Aloha from Hawaii as we begin our journey into the life of Lahela Kameāloha. Of course, it’s not a Hawaii-set show without some gorgeous surfing footage to kick off the series. After Lahela and her dad, Benny, are done with their morning ocean time, it’s off to experience a sixteen year old rite of passage: the driver’s license test.
Lahela is not wasting any time on her sixteenth birthday by immediately heading to the DMV to get that coveted piece of plastic. Yet, during her driving test, real-life tragedy strikes. Our already delightful Lahela isn’t your run-of-the-mill sixteen year old. She’s also a licensed M.D. who races off the driving test course to help a car crash victim regain blood flow in his leg to avoid an amputation.
Obviously, Lahela (nicknamed Doogie by fellow doctors at the hospital who grew up on the original NPH-led show) is a lot to take in. A teenager practicing medicine full-time is a marvelous thing to behold, leading to many an eloquent verbalized takedown of those who question her merits as a medical professional. She knows what she’s doing and she’s proud of her work.
Luckily, one patient is on her side one hundred percent. Lahela has become close with him, always stopping by to make sure he’s doing well even with his heart failure issues. After Dr. Lee blindsides her with the possibility of a heart transplant, she goes to the Chief to argue that her treatment plan should be enacted. The Chief of Medicine, however, is her mom. Dr. Clara Hannon agrees with Dr. Lee’s transplant proposition, throwing Dr. Kameāloha into a stressful fit of anger. She can never just keep her work life at the hospital, since her mom is the boss. The anger follows her back home.
It quickly heightens as Clara forbids an extension of Lahela’s curfew to attend the school dance (If she graduated…how can she still attend the dance?) with her date Walter (who I found out was born two days after me in real life and is hotter and more successful than I’ll ever be…fun!). You can feel the tension at the dinner table as the boss & mom dynamics meld into one. Clara is, of course, worried that their relationship will never be able to become normal again.
Lahela heads to the dance with Walter, but rushes to the hospital before their first kiss when she finds out her beloved patient has passed away. It’s her first patient death and it hurts even worse knowing they were so close. Clara arrives to console Lahela the moment she hears the news, being able to be both a comforting fellow medical professional and loving mother all at once.
Clara is, once again, worried that Lahela won’t be able to recover from the death, even though their own relationship has been mended. Yet, when she sees Lahela kiss Walter on the beach and begin to laugh again, she is confident in her daughter’s abilities to remain a successful professional and a confident teen all at once. Doogie’s got this.
Lab Work Write-Up:
- Walter’s body is so ripped that I’ve decided to use a melon baller to scoop abs into my torso. That’s how it’s done, right?
- If the Walt Disney World Resort doesn’t open a Shaved Ice/Flower truck like Benny’s, I will sue. I don’t know who I’ll sue or on what grounds, but gosh darn it I am suing!
- The cut to the “Getcha Head in the Game” TikTok had me uncontrollably laughing for a solid 45 minutes after the episode’s end. I’m not apologizing.
Marshal Knight is a writer based in Orlando, FL. He is the co-owner of the pop culture blog UMSURE.com and the full owner of a Rosie O’Donnell Barbie. He’d like to thank Sandra Oh.