[Dr. Hank Lawson saves a life - and a party. Photo from USA] What's happenin' at the Hampt Inn? A lot, apparently, if last night's pilot episode of Royal Pains is any indication. The much anticipated show about a concierge doctor in the Hamptons officially arrived - and what an arrival it was! Filled with some choice catchphrases "citiots" (city+idiot), "Oh, you mean Worsthampton?" "Honey, this is the Hamptons. Everybody is royalty", it looks like USA has struck a minefield (maybe even several bars of solid gold like the one that magically appears in the backseat of Dr. Hank Lawson's Saab).
The show has some of the usual suspects that every TV show about the filthy rich is inclined to feature, but with plenty of inside jabs to make even the most seasoned Hamptonite laugh: there's the mansion where the first party is held that looks like the Excalibur in Vegas meets Playboy mansion meets Pink Elephant in Southampton, arbitrary model types squeezing their fifteen seconds dry for all it's worth (April from Season 2 of America's Next Top Model has a few lines), the poor little rich boys who are just looking for a father figure - and a brand-new Ferrari to replace the one they just totaled. The show is less Grey's Anatomy, and more The OC meets Gossip Girl - the soundtrack, including Rooney's "Shakin'" which plays while panning over the East End does little to dispel that notion. It's a whirlwind of pampered ennui, some medical scenes shown in graphic detail, ridiculous parties at ridiculous estates, and at the heart of it all, Hank Lawson - a man who has just lost everything due to some bad luck, and who doesn't want to become a mere plaything, "the latest accessory" to the rich and famous. We applaud his moral fiber (he turns down a beautiful patient who claims to be in love with him, chalking up her infatuation to 'Nightingale syndrome') that landed him in his current mess - and the Hamptons in the first place.
As they say on the show, "Word travels pretty fast in the Hamptons" - so get on it and get your Royal Pains fix every Thursday on USA at 10 PM!