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It’s a (Season 1) Wrap

August 28th, 2009 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Last night, one of our favorite summer treats, Royal Pains, wrapped its first season. In the series, rising star M.D. Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) made a life-or-death decision in the operating room, choosing to save an injured young basketball player’s life over standing by as a hospital benefactor recovered from surgery. Being a morally sound kind of guy, he gave the boy all his attention, only to have his other, much wealthier patient die instead. Hank is immediately ostracized from the New York medical community, ditched by his fiancé, and holed up in his apartment, living on takeout and Netflix.

Enter Hank’s younger brother, Evan (Paulo Costanzo), an accountant looking to live it up for a weekend getaway. Evan manages to pry his big brother away from Mask long enough to head to the Hamptons and crash a few parties. And that’s where Hank’s new calling comes into play: in this playground of the filthy rich, there’s a steady demand for concierge doctors to attend to bumps and bruises, coughs and colds, and the occasional scandalous mishap.

Soon enough, Hank’s business is in full swing (though he’s a reluctant participant) and a love interest/do-good hospital administrator (played by Jill Flint) keeps the on-call doc in the Hamptons for the whole summer. “This [show] has been the perfect alchemy of so many different forces: production, execution, timing, network, cosmically,” Feuerstein said on a recent teleconference. “I’m so happy to be on a show so well received, both critically and with an audience.” (Feuerstein has starred in a fair number of unsuccessful series, including 3 Lbs. and Good Morning, Miami. )

“If [Hank] could clear the slate and have no lawsuits, I don’t think he’d go [back to New York],” he told us. “It’s a slightly spiritual thing that Hank is doing. He’s on a path, and now that he’s been sent down the path less taken, he’s interested to see where it will take him. He saw how his fiancé reacted when life didn’t go her way. He saw how he reacted. He has a deeper strength; he’s in touch with the unpredictability of life.”

And now that Royal Pains has been picked up for a second season (it returns next summer), what does Feuerstein hope for his character? “I’d love to see Hank show more of the chink in his armor, the vulnerability, and possibly the mess his life would be, given his impetuousness.” He admitted that, though we didn’t see the Lawson’s father at all in the first season, he hopes that Hank’s relationship with his father plays out in a way that’s true, genuine and poignant. “[Hank is] such a nice guy, such a well-adjusted person, maybe there’s an opportunity for a mistake,” he said.

We’ll have to wait until next season to see what’s in store for Hank and Jill — and his dad, too. In the meantime, catch the season finale here and share your favorite Hank Med moments from Season 1 in the comments section.

Rebecca Harper ()