Medical drama ‘Good Sam’ is family story at its heart

Rick's Reviews
Good Sam

Jason Isaacs (left) and Sophia Bush star in the new CBS medical drama “Good Sam.” (Photo courtesy of CBS)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Sophia Bush grew up with the intentions of one day becoming a doctor. She was so committed to the idea that Bush knew she wanted to be a heart surgeon.

That plan got pushed aside when the Southern California native was cast in her first high school play. The idea of being a doctor was over and Bush has gone on to star in TV projects ranging from “One Tree Hill” to “This Is Us” to “Chicago P.D.” to go along with roles in such movies as “John Tucker Must Die” and “Incredibles 2.”

“You can imagine the shock when I told my parents I wasn’t going to med school, I was going to go study theater and learn how to do costume, makeup,” Bush says.

It may not completely take away the disappointment her parents felt but in one small way Bush is re-visiting the idea of being a doctor. She doesn’t practice medicine but she is playing Dr. Sam Griffith, a gifted heart surgeon, on the new CBS drama “Good Sam.”

The medical drama is scheduled to debut at 10 p.m. Jan. 5.

Her character is named chief of surgery after her boss falls into a coma. When her former boss wakes up months later demanding to resume his duties, Sam must supervise the egotistical expert.

Here’s the kicker. The person causing her so much grief is Dr. Rob “Griff” Griffith (Jason Isaacs) who just happens to be her father. Father and daughter must find a way to mend their own relationship as expertly as they heal the hearts of their patients.

Bush is certain that her parents are delighted their daughter has landed a medical role but she may be more excited about the role than they are.

“There is such a heightened sense of what’s important in the walls of a hospital when things are literally life and death. And that has only increased for all of us in terms of representing healthcare workers since COVID,” Bush, who is extremely active with social causes when not acting, says.

Her happiness at landing the medical role has even helped her deal with the tongue-tangling terminology that often gets thrown around inside hospital walls. One of her favorite parts of being part of the series are the rehearsals where everyone has to figure out their place in the medical mayhem.

Isaacs is connected to his character but he admits there are times when his acting world and home life almost overlap.

“I’m meant to be standing outside my character, but sometimes I’m not sure that I don’t get confused. I have two daughters, and part of taking this job was me trying to work out before these problems emerge how I’m going to deal with the fact that they’re already smarter than me and more capable of navigating the world,” Isaacs says. “So, I don’t know that I can talk about my character. I can talk as my character. I don’t think she should be running the hospital.

“I think I have much more experience and skill, and really, frankly, everybody who is in this panel is nearly getting it wrong. And hopefully good sense will prevail and I’ll end up running the hospital. There will be no drama, but the world will be as it should be.”

Isaacs is having some fun slipping into the egotistical surgeon he is playing but there is some truth when it comes to experience and skill when it comes to acting. The award-winning actor who has received numerous nominations, including BAFTA, Golden Globe, International Emmy, Critics’ Circle, Satellite, SAG and Critics’ Choice Awards received critical acclaim for his performances in Fran Kranz’s film “Mass” and the popular series “Sex Education.”

His most notable film credits include his role of Lucius Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” film series, “Black Hawk Down,” “The Patriot,” “Armageddon,” “Fury,” “Hotel Mumbai,” “Dr. Bird’s Advice for Young Poets” and “Everything I Ever Wanted to Tell My Daughter About Men.”

Their characters may butt heads but Bush and Isaac have nothing but admiration for each other. Bush has been immensely impressed with the way Isaac talks about and treats his daughters.

“It’s gorgeous to witness, as a woman, as we’re in this section of time over the last few years where we’ve really been talking about who listens to women and who doesn’t. In the walls of our fictional home, family is not listening,” Bush says. “Jason as a father is the opposite of Griff as a father in many ways.

“Both of these people have a reason to believe what they believe. It feels real and it feels grounded, and all of the ways that Sam is an optimist, Griff has learned hard lessons and he’s pragmatic perhaps to a fault.”

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