By Kevin Canessa Jr.
Take the pill-popping Dr. Gregory House, from “House, M.D.,” and combine him with the concierge medicine of Hankmed on “Royal Pains,” and you’ve got TV’s newest — and perhaps darkest — TV doctor on USA Network’s “Rush.”
Dr. William P. Rush, played by Tom Ellis, is one of L.A.’s hottest doctors. It’s not because he’s a great diagnostician as House is — or just because he makes house calls like Dr. Hank Lawson does. But it’s because he’ll make the house calls for the rich and famous, and regardless of what he sees, he’ll keep his mouth shut.
And in the premiere episode, did he ever witness a lot that required discretion.
Without giving away too much of the plot, because we want you to watch the show and this first episode yourself, let’s just say Rush overlooked a professional baseball player who has a reputation for an intense temper and for laying his hands on his girlfriend.
And while he does all of this, he, himself, isn’t exactly the cleanest doctor of them all.
It’s because, like House, Rush pops pills. But a considerably bigger variety of pills than House’s usual Vicodin.
Rush was seen taking Diazepam, cocaine, Adderall and pot. And other drugs that couldn’t be identified.
So from the outset, this is clearly a show that is not really suitable for children. But if you like medical dramas — and were or are a fan of House and Hank — chances are you’re going to really like this one.
But there are a few other warnings that are rather important to note, too.
The language in this show is very strong. In fact, it’s almost surprising that some of the words that are used are allowed on commercial TV on a show that airs at 9 p.m. on Thursdays.
It’s also important to note there’s a lot of person-to-person contact.
But if you can get past that, you’ve got a great new medical drama.
And considering how few successful medical dramas there have been since “ER” went off the air in 2009, it’s almost surprising.
Aside from Rush, the second most noted character on the show — at least early on — is Rush’s friend, Dr. Alex Burke, played by Larenz Tate. Burke’s an ER doc on whom Rush relies for medical assistance when his patients need hospital care — and refuse it. He’s willing to play along, it seems, with the “keeping things quiet” game Rush plays.
And then there’s Rush’s assistant, Eve Parker, played by Sarah Habel, who, like Rush, must be extremely discreet.
But from the onset, it’s clear she’s got issues with keeping quiet — especially after she approaches the baseball player’s girlfriend, and warns her to get out of the abusive relationship she’s in.
It doesn’t sit well with Rush. But he gets over it because he knows he can’t run a discreet medical practice without her.
Overall, this is a very dark new show. But it’s brilliantly written and it causes viewers to wonder just how many doctors like Rush exist — especially in Hollywood.
Yet as dark as it is, one thing is for certain, at least for this writer: Thursday at 9 p.m. can’t get here quick enough.