Show: New Amsterdam
Plot: From executive producers David Schulner and Peter Horton, this unique medical drama follows Dr. Max Goodwin, the new medical director at America’s oldest public hospital, set on tearing down the bureaucracy to provide exceptional care.
Having thoroughly enjoyed season 1 of New Amsterdam, I was eagerly awaiting the second – especially after that cliffhanger! It’s been a long time since I watched a series so quickly: as soon as I found out the first few episodes were up, I immediately started watching and binged the first nine in a couple of days whereas normally I’d wait until the entire series is available.
Of course, it’s now going to be a long wait until May with yet another cliffhanger…
The crash left us with our hearts in a mouths at the end of season 1. Season 2 explores who survived – and the consequences the characters must now deal with.
After fighting cancer and finally able to hold his new daughter, Max has to come to terms with life never being the same again and is unwilling to let anyone in or ask for help. He survives – because he has to, for Luna’s sake. But the fragility that emerged at the height of his treatment is his new reality and the pressures of his job make things harder.
Bloom has to deal with the physical fall-out from the crash rather than the emotional, but it pushes her to her limits, forcing her to consider what it is that keeps her going – and whether that’s going to be enough. In comparison, Helen seems relatively unscathed, both physically and emotionally.
The characters are more developed by the second season and their internal struggles are brought to the forefront more. Vijay and Iggy’s friendship never fails to make me smile, even when they are disagreeing on something. The bond between Helen and Lauren has recovered from it’s previous set-backs and they’ve got each other’s backs. Reynolds has to deal with an absent fiancée but finds ways to make it work.
New Amsterdam is an emotional rollercoaster of a show that definitely needs to come with some trigger warnings. While I didn’t find each episode as emotional as previously – it felt there was more of a focus on the main characters rather than the patients this time – there was one particular episode that I found harrowing and I imagine would be painful to watch for some. But, in a way, that is what this show is about – addressing problems that affect far more people than we care to admit and highlighting where there are problems.
The first episode had a strange pacing as it was told in a series of jumps between present day and flashbacks as the outcome of the crash is gradually revealed. The rest of the episodes are linear, with the majority setting a steady pace as the team race to save someone. Don’t be fooled though; when the tension climbs, it rockets and there is another strong cliffhanger at the mid-season break as well.
I’m normally a superhero or magic sort of girl. To find a show set in reality – and a painful reality – that grips me as strongly as this one does shows how strong it is.