November, to me, signals full-blown fall and all of the deliciousness that comes with it. Now that Halloween is over, I’m relishing the natural blessings of the season. You can always tell where we are in the year by looking at what’s on my kitchen counter. Currently:
October was sublime in every way. I enjoyed Short Horror October more than ever before! You might be curious as to what’s on my screen now that my 31 days of chain-watching horror content is over. WELL.
It’s November, and I stumbled into the real horror content.
Because season 4 of The Good Doctor is underway. I was so excited to get into the first episode! I settled in eagerly on Hulu Tuesday night for some much-needed escapism, but in an unforeseen plot development, I didn’t make it through the episode. I had to stop watching it halfway through, because it was utterly terrifying. It was the furthest thing from the entertaining escapism I was after. It was pure horror, and not in a good way. It was about The Virus.
I geared myself up to continue with the episode last night (maybe it was just my mood), but again, I had to peace out. The episode chilled me to my core with fear like no horror movie or series ever has. I’ve never had to turn away from an actual work of horror because it was too scary! Take notes, Ryan Murphy, and congratulations, The Good Doctor, for finally doing it with episode 1 of season 4.
[Side-note: Midsommar doesn’t count. I tried to turn away from that beastly film, but it wouldn’t let me.]
All I wanted was to get back into the storyline, right? That’s why we anticipate new seasons of the series we enjoy. I wanted to resume enjoying. Instead, I found myself swept into a nightmarish COVID State of Emergency scenario at the San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, where I got to see COVID-infected people suffering and dying in horrible ways, presenting with all kinds of symptoms and developing all kinds of complications. I got to see the heartbreak of family members not being able to be with their loved ones in intensive care, and then the pain of being told “I’m sorry” by Dr. Lim when a young woman’s mother died alone while in isolation. And SO MUCH MORE. I can’t even get into all of the terrible and sad events of the episode, and I wouldn’t do it, anyway, lest I “spoil” it for anyone else.
I mean, I get it, TGD. You want to take your hospital dramedy there in tribute to frontline workers and address the pandemic while also scaring us into wearing our masks. Fine. BUT you do too good of a job. Your actors are too good. Your writers are too good. Your commitment to authenticity in a COVID-gripped hospital is too complete. I just couldn’t.
So I had to stop watching the episode on Tuesday night, when I especially needed to escape into a fictional world. (Thank you, Bob’s Burgers, for providing your own new season.) I thought I would give it another try last night, but I took one look at the scene where I left off and immediately exited again, horrified anew by the sight of the sickened patient in that scene.
Tonight, I was determined to finish it. I was doubly prepared. I was going to do it. And I did. I sat through the whole damn episode that not only was un-entertaining and difficult to watch, but IT WAS MISSING DR. MELENDEZ, WHO WAS SENSELESSLY AND INEXPLICABLY KILLED OFF at the end of season 3 (you’re walking a thin line, The Good Doctor), and I was further appalled by the horrors that’d awaited in the second half of the episode. The episode is called “Frontline, Part 1.” Yes, it will continue in next week’s episode, “Frontline, Part 2”.
Now you might be wondering why I insisted on putting myself through it. It’s The Good Doctor, that’s why. It’s excellent. I’m invested in the characters in their world, and I’m not going to stop watching it just because their world looks like our real-life world.
I hope that we can leave the real world behind starting with episode 3, though.
Happy almost Friday Eve, my friends, and FFS, wear your masks.