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'Royal Pains' review: Royally painless with Henry Winkler and Mary Lynn Rajskub

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Royal Pains continued its cheerful, warm-weather ways last night. Somehow it doesn’t even matter that Mark Feuerstein’s Hank was still deeply resentful at the fact that his dad, Henry Winkler’s Eddie R., left the family when Hank’s mom was dying 20 years ago. Some let-it-go philosophy from little brother Evan (“People can change”), a little twinkle from the eyes of Winkler, and a big check from Eddie repaying the money he owed his sons, and things went swimmingly.

If Winkler was the main attraction as a semi-regular guest, it was guest star Mary Lynn Rajskub who got more camera time this evening. In what I think may be her first post-24 TV-series appearance, Rajskub played the pliant daughter of Christine Ebersole’s Mrs. Newberg. Seeing Rajskub portraying a needy young woman who drove herself to physical and emotional extremes to keep her yoga-teacher boyfriend, I felt a little like I do when I see a member of the cast of The Wire pop up on a network-TV guest-spot — i.e., you had probably the best role of your career, and now you have to do this.

But like Royal Pains itself, I’ll look on the bright side. Rajskub, guesting as Mrs. Newberg’s step-daughter, Blake, may well have taken the job as a pleasant respite from the intense huggermugger of 24. Even when the former Chloe was grimacing in pain (from what Hank ultimately diagnosed as “deep emotional stress” and Divya redefined in layman’s terms as “broken heart syndrome”), Rajskub radiated a bracing energy that fit the rest of the show.

It was nice to see Hank and Jill share a smooch, nicer still to see the Hank Med-Head — the bobble-heads Evan had ordered to promote the brothers’ medical practice — and nicest of all to see Henry Winkler smoking a cigar, bantering breezily with young actors he seemed to enjoy sharing screen-time with. The fact that his sly-dog Eddie R. has now taken up with Mrs. Newberg only added to the amusement to come in future episodes.

What did you think of last night’s Royal Pains?