“Good Doctor, Bad Habits”

That’s the tagline for USA’s new medical drama, Rush, which stars Tom Ellis as a private doctor who caters to the elite in Los Angeles (and expects cash up front). It’s an extremely fitting phrase for Dr. William Rush — something that is apparent right from the very first scene of the series.

Rush Interviews: The Cast on Being a Rogue Doctor, Friendship and Strange Medical Cases >>>

When the pilot opens, Rush is with a woman and indulging in, shall we say, some illegal drugs. The second part of the tagline — check.

But this isn’t just any scene involving drugs. When the woman has an overdose, the “bad habits” are put aside and it’s time to put on the “good doctor” hat. Rush rushes — pardon the pun — into action to try and save her. Does he? You’ll have to watch the premiere to find out, but he certainly knows what he’s doing, even when high, it seems.

And thus we are thrust into this man’s world of high stakes life-and-death situations, wild and unseemly behavior, and listening to guilty pleasure music from the ’80s.

The pilot shifts back and forth between Rush’s personal life — where he’s doing everything from getting high in the bathroom at a birthday party to trying to get back with a former girlfriend — and his work life. It’s the latter when we see him at his best. Based on the medical cases he deals with, it becomes obvious that over the course of this series, we’ll see not only very serious health situations, but also cases that play to comedic effect, including one in which a patient has a broken penis. 

Rush Interviews: The Cast on Pushing Characters’ Limits, Harry Hamlin and Music >>>

What Rush puts himself through isn’t just limited to his own life — it affects those around him, including his assistant Eve (played by Sarah Habel); his best friend Alex (Larenz Tate), who’s also a doctor; and Manny (Rick Gonzalez), who’s a dealer. Eve has a lot of pressure and stress put onto her, since she has to try and clean up his messes. 

But it’s Alex who catches my attention out of the supporting cast because he’s the complete opposite of Rush: he’s a family man, he has a normal life and is an ethical guy. Being in Rush’s orbit complicates that situation because there is this pull where he may want to dabble in his friend’s lifestyle. In the episodes to come, I’m looking forward to seeing the tensions that will most likely arise between these two.

For viewers who watch shows on USA, you’ll probably find Rush to be somewhat familiar territory to you, though this one is definitely an edgy show. But it’s no less intriguing, made possible by the titular character. There’s quite a bit of moral ambiguity, which is what makes it so fascinating to watch. And this dichotomy in his life (going back to the “Good Doctor, Bad Habits” tagline) has me anticipating what else he puts himself and others through.

Satisfaction Review: A Provocative and Dark New Drama About Marriage>>>

Rush leads USA’s night of premieres tonight at 9pm followed by Satisfaction at 10pm. 

(Image courtesy of USA)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.