There’s a new doctor in town. We’re talking the Hamptons “" Easthampton and Southampton, two seaside towns comprising the south fork of Long Island. Known as a playground for the rich and famous, the Hamptons are a place to see and be seen, where the wealthy go to flaunt and mingle.
Meet Hank Lawson “" a talented young doctor in New York City. Hank is a do-good kind of man who finds himself unemployed after an unfortunate incident in which he chooses to treat an injured basketball buddy over serving the needs of a haughty hospital board member who ended up dying as a result. Meet Evan Lawson, Hank’s younger, and completely opposite, brother. Accountant by day, Evan is an opportunity-seeking, lady loving schmooze determined to pick Hank up from his recent defeat.
“Royal Pains,” debuting June 4 on USA, chronicles what ensues after Hank and Evan land in the Hamptons and Hank’s professional expertise takes on a whole new life. In a recent interview with Blast Magazine, executive producer Andrew Rauch and writer/co-executive producer Michael Lenchewski detailed the creative process and inspiration behind “Royal Pains.”
A friend of Rauch’s hired a “concierge doctor” and thought it might be a decent idea for a television show. A perfect idea, in Rauch’s opinion, and shortly thereafter the pilot was written and picked up by USA.
Mark Feuerstein, whose credits include parts in “What Women Want” and “In Her Shoes,” brings Hank Lawson to life. With great sensitivity and depth, Feuerstein is able to depict a relate-able and down-to-earth character, yet also fashions this unfamiliar notion of a concierge doctor into what seems like an idea that has existed forever.
“When you have great writing, honestly, there’s no challenges” says Feuerstein. “You just try to serve the material”¦ relax into it, and pronounce words like xanthochromia.”
With gentle force, Evan, played by Paulo Costanzo, persuades a slightly depressed Hank to accompany him to the Hamptons as an escape. While there, the two are at a party thrown by “Boris” a mysteriously powerful character played by Campbell Scott. During the evening, Hank inadvertently finds himself as a hero as he saves the life of a fashion model. As a result, Lawson becomes the Hamptons’ newest on-call doctor and, with the enthusiasm and brains of his brother, develops “HankMed.” Serving both the wealthy and not so wealthy, Hank negotiates the blurred moral line of moneymaking and doing good.
Lenchewski deems medicine “the great equalizer” giving us the notion that, even in the Hamptons, wealth is nothing if you don’t have your health. Rauch describes “Royal Pains” as “much more than medicine”¦ in that it’s not just about healing sickness, it’s about healing people. It’s also a relationship show and, because it’s on USA, it’s very strong in character.”
Not just another doctor show, “Royal Pains” brings the hospital to the patient, and in this manner the viewer gets glimpse after glimpse into the personal and not always glamorous life of the rich and famous. Described as a “medical McGyver” Hank Lawson never fails to surprise, even himself sometimes, and in doing so brings fresh air to a somewhat stuffy Hamptons’ environment.
Costanzo delivers perfect comedic relief in the form of Evan, and makes the viewer yearn to jump on the Jitney, don some party clothes, and tag along. Throw in several strong female characters “" a love interest, a physician’s assistant, and a woman nicknamed “New Parts Newberg” “" and USA has developed a cast and story line certainly not lacking dimension.
Tune in to USA at 10/9 central on Thursday, June 4 (immediately following “Burn Notice”) to watch the premiere of “Royal Pains.”