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DAN'S PAPERS, June 12, 2009 Page 29

Royal Pains, Right Here in the Hamptons By David Lion Rattiner Nearly 5.6 million Americans sat down to watch the debut of the new USA Network’s television show, “Royal Pains,” last Thursday night. The show, which is about a Hamptons concierge doctor played by Marc Feuerstein, left Hamptons locals feeling miserable that it was good. Most people in these parts didn’t want to like it. But what’s not to like? The premise of the show is set up within the first five minutes, in which Doctor Hank Lawson (Marc Feuerstein) gets fired from his posh New York City hospital job after letting a trustee die under his watch. Of course, it wasn’t his fault at all, but that’s hardly important. Minutes later, his model fiancéé leaves him, his New York City apartment is emptied when his furniture is repossessed and Doctor Hank finds himself half drunk, looking at a canceled Netflix account. “Just add it to my pile of unpaid bills.” To cheer him up, Hank’s younger, less responsible, social climbing brother shows up to convince him to go with him for a weekend to the “Hamptons.” Evan Lawson, played by the hilarious Paulo Costanzo, is quite the charmer. His character is sort of a male version of a city girl tourist trying to land a rich Hamptonite for marriage, only Evan just wants to get laid. Yes, you want to throw up at the number of times the word “Hamptons” is used in this show, but there is plenty of drug overdose vomiting (I mean pesticide poisoning) to enjoy later

in the episode. There are a few annoyances to go around in “Royal Pains” that are simply not true about the East End, but it’s funny to think that they’re true. The show was relentless in its criticism of the local hospital, which was described as a “taco stand” in one line. Being born there, I felt that was a low (and inaccurate) blow. Other than that though, I was impressed at how well the producers were able to very realistically portray an amazing summer party at a lavish estate, or show what it’s really like to sit in summer traffic on 27. One of my favorite lines of the episode was when Evan was sitting as a passenger next to Hank in their convertible and faking a phone call on his cell phone to impress the group of very attractive women in the convertible right next to them. Evan is complaining about not getting the correct nightclub reservations. He then turns to the girls and says, “Sorry, sorry, having a lot of money is good sometimes, but you know, sometimes it just drives you crazy!” The women are intrigued. Speaking of attractive women, there are plenty to go around in “Royal Pains” making the show pretty much pitch perfect for any network. I don’t know where television finds these actresses, but all of them are tens in “Royal Pains” and all of them are unique.

Word gets out among the rich about this fabulous new doctor faster than the pace of the show moves. Doctor Hank finds himself with a lot of work calls from the super wealthy, treating him as their personal doctor and thus the formula of the show is revealed. In the debut episode, Hank is introduced to a 16-year-old who has just crashed his dad’s Ferrari and needs medical attention. When Doctor Hank inquires about where all the money comes from the young kid replies, “You’ve used a blender before right?” “Yeah.” “You’re welcome.” It’s sort of a reality check for Hank in the show when he says this, and it’s in some ways a reality check for the viewer as well. There are certainly people like that out here. Name an industry, and a captain of it has a house on the beach. That’s where Doctor Hank comes in to make a discreet rescue. There’s no doubt in my mind that this show is going to be a hit. It’s clever and hilarious. The only question that I have is: what’s going to happen when the summer ends in the show? Does the season change come wintertime for Doctor Hank in “Royal Pains?” It will be interesting to see how the producers handle it. But for now, summer in the “Hamptons” for Doctor Hank is going to be one heck of a ride.


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Dan's Papers June 12, 2009  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...