There's a new TV doctor in town and he has the potential to be the next McDreamy.
Those are strong words, but we're not saying that lightly. On Sunday night Fox's new medical drama The Resident will introduce the world to Conrad Hawkins, played with charming ease by The Good Wife and Gilmore Girls alum Matt Czuchry. Medical dramas are common fodder for broadcast TV but The Resident is pushing boundaries with Conrad, a man fighting against the healthcare industrial complex no matter what the cost.
He's a rebel doctor who is trying to provide the best care for his patients and protect them from money grubbing insurance companies or chiefs of surgery with over-inflated egos who put the value of a dollar ahead of the patients' wellbeing. He's a bad boy with a heart of gold and a medical degree, which is a delicious combination.
Conrad's background made him the man he is today, and he's no stranger to ruffling the feathers of his coworkers. A stint in the Navy showed Conrad the true horror that people can do to each other and his experience in the military helped shape him into the rogue doctor we meet on the show.
"He was actually in Afghanistan," Czuchry told TV Guide at the Television Critics Association winter press tour while promoting the show. "A lot of the way he approaches medicine [is] seat-of-the-pants medicine, in terms of being on the battlefield. So that's kind of why he does take the approach he does with patients in the hospital. It's not only from his education in medical school, but his experience on the battlefield."
The Resident's drama comes from a lot more than the life-and-death situations that happen in the ER. Conrad's main adversary is the aforementioned Chief of Surgery Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood), whose own mysterious medical condition is costing his patients' lives. Conrad realizes that Bell is past his prime but he doesn't have the clout to have Bell ousted from the hospital, so the series builds tension as the two of them clash. And to be fair, it's not just Bell who has issues with Conrad. The young doctor's unorthodox — and occasionally cold — methods don't sit well with the rest of the hospital staff, but they tolerate it because Conrad happens to be damn good at his job.
"I really love this character's moxie, his strength," Czuchry said of Conrad. "I love how he has a voice for the little guy. I love how he stands up to the system. I love his passion for his patients and I love how he'll do whatever it takes to protect his patients, including breaking the rules. He's a little Machiavellian in his ways of 'the ends justify the means.' If there's anything good that can come of it for his patients he'll go to great lengths to do that."
The resident is not alone in his quest though. He's backed by Nic (Emily Van Camp), a nurse in the hospital and Conrad's on-and-off-again girlfriend and new intern Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal), whose idealistic fresh-out-of-med-school views of medicine get shattered by Conrad's no bulls--t approach to healing. It's not a spoiler to say that after rubbing him the wrong way initially, Devon reluctantly recognizes Conrad's genius.
Will you be in Conrad's corner too?
The Resident premieres Sunday, Jan. 21 at 10/9c on Fox after the NFC Championship football game and moves to its regular time spot of Mondays at 9/8c on Jan. 22.