Pure Genius – Tech in Medicine

Cast :- Augustus Prew, Dermot Mulroney, Odette Annable, Brenda Song.

Genre :- Medical Drama

2016 was a year of marvels and I have no idea why it got so much hate? Not like 2017 has been that great. We had two separate clash of superheroes, TV shows exploded with a new variety and a lot of other things. But 2017 saw a lot of TV shows that had immense potential be cancelled – Limitless, Pure Genius, Incorporated etc were a few unlucky ones.

This review is about the first screen adaptation of a hospital from a tech point of view – Biomedical i would say.

Now, feedback suggests that I don’t mention detailed spoiler-filled plots so I am trying to diversify into plot synopsis from now.

The show revolves around the venture of an app billionaire James Bell (Augustus Prew) to make a difference in the world by helping people with abnormal medical conditions by doing what he knows best – combining entrepreneurship with technology with the consent of the world’s best doctors in his hospital – Bunker Hill . Bunker Hill is a hospital in the heart of Silicon Valley designated to treat the rarest of medical conditions using the greatest bond between man,machine and science. Bunker Hill has a delightfully chilled and skilled array of staff in the form of Dr. Wallace (Dermot Mulroney), Zoe Beckett (Odette Anable), Talaikha (Reshma Shetty), Scott Strauss (Ward Horton) and Angie Cheng (Brenda Song). The show follows his venture into helping the worst of medical conditions by using technology combined with the billions he earned from his apps.

Do you see how awesome technology is W (Dr. Wallace)? We’re making miracles here on a daily basis. Big and small. – James Bell

The cast was beautifully chosen and showed an actual representation of how much good money could do if there indeed was a phillanthropic billionaire like James Bell. This show was Augustus Prew’s small screen debut and boy did he play it well. The script portrayed his abilities and his money really well (Buying abandoned parks near silicon valley to impress a girl – wow that must be a lot of money.) The actor put on a really nice show and made it relatable to the fact that “Money can’t buy everything.”

Dermot Mulroney – the only actor i have seen before on the big screen in Jobs (the Ashton Kutcher take on Steve Jobs), loved him back then and loved him in this show too as the risk taking, brilliant chief of medicine in Bunker Hill trying to adapt to a new paperless, no door or office cabin environment.

He (Dr. Wallace) keeps asking about an office. I mean who has offices anymore, what is this mad men? – Angie

Brenda Song was the greatest shock in the show, last time I saw her she was a London Tipton in Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Boy, has she matured in her acting skills. She plays the tech support staff in Bunker Hill crew combining her and James ideas into the medical procedure of the other doctors. She has come a long way since being the heiress of Tipton Hotels and definitely delivered a sweet performance.

pure genius cast
Bunker Hill and it’s supporting pillars

Reshma Shetty, Scott Straus, Aaron Jennings were the doctors running Bunker Hill. World class doctors with world class expertise in different areas of medicine. But seems like any person can portray a doctor these days. The acting chops of the entire cast pulled it off brilliantly but there were some minor cases in between where it felt like the actors were bordering on overacting their parts. Like for instance Reshma Shetty who plays and Indian doctor and Miss India (never seen that happen before) ask permission from Indian medical databases to access their files for a kidney transplant – she tried conveying “I need access to your files, please” in a complex Hindi dialect. Like who talks like that anymore?

The show had the most amazing take on the biomedical aspect of medicine. I have heard of a lot of medical TV shows but never actually indulged in any whole heatedly. Maybe I got bored or maybe they seemed too redundant. But this one reset my waiting clock for the next episode as soon as the end credits started rolling. You had ingenious attempts at trying to develop a cure for unknown complications or diseases. And all these attempts at saving the person’s life were actually possible just out of a lay man’s skill set and time. The show portrayed top of the line technology in an out of the world hospital and such instances really make you want to be one of the characters on the show.

Sadly, the show was cancelled because of the latent lack of gripping material for the general population (they wanted more drama.) It’s saddening how shows such as Grey’s Anatomy are running on their 12th or 13th season, filled with bogus drama and something as informative and useful as this show gets cancelled. Whether the marketing scheme was bad or the concept didn’t appeal to the masses is a question for the show’s producers.

The show obviously had a few drawbacks too. The technology though fancy sometimes went a bit too far. For instance how was there a moving x-ray display stored on a tablet or how was lung capacity determined by a wrist band. Maybe there were some complex algorithms used internally that skipped me but I sure felt it was taking a bit too far. The first half of the show left me in absolute awe, the technology and it’s application were mind – boggling, the use of spider web to stitch a limb back together and things like those but the second-half saw the desperation in the show’s ratings. The producers now wanted to spike ratings and included more of drama and less of the good stuff in the plots. Not saying the second half wasn’t as good as the first but the show did start getting a bit stale and boring.

Dr Wallace stunned at the marvel of 3D printing

I am a graduate of Biomedical Engineering and will pursue my masters in that too. Hence, I was able to relate to almost everything in the show except for some extravagant , far-reaching throws of the show. I loved every minute of it no matter how bad it got to the end and spoke about it day and night. My friends and family all know about it. They got tired of it and would beg me to keep quiet. I hope this show hasn’t finished yet for we have seen shows come out from the grave before and hope more shows like this are made. The world has seen a lot of plain medicine with extravagant and complex terms be used before, hope they convert a bit of those into the tech aspect of medicine too.

My Rating :- Burn CBS for not having a second season.



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