When it comes to finding and binging a new television series, there are plenty of options. And with Netflix providing the ability to watch an entire season in one go, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to watch a show week by week.
But when Sophia Bush decided to jump back into a weekly network drama, I knew I really had no choice but to watch.
Essentially, CBS’ Good Sam has everything I want and need in a good series: an intriguing female lead, a genre that doesn’t get boring, and a stellar ensemble that keeps things interesting. Of course, I’ve only watched the pilot episode but from what I’ve already seen, I have no doubt that Good Sam will have me hooked every Wednesday night from here on out.
So let’s dive into this pilot episode, discussing which characters and relationships really stand out, and why I think this is a series built to last in the long run.
Setting the Stage
Running through the hospital walls, chasing after a patient is how we first met Dr. Sam Griffith. Within the first couple minutes of the show, the writers already do a great job of establishing what kind of a doctor Sam is.
When she sees this patient on the run, rather than yelling at him, she opens up about her own personal experience. She saw a man that was terrified and decided to talk to him as a person. While doctors have every right to be cold in order to compartmentalize the work they do, Sam doesn’t take that approach. Instead, she demonstrates empathy and I already know that they couldn’t have cast anyone better to play this role.
After her little patient mishap, we are then introduced to the rest of the Good Sam team. There are four residents Sam supervises (although it appears she blurs the line between friend and boss a little). We don’t learn too much about these residents except that Lex is her best friend and Caleb is her boyfriend who won’t commit to their relationship.
But the world that we are introduced to is soon flipped on its head when Rob Griffith, Sam’s father and the Chief of Cardiology, is shot. Six months then pass, and a lot has changed in that time.
Caleb and Sam are no longer going steady. And now Sam is the Chief of Cardiology. While her father was in a coma, Sam stepped up and finally proved to everyone that she’s more than just her father’s daughter. This is short-lived, however, as Rob awakes, expecting everything to go back to the way it was.
Unfortunately for Rob, you can’t turn back the clock six months and erase everything that has happened. And honestly, why would anyone but him want to go back to life before the shooting? Seemed like everyone was miserable and it was Sam’s leadership that got everything in a better place.
This pilot episode has basically given me every reason to hate Rob Griffith. It’s hard to root for a man that is nasty to everyone around him, including his daughter. The thing is though, I want to be able to cheer him on every now and then. His character has the most potential for growth and continued complexity, and the show better lean into it.
Twists and Turns
I have got to say, I didn’t see Lex aka Sam’s best friend admitting to having a relationship with her father. While I don’t know too much about these two characters to be able to know whether they’re compatible, I can’t help but be a little confused. I don’t understand how Lex could be with someone who constantly undermines her best friend and teaches everyone else around them like trash.
Obviously, there is a whole story we’re missing that I’m sure we’ll explore in further episodes but it definitely added additional layers to these characters that I can’t wait to learn more about.
Speaking of romance, the hospital’s new Chief of Finance has both Sam and me swooning. I think we’re in for a real treat when it comes to Sam and Malcolm Kingsley. Not only do they have great chemistry but I like the fact that they share a similar background. They both have entitled fathers, making them doubt themselves and their accomplishments.
Malcolm and Sam aren’t set in stone, however, as Caleb still has some lingering feelings. I really don’t want to watch a love triangle but it looks like we’re going to get one. Hopefully, it’s not toxic and comes to a resolution sooner rather than later.
I also found myself a little caught off guard when we met Sam’s mother, Vivian, and learned that she also has a role within the hospital. Can’t help but think about the all conflicts of interests that present themselves when you have an entire family working at the same place. I mean did they really think it was a good idea for all three of them to work together under the same roof?
What’s to Come
It appears that this show will be taking a House approach to the medical aspect of the series. By that I mean, instead of having multiple patient storylines spread across various characters, each episode will focus on a specific case.
Perhaps this was just a theme of the pilot episode because I find it hard to believe that this team of residents and the Chief of Cardiology only focus on one patient at a time.
What I’m excited to see is the evolving relationship between Sam and her father. It can’t be all doomed, right? We know their relationship hit a rift during the accident that led to Sam’s heart surgery, but there has to be more to it. With Sam deciding to continue to proctor Rob, their relationship will only continue to grow but a few setbacks are also expected.
I enjoyed Sam finally saying enough is enough to her father, calling an end to their relationship as father and daughter. Based on the promo of what to expect for the rest of the season, this disconnect in their relationship is going to lead to a war within the hospital. Can’t say I blame Rob for wanting to get his title back. If he is the best of the best then I guess he kind of does deserve to be the chief?
Will it end in them reconciling their relationship or destroying it even further? Only time will tell on how this war plays out and I, for one, can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
Catch Good Sam on CBS on Wednesday at 10/9c.