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October 14, 2015

'Royal Pains' - 'Spasticity' (Season Premiere) Recap

by Allyssa Lee, posted Jun 4th 2010 11:40AM

(S0201) We've officially hit the summer TV season, Squadders. And what could be better for these warm nights than the second season of the USA Network's 'Royal Pains'? This show is a perfect prescription for the summer: It's like a tasty treat that's super lite, fun and easy to consume, but with enough brainy medical terminology to ensure not too many brain cells are lost while enjoying that Hamptons breeze.

To catch up: Prominent New York doctor Hank Lawson (the always-affable Mark Feuerstein), blackballed in Manhattan after a billionaire trustee died on his watch, finds a second life as an in-demand concierge doctor in the Hamptons.

Season 2's first episode was all about relationships, fathers and sons and being caught between a rock and a hard place.

Really, it was all about 'Spasticity.' As in Spencer the Spaz, that guy from the infomercials (played by Kyle Bornheimer, aka that guy from all the sitcoms). And also as in giving family members some slack.

Spencer insists he's not really a spaz (he just plays one on TV), but the shiller of schlock had been suffering from back spasms, insomnia and general klutziness as of late. He was afraid he was inheriting his genius father's insane streak, but it turned out all those symptoms were due to mercury poisoning (Jeremy Piven, take note). Here's hoping Spencer won't get rid of that cool, 'Lost' hatch of a panic room with all the scrawl in the ginormous mansion he inherited, just because that 6-inch wall nearly severed him in two. It seems the appropriate end to that cool red and green runway of lights with the videogame noises, doesn't it (and where can I get me one of those)?

Also cool: Those '60s era M.A.S.T. inflatable pants found in Hamptons Heritage Hospital's basement of medical curiosities, which looked like an outsize blood pressure sleeve designed by Z. Cavaricci. It also inspired one of the best lines of the night, delivered by resident wisecracker and HankMed CFO Evan (Paulo Costanzo): "We're saving him using MC Hammer memorabilia?" And as it turned out, yes. (Never underestimate the power of the Hammer!)

Evan needed a little levity in this episode, considering that we discover the opportunistic, yet optimistic little brother spent nearly his entire life stuck between his cheat of a father and his saint of a big brother. His attempt to salvage the two's relationship just ended up getting HankMed in financial trouble and himself in the doghouse. Though he made up for it by risking his own extremities and squeezing through the brick wall and a hard place in order to release the panic room door (something that I thought Divya could have slipped through easier, but whatever. Evan needed the redemption). But perhaps Evan's greatest gesture was selling his beloved Ferrari to keep HankMed out of the red. Guess it's back to bumming rides and the Jitney for him.

Capable physician assistant Divya (Reshma Shetty) is still making house calls and marrying her arranged husband-to-be, and Jill (Jill Flint) has found herself under fire from Dr. Liz, the preeminent GI surgeon and former mentor who is a dead ringer for Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden. Dr. Liz, unhappy with the way that Jill has been treating her doctors, has retaliated by taking angry bites out of her lunchtime burger and ruthlessly gunning to have the hospital administrator removed from her position. Can't wait to see the sparks that fly between these two strong women later this season.

It appears that the will-they-won't-they romance of Jill and Hank (Jank?) is left on the back burner for now, as Hank meekly refused to pick up Jill's dropped hint that her divorce from Charlie had been finalized.

And Hank, distracted by his own father issues, loses the trust (and the medical file) of the mysterious and uberwealthy Boris (the ever-dashing, and now more salt-than-pepper haired Campbell Scott). It's only by proposing to look at Boris' mysterious and fatal medical condition from a global perspective that Hank regains entry into Boris' circle of trust and is promoted quarterback of the Let's Heal Boris Campaign.

What did you think of season 2's premiere? Is 'Royal Pains' a part of your summer regimen like ice cream and flip flops, or would you rather grab of copy of US Weekly and take a seat in the waiting room until fall? Are Jill and Hank destined to be together, or are they just another sad case study in bad judgment? What do you think of Marcia Gay Harden on as Liz's nemesis? What about Henry Winkler (heeyyy!) as Hank and Evan's huckster father? Eddie R. Lawson jumping a shark during his tenure on the show: funny, or tragic? The discussion boards are open.

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Strangely enough, though rarely used those "MC Hammer" pants aka M.A.S.T. trousers, are an essential item on many ambulances. Most EMTs are trained in their use( well as of ten years ago they were....)and thankfully rarely have the need to use them.
Kudos to the show for using something medical for what it's purpose actually is.

I also think the writing on the show this season's premier , was lacking , despite the aforementioned proper use.
I'm hoping it will resume it's addicting hilarity,and character interactions that kept us watching last season.

June 07 2010 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone else find the show wasn't as well written as the first season? What changed?

I hope the second show gets better. I love the show and hope is only gets better as time goes on.

June 04 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to peat's comment

I thought so, too. It was too anecdotal and choppy and didn't seem to be as fluid a story line as Season 1. That being said, it looked like they were laying a lot of ground work for later, and I love this show. It can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned.

June 05 2010 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So much car talk and so little episode talk. :D
Since I work literally right down the street from Tesla new manufacturing plant here in Fremont, California my vote is that it was the Tesla and not the Lotos. :D

June 04 2010 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Europa's comment
BC McKinney

Well, adding to the car talk, the episode appeared to take place only a short time after the close of last season, before the Porsche Panamera Boris was being chauffered (!) in was on sale in the US. Of course, Boris, being a rich European guy, may have privately imported one and had it federalized before the official introduction. And since he apparently has no cumpunction about breaking customs rules regarding the Cuban embargo, maybe he's just driving it illegally--Bill Gates himself was once caught and fined for illegally driving his European Porsche 959 on public roads.

Now, for an episode comment, I thought that Hank punching his estranged father was sadly cliched--I would have preferred to see him remain calm and ask him to leave.

June 04 2010 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Austin M

I had the same thought about the Panamera.

June 04 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Tesla roadster looks nothing like a Ferrari.

June 04 2010 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's neither a Ferrari or a Tesla roadster. It's a Lotus Elise which the Tesla is built on hence the confusion.

June 04 2010 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to MrShroom's comment

Love the show. Great to see the Fonz. As far as Boris, Hank was right. Doctor's don't talk to one another or the patient. You go to see one for something and they have no idea what other kind of doctor you may be seeing or what that doctor may have done or what meds you might be on. So it does make sense for Hank to call all of them and talk to each of them and try to come up with a diagnosis.

So glad the summer shows are starting up. All my regular season shows finished already. Can't wait for Flashpoint tonight!

June 04 2010 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was a Tesla Roadster, not a a Ferrari: http://www.teslamotors.com/design/gallery-body.php

June 04 2010 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked last night's episode. I love how Hank is sort of like Doctor McGyver in how he figures diagnoses out and treat patients. I think it'll be funny if Spencer the Spaz gives a shout out to HankMed on one of his infomercials, which is something Evan would love. Speaking of which, when are Divya and Evan going to realize that they have great chemistry? Maybe the 'will they-won't they' focus this year will be on those two.

June 04 2010 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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