A teenaged genius deals with the usual problems of growing up: having a girlfriend, going to parties, hanging out with his best friend, all this on top of being a licensed physician in a ...
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Tony Micelli, a retired baseball player, becomes the housekeeper of Angela Bower, an advertising executive in New York. Together they raise their kids, Samantha Micelli and Jonathon Bower, with help from Mona Robinson, Angela's man-crazy mother.
A teenaged genius deals with the usual problems of growing up: having a girlfriend, going to parties, hanging out with his best friend, all this on top of being a licensed physician in a difficult residency program. Written by
A Good Show, but the novelty of the Child M.D. wore off quick
Sprung from the typewriter of Emmy award winning Steven Bocho, (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue) "Doogie Howser, M.D." is a good show from the very late 80s and early 1990s. As you probably know the series is about 16 year old Douglas "Doogie" Howser, the boy genius who is a medical doctor. I just bought the DVD and this is the first time I've watched the series since it went off the air in 1993. I'm watching the 1989 episodes now, and surprisingly it doesn't seem all that dated. I mean sure it's dated in that you can tell it's from 1989, but it's not dated in that cheesy way. It's dated the same way Miami Vice is dated. When viewed through the lens of this show, the fashions and styles of that era seem simply more like something that's time has passed, rather then a horrible campy memory. Make no mistake though, this is no half hour sitcom with a laugh track. Steven Bocho went through great pains to make this an accurate, mature show with humorous elements in it rather then a screwball comedy. In the 1989 episodes Neil Patrick Harris is 16 years old, but he looks and acts like a 12 or 13 year old, 14 tops. Neil wasn't very emotionally mature for 16, and he had his this odd nerdy quality to him----which actually helped the series because it made Doogie seem even younger then he really was. But this was basically only the case for the 1st season.
The series wasn't without it's faults though, the show started going down the toilet when the child physician started sporting a 5 o'clock shadow. If I remember correctly, a big problem with the show was that "the joke" of the series, the child prodigy kid doctor who walked around in acid washed blue jeans, Nike high top sneakers and an over-sized lab coat wore off pretty quickly. After the 1st season Doogie was already a typical adult height of 5'6 to 5'8 inches tall. Sure he looked really young because he was a 17 year old teenager, but it wasn't too outrageous to see him in a hospital setting. But Doogie kept on growing unlike his best friend Vinnie Delpino. By 1992 and 1993 Neil Patrick Harris was a 19 and 20 year old grown man who was now standing around an amazing 6'4 inches tall. Doogie was no longer a cute kid trying to be a doctor, he now looked like any medical school student and there was nothing at all weird about him being a physician. By 1991, Doogie had turned into a legal 18 year old adult. He moved out of his parents house and into an apartment with Vinnie. They both started having regular sex. OK, so there goes the concept of the "child prodigy". After 2 years we were treated to watching an over 6ft guy and his friend living an apartment and dealing with older teenager/young adult problems. The premise behind Doogie was gone after 2 seasons, and truth be known it was on shaky ground by the 2nd season anyways.
Perhaps if they had started the series in 1987 when Neil was 14 it would have given the series more longevity. Or cast someone who was a little younger, like 14 or better yet 12 or 13 back in 1989. It really was a shame they didn't start Doogie off in the age range of 12-14 instead of 16. But otherwise, this is another well written series from the acclaimed TV writer Steven Bocho. The 1st and 2nd season are well worth checking out.
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