Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. On Disney+, A Gender-Flipped ‘Doogie Howser’ Where A 16-Year-Old Is A Top Doctor In Hawaii

We had been unabashed followers of the 1989-93 Steven Bochco/David E. Kelley collection Doogie Howser, M.D.the place Neil Patrick Harris performed a 16-year-old surgeon. Not less than within the present’s first couple of years, it did a pleasant job of balancing Doogie’s quest to turn out to be a revered physician and nonetheless be a teen doing teen stuff (although we resented the truth that he had a sizzling girlfriend, even when her title was Wanda). It was large news when Disney mentioned they had been remaking the present with a feminine lead, however we actually had been intrigued once they determined to switch the setting from Los Angeles to Hawaii. Learn on for extra.

Opening Shot: A father and daughter are carrying their surfboards as they method a seaside close to their residence in Hawaii. The solar is arising.

The Gist: It looks like this scene between Lahela Kamealoha (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) and her father Benny (Jason Scott Lee) is a typical father-daughter second. He even will get irritated once they come throughout Walter Taumata (Alex Aiono), the “hottie” that Lahela is taking to the following dance. It’s Lahela’s sixteenth birthday, and he or she’s able to get her driver’s license. However throughout her driving check, she sees and accident on the aspect of the highway, pulls over, and helps save soneone’s leg.

That’s after we discover out that Lahela is a 16-year-old physician. As a baby prodigy she sped by means of totally different ranges of college at a report charge. Everybody on the hospital calls her “Doogie,” as a result of, as Dr. Lee (Ronny Chieng), an immature however sensible coronary heart surgeon, factors out, she reminds everybody of the outdated present Doogie Howser, M.D.

Lahela’s boss, Dr. Clara Hannon (Kathleen Rose Perkins), can be her mom, as we see in a scene the place Clara calls Lahela out of a affected person’s room to inform her that the dance she simply posted on TikTok was too suggestive. Lahela has a affected person (Barry Bostwick) who listens to CCR and has tie-dye throughout his room, however he trusts her implicitly. Dr. Lee thinks he wants a brand new coronary heart, however Lahela thinks the affected person may be handled a unique manner. Clara makes the choice that it’s Dr. Lee’s name.

Lahela tells her vlog in addition to her greatest pal Steph Denisco (Emma Meisel) that she’s able to expertise some firsts in her life, together with a primary kiss. Steph is able to glom her manner right into a date with Lahela’s older brother Kai (Matthew Sato) to the dance, although he desires to together with his buddies. Meantime, Lahela’s little brother Brian Patrick (Wes Tian) is busy pining for Steph and monitoring for indicators of puberty. Lahela retains lobbying her mom to increase her 11 PM cerfew, however Clara refuses, appearing extra like her boss than her mom.

On the dance, Lahela will get a web page about her favourite affected person, and it’s not good news. Not solely does Clara understand that she needs to be her mom at that time, however the subsequent day, Lahela will get the kiss she hoped to get on the dance. And she or he realizes that firsts are available in all shapes and may’t be compelled.

Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.
Picture: Disney+

What Reveals Will It Remind You Of? Since Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. relies on Doogie Howser, M.D., there are many allusions from one present to the opposite, from the Hawaiianized theme music to the same first scenes to Lahela’s vlog stepping in for Doogie’s outdated DOS-based journal within the ’80s. However as a result of Kourtney Kang is the present’s creator and showrunner, it has the pacing and angle that extra intently resembles the 2 reveals she’s greatest recognized for, Fresh Off The Boat and How I Met Your Mother.

Our Take: The neatest factor that Disney and Kang did with Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. was to position the present in Hawaii. This fashion, we’re not simply seeing the present as a gender-flipped model of Doogie Howser however virtually instantly as its personal factor, with its personal vibe and personal storylines.

By giving the present that area to search out its personal characters and tales, the present instantly begins off as a humorous, family-oriented story a couple of child genius that holds folks’s lives of their palms but in addition simply desires to be a standard teenage lady. Sure, younger Neil Patrick Harris did the identical factor because the ’80s Doogie. However Lee, who has expertise as a Disney star with Andi Mack, brings the child genius position some new life. Within the hospital scenes, Lee conducts herself expertly, however doesn’t come off exterior the hospital as awkward or introverted. Lee makes her Doogie fairly regular, regardless of her intelligence, and that’s a refreshing route.

However the present itself is simply humorous, giving little tidbits in regards to the characters which are meaty sufficient to tell us that Kang and her writers will have the ability to cling plots on their shoulders. Benny left finance to begin a shaved ice and flower truck (he does the issues he likes essentially the most). Kai is a relaxed C-student, however Brian is intent on being a person’s man. Clara’s Philly Irish Catholic upbringing comes by means of on a number of events, like when she tells Benny the best way her household relaxes again house is to “punch a Giants fan.” Walter grew up with six aunties serving to his mom out.

Are there items that really feel a bit odd? Positive; we don’t purchase Steph’s oddness simply but, although when she reveals up with an enormous DSLR whereas Kai’s getting his image taken earlier than the dance. Additionally, the implications of Clara being Lahela’s boss are below the heading of “dramatic license,” because it wouldn’t make sense to have that state of affairs happen in actual life.

However we love the chemistry between Lee and the members of her TV household is clear from the soar, and it’ll be enjoyable to look at Lahela take care of teenage stuff — within the second episode, she’s flummoxed when Walter calls her “dude” after their first kiss — in addition to resolve medical mysteries together with her very succesful thoughts.

What Age Group Is This For?: The present is rated TV-PG, however the strongest phrase we hear on the present is “crap”. Youngsters kiss however that’s about it. We’re fairly positive youngsters ages 7 and up would love the present.

Parting Shot: As “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” performs within the background, Lahela talks on her vlog in regards to the firsts she skilled, and the way she’ll bear in mind all of them for a very long time.

Sleeper Star: Wes Tian, in what appears to be like to be his first display position, is hilarious as Lahela’s youthful brother Brian Patrick. He feels “puberty is approaching onerous,” and he appears to be prepared.

Most Pilot-y Line: We don’t have a deal with on Lahela’s fellow residents Charles (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) and Noelani (Mapuana Makia). They’ve just a few humorous strains however they’re the least-developed characters after two episodes. Let’s hope they get extra to do.

Our Name: STREAM IT. Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. is a pleasant remake of a well-loved ’80s present that instantly distinguishes itself from the unique by its setting and the well-thought-out forged of characters.

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,,, Quick Firm and elsewhere.

Stream Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. On Disney+ | Stream It Or Skip It?


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