Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two and a Half Reasons Why I Wouldn't Want Doogie Howser to Be My Physician

As I become more and more aimless, I find myself (a) watching a lot of early 90s television on Hulu and iTunes (b) attracted to shows about overachievers (or really just achievers). I'm not hoping to be inspired by these characters. In fact, right now, I'm quite happy to lead a life full of procrastination and idleness. But I am kind of fascinated by people who, you know, do stuff--I view those peculiar individuals who are motivated to, like, accomplish things with the same mixture of wonder and scientific distance that an anthropologist might have while studying some ancient culture. 

Over the past couple of days, I've been making my way through the first season of Doogie Howser, M.D., a show that I watched every week when I was a kid (even though most of it must have gone over my head). If you aren't familiar with the series, (though, it's hard to believe that that's even possible) it aired from 1989 to 1993 and starred Neil Patrick Harris as a boy genius who graduated from Princeton University at the age of 10 and then went on to become the youngest licensed doctor in the country by the time he was 14. His best friend's name was Vinnie, his love interest was Wanda, and at the end of every episode he'd sit in front of his computer's old timey blue screen and type out his thoughts about the week, all of it culminating in one final sentence that perfectly synthesized everything that was going on at the hospital and in his personal life.

Whenever Doogie was working, someone, often a dopey someone giving off a plumber/New York City cabbie vibe, would say something like, "Hey, yo, how ah youse my doctuh? Youse just a kid." And we were supposed to think that this person was a moron for questioning Doogie's skillz. If I were on an episode of the show, I'd be that moron because there are at least two and a half reasons why I wouldn't want Doogie to be my physician. 

1. He's a competent doctor but often shows an unnerving lack of professionalism. 
He's always wearing kooky ties and a cool, neon 80s geometric pattern is just about the last thing that I want to see when someone's telling me that I have ebola. Worse than that, in one episode, Doogie performs an emergency appendectomy on Wanda. Right after he finishes the procedure, he walks out of the hospital with his father who's been waiting patiently for him. I honestly don't know much about the ins and outs of being a doctor but shouldn't he have checked in with someone before leaving? Doesn't he have some papers to fill out? A debriefing to undergo? This isn't youth soccer, you don't get to just grab your juice box and head off to the family SUV after you've performed major surgery, right?

1.5 Piggy-backing off of reason #1, sooner or later he's going to trip on his shoe laces and I don't want to be on the operating table when it happens.
I get it. Doogie's a kid, he doesn't tie his shoes all the time, and it's very, very adorable. But when you're a kid who also happens to be a prominent surgeon, having that kind of laissez faire attitude about shoe lace maintenance loses, like, 45% of its cuteness and starts to look a lot like the grounds for a malpractice suit/the beginning of one of those elaborate Final Destination/Six Feet Under death sequences. 

2. He'd make up some excuse to touch my boobs.
I'm not saying that I have the most impressive pair or anything, but Doogie's a 16-year-old boy with crazy 16-year-old boy hormones; it would be virtually impossible for him to look at my meager--but still bosomy--bosom objectively. When my boyfriend--who is significantly older than the Doog--isn't just blatantly groping me while we're watching Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, his arm, hand, or lips are "accidentally" grazing my boobs. So it only stands to reason that a 16-year-old, given the opportunity, is going to try to cop a feelski.*

He also knows the kind of authoritative-sounding, medical jargon that could trick some unsuspecting woman into having her boob touched unnecessarily. He'd be like, "Hello, Amber. I'm going to be examining your axial lobe. Oh, and, by the way, that's located on your left nipple."

Even if I'm totally wrong and he were able to completely disassociate his doctoring from his desires, I'd still be paranoid and would end up dying because I didn't let him touch my left nipple lobe or whatever. So in the end, I'd probably just steer clear of Doogie's hospital. 

This being said, I'd have no problem with Neil Patrick Harris being my primary physician, surgeon, gynecologist, etc. Not because he's gay and therefore uninterested in my chest,** but because I trust him. What he lacks in medical know-how, he more than makes up for in his ability to sing "Dream On." I respect that. 

*Doogie's mature enough not to full-on, sexually assault anyone but I don't think he's above the boob graze.

**I have been examined by straight adult male doctors before without incident and despite what the Lifetime Movie Network wants me to believe, a man can treat a woman without molesting her. 


Alison said...

I hated when he gave Wanda a pelvic exam. I'm not a doctor and haven't graduated from Princeton, but I have to question what a pelvic exam has to do with an appendicitis.

And then, there's how it makes such a big deal about it. Yeah, it was a conflict of interest and should have asked someone else to do it. But, dude, you're a doctor. Were you expecting to play with puppies and chase butterflies all day?

Simon said...

Let's not forget that NPH has a tendency to burst into song and dance.

nikki said...

Eh my Ob/Gyn is a straight dude after having only female gynos my whole life. Most comfortable pap smears ever with this guy. Just sayin....

Boonsong said...

I'd be guided by price more than anything else. If he's cheap enough I'd give him a go - but I don't have boob considerations to wrestle with.

Have a nice day, Boonsong.
PS Thanks for leaving a message on my blog recently

Steve G. said...

When my boyfriend--who is significantly older than the Doog--isn't just blatantly groping me while we're watching Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, his arm, hand, or lips are "accidentally" grazing my boobs.

I'm also familiar with this move - I'm classy like that. The key is though, you have to be in a relationship with the person when you decide to do it. Otherwise, it just means you're a creeper. If you're dating, then it's cute.

Megs said...

I'm left with just one question...if he's a surgeon, why was he performing a pelvic exam?

Sadako said...

Megs, I'm wondering that, too. And getting horrible flashbacks to the Hand that Rocks the Cradle, where Claire's all, "Uh, why are you doing a pelvic when it's past the third month" and the doctor's all, "Hey, why not?" but it turns out he's a perv.

Amiee said...

Eww yeah Sadako just remembered that too!
Great post, I loved that show as a kid but had forgotten about his ancient computer wrapup.

Anonymous said...

for some reason, i would also feel comfortable with neil patrick harris playing neil patrick harris from the harold and kumar movies being my doctor. and he does blow off hooker's asses.

i like that in a doctor.

Christina In Wonderland said...

Would irony be reading a post about "Doogie Howser" the day you get out from surgery?

Because if it is, I'm livin' it.

Anyway, I never really got into that show, I guess because I've got such an issue with the whole 16 year old doctor thing. Legally, I don't think it's possible. And I definitely wouldn't think they had the maturity level to handle my ordeal responsibly, in spite of his genius.

So I guess I'm totally with you on this one. :)