No actor in prime-time is more unpredictable than Matt Frewer, the star of Doctor, Doctor. Frewer was fitfully funny when encased in makeup as Max Headroom; he was glancingly funny in a thankless role in the theatrical movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. In Doctor, Doctor, however, he’s wildly, ostentatiously funny — if half his lines aren’t improvised, he’s got a beguiling knack for making them sound that way.
Frewer’s Dr. Mike Stratford is a noble nut case, a moral medical crusader in the mold of M*A*S*H‘s Hawkeye Pierce, but without Alan Alda’s sappy side. Beneath his sleepy eyes Mike has little patience with pretension. He tosses off agreeably goofy lines like ”I always thought ESPN was the telepathy network.” But his anarchy has a purpose; to jolt his colleagues out of tired, conventional ways of thinking. In addition to an increasingly strong supporting cast of fellow doctors Mike’s brother (Tony Carreiro) is the best-written gay character on television.
At 9:30, Cheers watchers would do well to switch away from NBC’s grinding Grand and enjoy Doctor, a show more in keeping with Cheers‘ cleverness. B+