New Amsterdam S01 Movie Review
New Amsterdam S01 Movie Review Metadata
The hospital landscape has been a fixture on network TV dating back to 1951 when City Hospital premiered on CBS. So, with four hospital dramas currently airing, it only makes sense to add yet another medical series to the mix.
Based on Dr. Eric Manheimer’s book “Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital”, NBC’s newest entry New Amsterdam introduces Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) as the new director at New Amsterdam Hospital. Previously the director at a medical clinic in Chinatown, this is the big break that Goodwin has been waiting for — one so big to him that he accepts the position without discussing the hours and commitment with his wife. Hmm, I smell ensuing drama!
As the fifth director in five years, apparently due to a yet-to-be-seen Dean of Medicine’s desire to control those hired, Goodwin quickly lays out to the hospital staff that under his leadership they will put patients first. His first course of action? Firing the entire cardiac surgical unit. As he tells the staff, “Any department that places billing above care, no matter how much money you make this hospital, you will be fired.” And for extra emphasis, he adds, “Oh and I am serious.”
Unlike Grey’s Anatomy, New Amsterdam is (thankfully) much less soapy, instead balancing staff drama with that of their patients. In the pilot episode, the hospital has to deal with a possible Ebola outbreak and terrorist attack alongside a secret diagnosis for Goodwin. Episode 2 takes staff members into the courtroom (yes, the hospital has it’s own court) to battle a school district that won’t allow a student off his meds.
Rounding out the hospital staff are a generally likable Dr. Laura Bloom (Janet Montgomery), the impulsive ER doctor; Dr. Floyd Pearson, the headstrong cardiac surgeon she is sleeping with who prefers someone of his own race; Dr. Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine), the child psychiatrist head who cares too much; Dr. Hana Sharpe (Freema Agyeman), the English oncologist who prefers to be interviewed on TV than actually speak to a patient; and Dr. Vijay Kapoor (Anupam Kher), a seasoned neurologist.
Eggold carries off the perfect amount of boyish charm but unfortunately is saddled with a series that risks being too hokey to ever be taken serious. Proclamations that “We feel like the system is too big to change, but guess what, we are the system and we need to change” and “Let’s get into trouble. Let’s be doctors again.” lay on a little too schmaltz.
In the two episodes NBC provided for preview, it’s safe to say that New Amsterdam won’t be competing for an Emmy. Still, the patient stories are interesting enough to keep you engaged through each episode even potentially shedding tears near the end of both episodes…that is whether there are tears left to shed after watching it’s lead-in This Is Us.
New Amsterdam airs on Tuesdays at 10pm ET on NBC.