Okay, so Warehouse 13 is a yawner; Eureka has gotten to be by-the-the-numbers, same arc every episode; and I needed another guilty pleasure. Having cancelled my premium channels, Entourage is out, and what I've come up with is Royal Pains.
This is on the USA Network, basic cable, and concerns a dedicated and skilled New York ER doctor, just call him "Hank," who is fired because he lets an old rich guy die while he's busy saving a young poor one. His fiance dumps him, and he sits in his apartment amidst old pizza boxes, drepressed, until his ne'er-do-well brother, a CPA, drags him out of NYC for a getaway to the Hamptons. While at a party thrown by a local billionaire, a rich girl gets ill, and the local concierge doctor is about to kill her because he misdiagnosed her as an OD.
Hank steps in, saves the girl, and becomes, after some pro-forma reluctance, the newest concierge doc for folks rich enough to afford house calls, even if they have to send a private helicopter to fetch him.
There is a young Indian woman PA who shows up with a fully-equipped Hummer full of medical gear. A reclusive billionaire with some kind of dire secret, that includes having a giant shark in a tank in his basement. Rich kids with absent parents who, if they wreck Daddy's Ferrari while he is out of town, just buy a new one -- ole Dad'll never know the difference.
Behold, HankMed™ and a stranger in a strange land ...
Hank is, of course, the soul of propriety, and the most principled man for a thousand miles in any direction. He treats the poor people for free, and makes time for them. He suffers his freeloading brother, at least partially because their father deserted them as boys and he feels responsible for him. This is the guy you want for your doctor. He cares.
Hank falls for the local hospital director, there are oddball rich folks demanding his attention, from wanting breast implants repaired in a hurry to freak illnesses they catch from their dogs. And any time anybody is in medical need, Hank has more tricks in his bag than McGyver.
He can use anything at hand to fix almost anything that happens. Last week's episode, he directed his PA long distance, via computer, in how to use fish hooks and line and pulleys to stabilize a collapsed lung suffered by the captain of a wooden sailing yacht, who was hit by a falling sail accidentally released by an on-the-run-from-the-law-for-stock-market-crimes billionaire's seasick mistress ...
Yeah, okay, it is a soap opera and silly out the wazoo. But it's fun silly. The characters are engaging. The billionaire is enigmatic, and as soap operas go, it's got all the tropes -- a not-quite-ex-husband shows up to screw with Hank's love interest. The PA's parents doesn't know what she does for a living and have arranged to marry her to a nice, rich Indian man who lives in London. The dweeb brother Evan is bespelled by all the money and women and cars, and venal, but with a thin streak of good. And Hank is just the nicest guy you'll ever want to meet.
Guilty pleasure, but at least it's not fattening.