Tuesday, January 12, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Resident' - Conrad and Nic Finally Get Married After Delays Caused by the Pandemic in 'A Wedding, A Funeral'

FOX's The Resident - Episode 4.01 "A Wedding, A Funeral"

After a long wait, Conrad and Nic prepare for their wedding day with the support of their family and friends. Meanwhile, flashbacks to the early days of the COVID-19 crisis shine a light on the heroism of the doctors and the toll the virus took on everyone at Chastain Memorial.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of FOX's The Resident.

"A Wedding, A Funeral" was written by Daniela Lamas & Eric I. Lu and directed by Rob Corn

This premiere seemingly tells a complete story about the COVID-19 pandemic. Each show this year has had to weigh whether or not to dramatize the once-in-a-century events that have drastically changed our world. It has certainly felt like the responsible thing to do for shows that take place in hospitals. It's on the viewer's mind whenever we see scenes with crowds. And yet, television is also meant to serve as escapism. As such, it's fascinating to see the show take the approach of highlighting the pandemic while also forging ahead with a future that looks brighter. Sure, it's naive for anyone to note that 2020 was the sole year left decimated by this disease. The pandemic is still raging at the moment. This show offers a bit of hope though because it does choose to focus on the love between Conrad and Nic. There is no real delay for their wedding. Sure, it's delayed in the timeline of the show. For the audience though, it starts the season on that happy and uplifting note. Plus, that event reveals what the true extent of the damage done by the pandemic is. The premiere largely tells the story of the hospital struggling in the early days. Doctors and nurses are battling the disease but don't have the resources necessary to make a difference. Moreover, they are being struck with the disease themselves. That brings some added weight to the proceedings. It's stark as the doctors rally around Nurse Hundley as her condition seems to deteriorate. She is put on a ventilator with the fear that she may never come off it. She fears that she will be abandoning her daughter. Nic can personally relate to the uncertainty because it mirrors her life growing up. Everything is so extreme though that it makes the world seem completely different. The relationships that once brought comfort are now having to find new ways to keep those connections alive. Selfish individuals are still operating in that way. More humanity comes to light because of what this dire situation demands. Logan Kim fights to get the supplies the hospital needs despite his worries about financial disaster. He states that he does so without Red Rock's approval. That could have created consequences for him. That's really the only plot thread that doesn't have a resolution by the end of this premiere. The same extends to Cain choosing to operate once more with elective surgeries. He feels he is doing it as a duty to the financial well-being of the hospital while maintaining his power as the public image of the hospital. He is right back to being the smug and arrogant surgeon who can do no wrong. He has failed before though. This action could have had complications. That is yet to be seen. Instead, it is more important to spend time with the more empathetic characters. The people who see the onslaught of despair and hold on long enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's not about being strong enough to fight hard when the virus does its worst though. That's a false narrative. It's about finding hope, love and connection even in the darkest moments. Nic, Conrad and Devon worry about their parents. They fear that they are susceptible to the disease. They could contract it and die. That does happen to Devon's father. That is the most significant death that occurs here. It's clearly going to shape Devon's story this season. He attributes everything that he is to the love and strength his father had. This is the only thing that could have torn his parents apart. It has happened now though. It prevents him from being there to celebrate the love on display at Nic and Conrad's wedding. That moment also provides Mina and Austin with the opportunity to act on their romantic attraction. That is a relief. However, it's just the first development. The same extends to intimacy growing between Bell and Kitt. It's clear more stories could be told about the pandemic as it pertains to these characters. However, the audience has the reassurance of knowing how the story ended for most of them. That provides relief and clarity. And now, the show can explore the realities of the world post-pandemic. Those issues are likely going to be just as systemic and widespread. It will surely create big dramatic moments. The show opts to have those define these characters moving forward. It embraces the fiction. It pays homage to the real life devastation. It honors the first responders working tirelessly as well as those who have died this past year. It does all of that with respect. It's just the focus of this premiere with the show determining the future for its fictional reality even though real life is still in the thick of it.