Television Review: New Amsterdam, Season 1

New Amsterdam Season 1

Show: New Amsterdam

Company:  NBC

Date: 2018

Plot: Inspired by a real medical director’s experience at the oldest public hospital in America, this emotionally gripping medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin.

You all know I love my superheroes. Magic. Fantasy. Other worlds.

But after staring at the advert for New Amsterdam at a tube stop and realising I needed to use my Amazon Prime account more, I decided to give it a go.

It’s been a long time since I have been invested that much in a show, especially a new one! I think I cried in at least 75% of the episodes, which is awkward considering I watched the majority of it on my commute. There was something so real, so raw about there not always being a happy ending it chokes you up, even if it’s just happening to a minor character only present in that one episode.

On that note, this show probably comes with quite a few trigger warnings. Anything involving ill health and the loss of a loved one – parent; child; adult; newborn – will be sensitive topics when watching this.

According to the synopsis, New Amsterdam is based on a true story. I don’t know how accurate it is, how much is blurring the lines between fiction and reality. But I hope it is a lot just because one man shouldn’t have to go through what Max Goodwin does.

After landing his dream job as Medical Director of New Amsterdam, Max discovers he has cancer. With his first child on the way and a life ambition to complete, it’s a race against the clock. Charismatic and charming, Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) wins over his colleagues with one simple message: how can he help? Patients should come first, and if a crazy idea has the potential to help, then go for it and don’t look back.

The characters are all so complex in their personalities and relationships that I don’t have space to mention it all here. Dr Sharpe; rediscovering her love for medicine, and determined to save Max’s life, no matter what. Dr Reynolds; his life plan and realising love doesn’t play by the rules. Dr Bloom; an ED doctor struggling to deal with the pressure. Dr Frome; a psychiatrist who finds a way to break through the toughest of cases. Dr Kapoor; struggling to see the good in his son and wanting to rebuild a fractured relationship.

It’s not just the doctors, but the support staff, partners and love interests that make this show. It’s diverse: ethnicity, sexuality and stereotypes are all addressed head-on, making for complex and gripping plotlines.

As mentioned, this is an emotional show. It works; it doesn’t shy away from the difficult cases, doesn’t make it seem there is always a happy ending when reality is very different. This is a spoiler free review, but I will mention that I’ve never sat there in utter shock the way I did for the last five minutes of this one. I’d call it a twist but I’m not sure it does it justice.

If you’re looking for a new show to get stuck into, and don’t mind being emotional, I can’t recommend this one enough!


A Rambling Reviewer

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