When we talk about the most successful series throughout the history of television, doctor shows are usually at the top. This may be because of the essence of the subject matter. Hospital shows are an ideal context for drama, that "something" that has many of us hooked on the screens.
Almost all medical shows have two things in common that make them one of the most successful genres: they mix the harsh reality of the often remote diseases that patients suffer, and the way doctors treat them along with the intertwined personal lives of the most successful and talented doctors of the hospitals.
In this article, we are going to mention 6 TV shows where doctors have the leading role. Some of them are very well-known, and some are still to discover; some focus on the main features we have just mentioned and some push boundaries.
It is probably one of the first medical shows on TV that comes to most people's mind. The production of Fox Broadcasting Company was well received and awarded throughout its 8 seasons.
One of the most recognized actors was Hugh Laurie, who performs the role of Doctor House, who could be considered the Sherlock Holmes of the hospitals. He is an eccentric and peculiar doctor that, breaking with the traditional protocols, can even solve the remotest cases.
It has to be said that House is not one of the most realistic medical TV shows. Dr. House's drug addiction and his inappropriate behavior would have questioned his medical license in real life.
Grey's Anatomy is the second longest American hospital show to date; ER is the first one. The storyline of Shonda Rhimes' successful medical drama focuses on the life of doctor Meredith Grey, interpreted by Ellen Pompeo, and of her colleagues in the Seattle Grace Hospital.
It is a clear example of a medical show in which the love lives of residents and doctors intersect with hospital cases.
Its cast is one of the reasons Grey's Anatomy has been a successful series since its inception. Nowadays, after 15 seasons, much of it has changed, preserving only four of the original main characters.
With a total of 20 seasons, Hospital Central was one of the longest shows on Spanish television. Videomedia's production for Telecinco was also created from the two mentioned characteristics of the medical dramas.
The storyline is set in the fictional Hospital Central in Madrid and revolves around the personal and professional lives of the centre's workers.
The Spanish drama was first called Línea Roja ("Red Line"), but the television network decided to change it to make it more descriptive. It was also modified to make the series less bloody, more suitable for all audiences and, as a consequence, more prone to break spectator records.
It worked wonderfully for them until, after a progressive deterioration of the audience, Telecinco decided to end it after 12 years on the air.
Scrubs is a bit different from the medical shows mentioned previously. Although the storyline occurs in a hospital, like the others, Scrubs is a sitcom. There are few comedy hospital TV shows and even fewer in which comedy is its central point -another example being the classic M.A.S.H. (1972-1983).
The American comedy series follows J.D.'s experiences as a resident intern at Sacred Heart Hospital and narrates them in the first person with the voice-over of the same main character, incarnated by Zach Braff.
But that is not the only thing that made this production a great success during its 9 seasons; it is also considered one of the most realistic doctor shows on TV. Apart from treating much more credible and probable cases than in other series, it captures very well the process of the resident doctors and the dynamics in a hospital, even if the series is a bit outlandish.
The Good Doctor is one of the current most successful medical shows. Produced by David Shore, the creator of the already mentioned House, M. D., and the actor Daniel Dae Kim, this show is born as a remake of the South Korean series with the same name.
The plot, unlike other hospital TV shows, goes beyond the curious lives of hospital workers. It focuses on the life of one of the doctors in a San Jose center, but Shaun Murphy, played by Freddie Highmore, is a young pediatric surgeon with autism and the savant syndrome.
The show revolves around the conflicts that arise from the protagonist's state of mind and how it moves forward.
Taking advantage of the previous adaptation we have spoken about, this is an excellent example for the most curious show and the one that leaves the comfort zone the American series provide.
Golden Time is a South Korean drama that focuses on two resident doctors in a general hospital in Busan. They both work in the Emergency Department, where they have to learn how to deal with critical situations along with their personal lives.
Following the general line of South Korean series, this production has a total of 23 episodes. It is the equivalent of a season if we compare it to the successful Western series, which tend to last more. The title of the show, Golden Time, refers to the time that a critical patient has to be treated and that could determine their life or death.