Tag Archives: royal pains

Television’s Sidekicks of Color

Author’s note: This post originally appeared on I Fry Mine in Butter in June 2011. 

Feeling somewhat blue in the doldrums of summer reruns and the NFL off season, I gladly tuned in last year to see the then-new show, Royal Pains. It was about an E.R. doctor who gets unjustly fired from his job for helping a sicker but less wealthy patient, and winds up going into extremely private practice for the extremely wealthy in the Hamptons, New York. Catch the irony there? It’s subtle, I know.

It was enjoyable enough, with Mark Feuerstein as the good doctor Hank Lawson (son of being lawful, get it?), Paolo Costanzo as his well intentioned, extremely frustrating brother Evan, and Reshma Shetty as Divya Katdare, a woman of Indian heritage who secretly becomes a physician’s assistant, hiding her vocation from her family. Watching through the season, it was her character who supported the brothers through Evan’s monotony of stupid schemes—how his character didn’t take the grand prize in the Darwin Awards, I have no idea—and Hank’s challenging sense of insecurity to become the backbone of “Hank Med,” Evan’s stupid name for the practice. She reminded me a bit of Stephanie Zimbalist in Remington Steele, although Hank was by most measures not a complete charlatan.

Then the fall rolled around and I took in the premiere of The Good Wife,which I’ve written about on here twice now. And lo and behold, in the midst of the fictional Florrick Sex Scandal of 2009, there’s a cutting-edge investigator at the defense attorney firm: an Indian woman, Kalinda Sharma, played by Archie Panjabi. Wait a minute, my brain fired at me. Is this just coincidence? What’s going on here with the sidekickery? Read More…

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