Disney+ series 'Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.' puts a modern spin on beloved medical drama

The series embraces everything fans loved about the original drama while bringing the heart of the Hawaiian culture to the screen.

OTRC logo
Friday, September 3, 2021
'Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.' puts modern spin on beloved medical series
The cast and creator of "Doogie Kamealoha, M.D." talk to On The Red Carpet about their new Disney+ show.

Inspired by the hit '90s medical series "Doogie Howser, M.D.," the new Disney+ show "Doogie Kamealoha, M.D." introduces audiences to a new prodigy. Set in modern-day Hawaii, 16-year-old Lahela, played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee, juggles her budding medical career and life as a teenager throughout the heartfelt, and at times hilarious, series.

"Having a female at the center of the show is sort of as modern as it gets," Lee told On The Red Carpet. "She has these Meredith-Grey-brilliant-doctor aspects to her and then she's also a teenager."

"It's sort of a bunch of shows all in one," said creator Kourtney Kang, whose credits also include producing and writing hit sicoms "Fresh Off the Boat" and "How I Met Your Mother."

"You have a medical procedural element, it's a family show, there's sort of YA romance. There's all these different ingredients," Kang continued.

One ingredient that was important to Kang and the cast was authentically representing a mixed-race family onscreen.

"Being able to portray a biracial girl is very exciting for me. And my experience growing up in a mixed-race household really lends itself well to the show," Lee said.

Kang even infuses her own experiences on the show, as she was born in Hawaii and raised in a Philadelphia suburb by her Irish mom and Korean dad.

"I never really saw shows with families like mine and I've always wanted to make a show that reflected my upbringing and what our family is like," Kang said.

RELATED | On The Red Carpet fall preview: What to watch this September

The show embraces everything fans loved about the original series while bringing the heart of the Hawaiian culture to the screen.

"They really did such a wonderful job of bringing, not only the environment, but also just the soul to the show of what Hawaii is about -- which is love and hospitality and warmth and family," actress Mapuana Makia, who plays Noelani, said.

The series also stars Kathleen Rose Perkins, Jason Scott Lee, Matthew Sato, Wes Tian, Emma Meisel and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman.

"Doogie Kamealoha, M.D." premieres Wednesday, Sept. 8 on Disney+.

RELATED | 'Happier Than Ever': Directors give inside look at Billie Eilish's concert film on Disney+

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of this station.