I WAS BUSY WATCHING MY TESTICLES DESCEND.
Few television shows directly cause domestic abuse. It is rare to find one that actually forces anyone to clock the nearest person in a fit of pure rage. But there is some evidence that television does cause violence.
In the course of researching this article, my roommate was hospitalized for more wounds than I can count. He was suffering from a fractured collarbone, a split pelvis, a dislocated bladder, and an extra spinal cord. (For the life of me I can’t remember where I got that extra spinal cord.) And then he made the mistake to have Dougie Howser on when I came to visit his ward. God rest his soul… but I believe my point was, Dougie Howser makes you want to kill.
The show’s premise is that some annoying fucking kid got his M.D. and is now a doctor at the age of 16 or something. How the hell could this be a good show?
You get two guesses as to what happens in the pilot, and neither of them count, because if you’re watching this with me, I’ve already knocked you out cold.
“Hmmm, I wonder if he’s going to be distrusted at first by his jealous colleagues, and turn out to be right in the end. Then they will learn that he’s an amazing wunderkind and we should all really like him!”
Dougie Howser relies on horrible medical drama to defibrillate its dying plotlines. The worst kind of medical drama. The kind where you’re pretty sure the writer just flipped to a random page in a medical encyclopedia and pointed at the page with his eyes closed. “Let’s use that! It sounds like my eczema, I know eczemas! This is FUN!” No. No it is not fun. And Howser’s unrelenting use of buzzwords doesn’t make him sound smart. It makes him sound like a pretentious prick. It makes you want to shake him, or the writers, and insist, “STOP SAYING THAT. IT DOES NOT IMPRESS ME.”
Add to the recipe, the eternally-irritating “kids save the day!” patronizing circlejerk, and top it off with unwatchably-bad grade school non-romance, and you’ve got a show fit for television! Apparently. But the romance sounds like it was written by somebody who had never kissed a girl, just like the premise sounds like it was conceived by a socially-osctracized 16-year-old dork. Worse still, the romance seems to be written by someone who was never even 16. Nobody talks like that. Ever. I don’t care if it’s the 80’s.
Who names their kid Dougie? Doo-gee. It sounds like a poopy booger. Who says to their stirrup-bound wife, “Oh, I know what’s a good idea! Let’s follow up excruciating vaginal pain with excruciating lexical pain.” Doo-gee. It’s like he mistook Lamaze breathing for an answer to “What should we name him?”
Let’s take another step back. What screenwriter taps his pen on his chin going, “Hmmmm… hmmmm…” while hunting for names, and eventually decides that “Dougie” is exactly what he was looking for?! And what producer says, “Yes! That one. Thank God you finally overcame your writer’s blockage to shit out that fiber-ridden turd of an idea.” And awaaaay they go to the studio! No, I’m sorry. I just can’t see it.
It’s like everything terrible about the 80’s. The soundtrack is godawful synthesized unmusic. The characterization is trite and annoying. The plots are predictable and hackneyed. The premise is garbage. My roommate is dead. WHY COULDN’T YOU SAVE HIM, DOUGIE?!
Maybe the fact that it inspires violence is the very idea of the show. Maybe it was created by health industry shills. Maybe the point was to land more people in hospitals through the hate crimes it inspired. …Sound far-fetched? The NRA did it with Red Dawn.
Oh, and one final thing, before I forget.
THEY. NAMED. THEIR. KID. DOUGIE.
What the hell is wrong with people?