What makes the Good Doctor different from the typical medical drama is the main character, Dr. Shaun Murphy. Shaun is autistic and has savant syndrome, so although he is extremely intelligent, he often struggles socially which is a challenge he needs to overcome to work as a doctor.
Fans following his journey were truly excited to see what came next for Shaun in his personal life, social life as well as his career, for 3 seasons he was conquering his own challenges, solving complex medical cases, and finding love, in fellow doctor Lea. Good Doctor has been praised for addressing many societal issues including the lack of opportunities for people with disabilities in the workplace. Many fans tuned in to the show to watch Dr. Murphy specifically, as he felt like an advocate not only for people with autism but for everyone else who may not fit into society. The show also has a captivating and emotional plot, along with many other beloved characters.
However, fans’ attitudes towards the show have changed drastically with season 4, and their reviews are far from good. What was initially an inclusive and eye-opening take on living with autism has lately been feeling like more of a Hollywood stereotype. Autism is far more diverse than most people realize, and some fans feel the show doesn’t portray that anymore. The excitement felt in the first few seasons has died down for fans, who feel that the series’ main goal is to preach to them about social awareness whilst lacking storylines with enough realism and depth. Frankly, fans are finding the Good Doctor boring.
Even worse, there seem to be fewer and fewer plot lines involving Shaun and fellow doctors solving complicated medical cases, which have been replaced by irrelevant drama integrated into the episodes. Fans feel like Dr. Shaun Murphy, who the show is focused on, has become a secondary character, and meaningful interactions between him and Dr. Lea have become less and less. Fans also felt that the season 4 finale where Lea proposed to Shaun was boring and lazily written compared to other finales on the show.
According to fans, the writers and producers need to do better. The Good Doctor has the potential to remain meaningful and socially aware without making fans feel like they are being preached to or need to be educated about real-world issues. The Good Doctor needs to go back to doing what it did in the first 3 seasons or risk being written off by fans as another satirical sketch about wokeness.