ROYAL PAINS “Keeping the Faith” Review

Royal Pains

In “Keeping Faith,” it’s a big, and we mean literally big guest star in the form of WWE Raw’s Paul “Big Show” Wight as a horror-action star Don, the Garbage Collector, with medical issues. Hank and Evan are driving down an Hampton’s town avenue when they spot him collapsed face down on a sidewalk, handcuffed by a cop who thinks he’s just drunk. Hank begins to treat him while Evan meets his business manager, who just happens to be his sister and she has memory problems. Eventually, we learn Donny’s paste for various dentures used in his movie roles are the root cause of his troubles, while sister Faith, it turns out, has been choking down horse pills following a gastric bypass and also needs to break away from watching over her brother to find her own way in the world.

Meanwhile, the show’s ongoing subplots continue to bubble up to near-boil: Hank has it out with scam artist father Eddie who’s now intruding on the world of Hank’s benefactor, the ultra-rich Boris, still suffering from his mysterious ailment. In a cliff-hangerish ending, Boris has signed on a new medical concierge, which spells kicked to curb for Hank and company.

There’s a lot happening here and this superb show continues to side-step so many medical programs past and present as it also glides effortlessly from comedy into jarring moments of drama. The alluring Reeshma Shetty’s Divya Katdare doesn’t do much this time out, but the dynamic between Mark Feuerstein’s Hank and Paul Costanzo’s Evan showed some layered nuances and Henry Winkler plays up the Jewish father guilt as pop Eddie. And Campell Scott’s Eddie comes off at times like a retired Bond villain, ever the manipulator. The dialogue ranges from real to sharp and witty, though never too “look how clever we are.” And that’s good.

That balance of the funny and the dire – usually medically – is what makes Royal Pains such a winning show, truly hitting its stride by the end of last season and on the right path so far this year.

Darryl Morden – That Writer Guy