THE SHOW "Royal Pains"
WHEN | WHERE Season premiere Wednesday at 9 p.m. on USA
WHAT IT'S ABOUT The fifth season of "Royal Pains" (about a doctor and his brother who treat the rich in and around the Hamptons) actually picks up from the holiday special that aired in December featuring the nuptials of Evan (Paulo Costanzo) and Paige (Brooke D'Orsay).
Meanwhile, viewers will see their favorite TV Hamptons doctor, Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein), slowly recover from the explosion that closed out the fourth season and appeared to kill one Boris Kuester von Jurgens-Ratenicz (Campbell Scott). He survived, but as the fifth season starts, and Hank is almost fully mended, both he and brother Evan don't know that. Instead, Hank is convinced the mysterious Dmitry Vasilyev (Mark Ivanir) had something to do with Boris' "death."
Meanwhile, Divya (Reshma Shetty) -- who found out that lover Rafa (Khotan Fernandez) fibbed about his past -- is now helping to run HankMed.
MY SAY "Royal Pains" has its fans (though not as many as in the first gangbusters season) who love the show and know exactly why -- its languorous and not quite soapy (but sudsy enough) plot, charming leads and generous use of the Long Island locale. In fact, no show on prime-time TV more fully exploits the Island, with the possible exception of "Princesses: Long Island," which has a habit of insulting certain villages instead of extolling them. Nevertheless, maybe it's the beach beckoning just over the dunes, or the summer season, or the unlimited supply of Long Island iced teas in the writers' room, but "Pains" can sometimes be a little too languorous.
This can be one of those shows where nothing at all seems to happen, until something happens that's clearly designed to break up the monotony of that "nothing." Invariably this involves a minor medical crisis that either Hank or Evan just happens to witness, and which subsequently serves as story A, B and/or C -- otherwise known as "filler" for the rest of the episode.
BOTTOM LINE Get past the languor and absence of urgency of any kind and you quickly realize what "Royal Pains" is all about -- TV's version of a nice easy beach read. The fifth season promises more of the same.