc set in their native full surround and wide screen.
Long term fans will still enjoy watching the HankMed gang in season 7 of Royal Pains. But this isn’t the strongest season of the show, so if you aren’t familiar with the characters, don’t jump in here.
Season 7 Episodes:
2. False Start
3. Playing Doctor
4. The Prince of Nucleotides
5. Voices Carry
6. Secret Asian Man
7. Lama Trauma
8. Lending a Shoulder