Sophia Bush’s parents can relax now. Their daughter is finally a doctor, as they’d hoped.
Well, at least she’s convincing as a fake doctor. She stars in “Good Sam” – debuting at 10 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 5) on CBS – and rattles off the proper tongue-twisters.
There she is, saying “pericardiocentesis” and “superficial venous thrombosis” and such. “I love it … I’m actually living a dream,” Bush (shown here) said, in a virtual conference with the Television Critics Association.
Or her parents’ dream. As “the daughter of an immigrant, … your options are really: You’re a doctor or a lawyer, a lawyer or a doctor,” she said.
Her dad emigrated from Canada, with Irish roots; her mom is the daughter of an Italian immigrant. They did well, with a photography studio in Pasadena, and expected big things from her. “As a young person, I said I wanted to be a doctor; I was particularly interested in heart surgery.”
But in 8th grade she was in the play “Our Town” and her life transformed. “You can imagine the shock when I told my parents I wasn’t going to med school; I was going to go study theater.”
Fortunately, she had the right look for a young star. She was the Rose Parade queen at 17, got her first roles at 20, began a nine-season “One Tree Hill” run the next year and soon was a familiar face on ads and magazine covers.
And now she’s playing a chief of surgery. “My parents are thrilled by this,” she said.
And if Bush, 39, seems way too young to lead surgery? Well, that’s pat of the show’s plot.
The idea, said series creator Katie Mech, was to have a woman “who, through bizarre circumstances, is suddenly thrust into the position of having to step into her father’s shoes.
Better yet, she becomes his boss. When Dr. Rob Griffith (Jason Isaacs) goes into a coma, Dr. Samantha Griffith is put in charge; when he emerges, he must start over as a resident.
The dad, Isaacs said, is thinking: “Good sense will prevail and I’ll end up running the hospital. There will be no drama …. The world will be as it should be.”
But it’s not his show. This is produced by Wech and her former “Jane the Virgin” colleague Jennie Snyder Urman.
Neither is a doctor, but that’s not required, Wech said. “You didn’t have to be a virgin to write ‘Jane the Virgin,’ fortunately.”
Besides, Urman previously created “Emily Owens, M.D.” and says she brings the experience of being “a lifetime hypochondriac.” There are also plenty of doctors on the writing staff, she said.
Even one of the actors has medical experience. Skye Marshall, who plays Dr. Lex Truilie, worked at clinics in the Air Force and then at a Chicago liposuction spot. “We called it the Lippo Hut.”
He also says he brings the experience of having seen all “17,200 episodes” of “Grey’s Anatomy” at least twice. “I love ‘New Ansterdam,’ I love ‘Good Sam,’ … ‘The Good Doctor,’ I love them all …. I’m in my happy place here.”
So is Bush. She’s a strident activist and a founding member of Time’s Up. She sees the story’s central clash as both David-and-Goliath and “a generational shift (from) a patriarchy (to) what might come forward if more women get elected to office, for example.”