Physician’s Orders is a 3-part docuseries concerning the homicide of radio speak present host April Kauffman, who in 2012 was shot in her house in a tony suburb of Atlantic Metropolis, NJ. A lot of the sequence is advised from the attitude of Andrew Glick, a former member of the Pagans (or as their jackets say, “Pagan’s”) biker gang, which dealt medicine and violence by South Jersey and the Philadelphia space.
Opening Shot: An animated shot of tattooed arms holding a moderately giant bunny rabbit.
The Gist: Glick tells a lot of the story as he’s getting his Pagans (er, “Pagan’s”) tattoo lined over by a New York tattoo artist. Via his testimony and animated reenactments, he talks about his initiation into the Pagans — revolving a late evening at a biker bar and the chief threatening to chop off his nipple — and the way Ferdinand “Fred” Augello turned his mentor.
Because the drug dealing empire the Pagans had been working bought larger, they came upon about an endocrinologist named Dr. James Kauffman, who was prescribing oxycodone tablets as a part of a tablet mill operation. Fred, eager to proceed to deal the oxy for Dr. Kauffman, will get wind that the nice doc pays them $50,000 to kill his spouse April, a salon proprietor and native radio speak present host.
For his half, Glick thought this was a foul thought; the Pagans don’t kill random girls, for one, and for 2, she posed no actual menace to them in any respect. The doc simply wished her silenced simply in case she ratted him out. Kim Pack, Kauffman’s daughter, particulars how domineering James was after the 2 of them entered a relationship and bought married. To say she mistrusted her stepfather was an understatement.
Glick talks about how Fred was going to get a junkie and wannabe gang member to do the killing, seeing that nobody within the Pagans would contact the job with a ten-foot pole. “Are they that dumb?” Glick asks the digicam. He is aware of that the primary folks the police will likely be will likely be James Kauffman and Fred Augello. However the cash that’s being thrown off by the tablet mill is just too good for Fred to withstand.
After a employee on the Kauffman home finds April’s physique face down, and James calls it in, Kim goes to the home and tells the cops that the primary particular person they need to have a look at is her stepfather. However nobody in Atlantic County even comes near questioning him or discovering him an individual of curiosity. Pack information a wrongful demise go well with in opposition to Dr. Kauffman, and he cries throughout his deposition, however Kim finds these to be “crocodile tears.” Lastly, a brand new DA is elected within the county, and Kauffman and others begin to be investigated.
What Reveals Will It Remind You Of? As a result of most of this story is advised from Glick’s perspective, we get extra Tiger King vibes than anything. And the animated recreations that make biker gang funerals and cocaine-fueled intercourse romps seem like an Archie cartoon don’t assist allay that feeling.
Our Take: Typically a case is simply manner too easy to be given the docuseries remedy, even when that docuseries is only some episodes. That’s the case with Physician’s Orders. April Kauffman died as a result of Dr. James Kauffman bought grasping, and he thought he may bend the bikers within the Pagans to do his bidding. The rationale why Glick is giving a lot of the data on this documentary — and the explanation why he’s a former Pagan — is that he’s the one who bought Fred and everybody else out to the police.
To be sincere, that is extra a narrative about Glick, whose Pagan nickname was “Chef” and who went on to change into the chief chef at a retirement group, than it’s concerning the Kauffman homicide. And there isn’t sufficient about Glick — and he’s not a compelling-enough storyteller — to cowl the near-three-hour runtime. So the filmmakers, Billy Shebar and David C. Roberts (Joe Berlinger is an govt producer), must resort to methods just like the scenes within the tattoo chair and the animated reenactments with the intention to gin up some momentum.
The most important items of drama within the story are how authorities at first didn’t have a look at Dr. Kauffman regardless of him being essentially the most obviously apparent particular person of curiosity, and the way Glick escaped jail by turning into a rat and an outcast. Both a kind of might need made for a greater docuseries, however by combining the 2 neither is given sufficient room to actually breathe, and all we’ve is usually Glick together with his proper arm out, both displaying his Pagans tattoo or getting it lined up.
Intercourse and Pores and skin: None.
Parting Shot: Police encompass the doorway to Dr. Kauffman’s workplace. As a result of it’s a sizzling day, they’re not sporting bulletproof vests. And as we see on a physique cam, that got here again to hang-out them when Dr. Kauffman exited his workplace holding a gun.
Sleeper Star: Kim Pack felt like the one particular person on the present with a degree head. How she recounts being round her stepfather throughout her mom’s funeral made us actually really feel for her.
Most Pilot-y Line: We weren’t actually certain that Glick was really getting a tattoo in these scenes the place he’s telling the story to the tattoo artist.
Our Name: SKIP IT. There’s a compelling story within the homicide of April Kauffman, however Physician’s Orders finds essentially the most boring strategy to inform it by centering the story on its least compelling character.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Instances, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Quick Firm and elsewhere.
https://decider.com/2021/09/03/doctors-orders-discovery-plus-review/ | Stream It Or Skip It?