Monday, September 22, 2014

TV on DVD Review: Royal Pains - Season 5

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters and interesting stories
Cons: None for me
The Bottom Line:
A medical show
Compelling by characters
You can’t help but love

"You are a Genius."  "I'm with You So Far."

How do you top a touching and romantic winter wedding?  If you are Royal Pains, you come back with season 5.  Yes, this is a medical mystery show, but by this point I keep watching because of the characters, and I think the writers know that.  This show is more about them than it is about medicine.  Not that I’m complaining.

As this season opens, Hank Lawson (Mark Fueerstein) is returning to work at HankMed after taking some time off work due to his own medical emergency.  He’s trying to ease back into things, but with summer starting up, life is about to come at the small medical practice full tilt.  There’s a professional fund raiser who might be getting sick because of work.  Other patients this season include a shock jock, a candy maker, and an elderly couple.

But I was talking about personal stories.  Obviously, Hank’s health is one that opens the season, but that is quickly eclipsed by Divya (Reshma Setty).  The physician assistant learns that she is pregnant, something she thought we be medically impossible and something that will change all of their lives, especially Dr. Jeremiah Sacani (Ben Shenkman) who has had a secret crush on Divya for a year now.  Evan and Paige (Paulo Costanzo and Brooke D’Orsay) try to adjust to life as a married couple while Evan runs for town council.  And Evan also tries to settle ruffled feathers in the neighborhood that might just get HankMed kicked out of the guest house they’ve used as a home for two years.  Paige’s dreams of being an interior designer seem to be building when she lands a dream internship.  Secrets will be reveals when Hank learns something surprising about their rich benefactor Boris (Recurring guest star Campbell Scott).  Meanwhile, a medical company called Symphony has bought out the hospital and is trying to buy out HankMed as well.

Quite obviously, there is a lot happening.  Some episodes focus more on the characters and their lives with the medical mystery being a sub-plot while others are the reverse.  Either way, the show is always entertaining.  Why?  I love these characters.  Yes, they might have their differences with each other, but at the end of the day, they are there for each other, and that really appeals to me.  Take Paige and Evan.  Their first year of marriage turns out to be rockier than they had expected, so they seek out a councilor to work on their issues.  It was so nice to see a couple commit to each other that quickly (and a relief they didn’t drag out their fighting or tear them apart since I love them together).

I’m generally not a fan of medical mystery shows because I am very squeamish.  This shows has some moments that make me want to turn away, but it’s never for very long and always part of the medical mystery part of the show.  Those storylines are generally formulaic, but they are still fun and mysterious and I enjoy them, too.  Granted, I find the stories with the main characters more compelling, but the two are combined so well it works perfectly for me.

The cast does a perfect job of bringing their characters to life each week.  The chemistry is perfect between every one, and I enjoy watching them interact with each other.  I don’t know for sure that they all have fun together behind the scenes, but it sure seems like they do based on what we see.  The star stars fit seamlessly into this world and are just as good at bringing their characters to life.

Season 5 consisted of 13 episodes, and they are all presented here in their native wide screen and full surround on three discs.  And we can’t have a set without a few deleted scenes and a gag reel, can we?

Because the characters are such a huge part of why I love Royal Pains, I suggest starting from the beginning and working your way up to season 5 if you haven’t seen it before.  But if you are already a fan, you’ll want to dive in and enjoy these episodes over and over again.

Season 5 Episodes:
1. HankWatch
2. Blythe Spirits
3. Lawson Translation
4. Pregnant Paws
5. Vertigo
6. Can of Worms
7. Chock Full O’ Nuts
8. Hammertime
9. Pins and Needles
10. Game of Phones
11. Open Invitation
12. A Trismus Story
13. Bones to Pick

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