I think The Good Doctor has the potential to be an incredible show. Let’s begin with the cast. Freddie Highmore (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) plays the starring role of Dr. Shaun Murphy, a new surgeon who also happens to have autism as well as savant syndrome. This is a challenging role for anyone to play considering how broad the autism spectrum truly is.
In many autism-related projects, producers strive for realism by portraying these autistic characters while sometimes not having a good understanding of the individuality of each person that is on the spectrum. It’s a thin line. The Good Doctor does a great job of navigating this line. Freddie does exceptionally well in his debut, showing many characteristics that can come along with an autism diagnosis like lack of eye contact, social awkwardness, and playing with his hands in stressful situations.
There is a broader discussion about hiring people with disabilities that is important for people to see on TV. I was so glad to see this conversation happening on a national prime time television show.
All in all, I’d give The Good Doctor a solid A+. I’ve only seen the first episode, but I’ll be excited to see where it goes from here. As a show portraying an adult with autism, I’d say it does a remarkable job.