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‘Doogie Kamealoha, MD’ Season 1 is sweet, sunny and surprisingly funny

When you think about Disney teen sitcoms and tweens – if you think about them – you probably have a very specific mental picture. Light much light Garish. A song of loud laughter and oppressive intrusion. The goofy jokes you can see come from a mile away. And every performance is not only great but also giant. Based on all of the above impressions, you may have formed from exposure to Hannah Montana, The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody, The Wizards Of Waverly Placeor countless others, you could be forgiven for not watching Disney+’s Doogie Kamealoha, MD – or, even more importantly, keep your impressionable kids out of it. But Doogie Kamealoha, MD Not just high-quality, engaging entertainment for younger viewers: it’s a program that adults and children can enjoy together. REALLY!

Are from Doogie Howser, MD It became a cultural hit even for those who never saw it during its original 1989-1993 broadcast (it’s streaming on Hulu if you want to fill that gap in your knowledge). your TV!), you can make a pretty good guess at what Doogie Kamealoha, MD talk about. Peyton Elizabeth Lee (already a veteran Disney sitcom after starring in the movie of the same name Andi Mack) plays the famous child genius; Her name is actually Lahela, but Dr. Lee (Ronny Chieng), an obnoxious fellow surgeon, calls her Doogie… because he too has heard of the original show. There are different opinions to the original material: as in the original pilot series, a young doctor gives up his driving test to treat a victim of a traffic accident; she has a goofy best friend who has a habit of creeping into Lahela’s bedroom through the window; and she ends each episode with a diary entry (although she doesn’t type it out; she does vlog).

But, as her name suggests, Kamealoha moves the action from Los Angeles, as in the original, to the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Chain Creator Kourtney Kang was born in Hawaii – several generations of her father’s family were residents before her – so she gives the series a strong sense of local culture. For example, a major crisis plot for Lahela’s father, Benny (Jason Scott Lee) – a former financier who gave it up to run a florist/shaved ice van – occurs when He entered a surfing competition and found out he was placed in the senior group. ‘ Coporation, group. Lahela’s younger brother Brian Patrick (Wes Tian) tries to get closer to his lover by enrolling in a hula class. A season-ending episode discovers a relative of Kamealoha’s being hospitalized after surgery; Benny and family visited her ward to perform a traditional healing (which Uncle appreciated while noting that one of the singers was “high-pitched”). I can tell you as someone who has lived in Hawaii for a few years that the episode where Lahela’s mom Clara (Kathleen Rose Perkins) gets annoyed with going with Benny to the farmer’s market because he’s happy. getting caught up in a conversation with every shopkeeper is… quite real: because the pace of life on the island is quiet, locals have plenty of time to “talk. ” And unlike the more price-conscious Disney sitcoms mentioned above, Kamealoha is a single camera series taken on location; The landscape looks almost as stunning on the screen as it does in person.

DOOGIE HAWAII
Photo: Disney +

But although Hawaii’s natural beauty should, perhaps, be rated second in the credits, it is Lahela that is the real star of the show. Of course, she’s the type of Type A girl that’s destined to be ready to finish college and medical school in her teens. Her emotional intelligence is also highly developed as we see in her interactions with her patients and loved ones. But Lahela is also the subject of teen drama: a mid-season episode sees her clash with her best friend Steph (Emma Meisel) when Lahela is finally invited to join the dance team Steph has been wanting. joined a long time ago. Lahela also experimented with playing scornful dumbfounded when she’s convinced that her boyfriend Walter (Alex Aiono) (completely smart but not a genius) might be threatened by her intellect; Of course not, and Lahela’s brain was one of the things that drew him to her. Young audiences may not work full-time like Lahela, but the lessons she learns from her job – teamwork, the importance of preparation, knowing how to ask for help and accept feedback – is common.

The first season has done a particularly great job in developing two relationships: Lahela and Clara, and Clara and Benny. Clara wasn’t just Lahela’s mother; She is also her boss at the hospital. In “Mom-Mentum”, Clara is uncomfortable with the idea of ​​Lahela applying to work with a famous surgeon (Max Greenfield), as it would require Lahela to move to Seattle. As a colleague, she knows she should support Lahela’s professional development, but as a mother, it’s hard to think about her daughter leaving the family home. (It turns out that such worries apply even to extremely capable and smart kids!) At the end of the season, Lahela expressed her desire to take time off work to become a doctor while traveling. Walter’s Australian pro windsurfing. While Benny vehemently opposed the idea of ​​Lahela sharing accommodation with her boyfriend, Clara explained how it would get Lahela suspended from residency. Conflicts over the limits of Lahela’s freedom – even though she’s doing adult work and presumably earning adult money – have always arisen organically and, although they were resolved before a By the end of the episode, I appreciate that the show’s producers are seeding stories of higher-stakes battles in the future.

As for Clara and Benny: look, I know better not to say that, as a description of conjugal love, they’re on par with Coach and Tami Taylor’s. Friday night lights. But Benny and Clara are adorable too! Having done her big job before the events of the series, Benny is happy to support hardworking Clara as she pursues an open Chief of Staff job at the hospital. One of their biggest disputes is over which of them is more inclined to check in with the other, to the point where they bet which one will come to the cave and call or text the other first; When an emergency situation forced contact, they decided both would win. Even though they have wildly different temperaments – Clara is from Philadelphia, and while we’ve never seen her throw the battery, sometimes we feel like she can – but they make great models for how adults compromise in long-term relationships.

Under the cover of Disney can keep Kamealoha from depicting some of the more potentially scandalous themes the original series tackled (AIDS; sex protagonist). But Doogie Kamealoha, MD is a sweet, sunny, surprisingly humorous portrait of a teenager who is unusual in some respects and very ordinary in others; and her family – both inside and outside the hospital – who surrounded her with love. Direct your child away from other children’s shouts and say hello to the new Doogie.

TV co-founder, Tara Ariano, TV Without Pity, Tara Ariano, has written short articles in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vulture, Slate, Salon, Mel Magazine, Collider and The Awl, among others is different. She co-hosts the podcasts Extra Hot Great, Again With This (a detailed breakdown of each episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, and Melrose Place), Listen To Sassy, ​​and The Sweet Smell Of Succession. She is also the co-author, along with Sarah D. Bunting, of The Very Special 90210 Book: The Absolutely Essential 93 Episodes From TV’s Most Infamous Zip Code (Abrams 2020). She lives in Austin.

https://decider.com/2021/12/06/doogie-kamealoha-md-season-1/ ‘Doogie Kamealoha, MD’ Season 1 is sweet, sunny and surprisingly funny

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