When it comes to making a thrilling, exciting, and entertaining medical drama, there are some things that you need to get right. And when you miss any one of those, what you end up with is a messy half-baked product. Good Sam on CBS is one such mess.
Good Sam premiered during the 2022-2023 American television season. It stars Sophia Bush as Dr. Sam Griffith and Jason Isaacs as Dr. Paul Griffith. The basic premise is that a gifted heart surgeon gets promoted to Chief of Surgery after her boss falls into a coma. The boss later wakes up and she has to proctor him even though he never acknowledges her talent and takes any chance he can get to undermine her. The plot twist is that the gifted surgeon and her boss are a daughter and her father as you could probably tell from the surnames.
While the premise is interesting enough to draw the viewers in, it just is not enough to keep them entertained enough to stick around. After a few episodes, you start realizing that this was something you have no idea who for and why it was made. The show lacks thrill. Like most medical dramas, each episode presents a tough case for a doctor to diagnose and effectively treat. The doctor at first misreads the signs and symptoms, misdiagnosis follows but later they have some sort of epiphany and finally figures it out.
The show fails on many fronts but its lack of a feeling of urgency is its greatest shortcoming. Like many other medical dramas out there, it elevates one character into a god-like status where it takes every opportunity to sing praises of how great the character is. Take Sam, for example, she is a gifted surgeon, the show establishes that.
When presented with a tough case, she fumbles around for a while before hearing a word or a situation presents itself acting as a catalyst for her brain to figure something out. It doesn’t seem like she has to work for it. In such a fragile environment as surgery, a savior doesn’t simply cut it. Teamwork is needed and it seems like Good Sam decided to be your regular medical drama and go with the easiest option.
The big twist in this show is the blood relationship between the Griffiths. Despite being relatives, they just don’t get along well. This dynamic is interesting to watch until the third episode where all the bickering starts getting old. The bickering is supposed to be the comedic relief for the show as it’s supposed to be handling a serious topic (which it’s not) but it just is not even funny. The onliners are very easy to miss and missing them is a blessing.
Good Sam airs on Wednesdays on CBS.