How is life in New Amsterdam

"New Amsterdam" on Vox: Hospital series on the rise

In "New Amsterdam", one of the largest and oldest public hospitals in New York City, things go haywire. Especially underneath, since nothing good just wants to happen in this clinic. The situation is so dire that no chief physician can hold out more than a year before throwing in the towel and starting in a more forgiving hospital. After five chief physicians in five years, Dr. Max Goodwin's (Ryan Eggold, "The Blacklist") turn. A man who takes care of the plaster. Just like "New Amsterdam" generally does in the hospital genre.

Quite a few throw all hospital series in one drawer. At first glance it is not that incomprehensible: Whether "Grey's Anatomy", "Royal Pains" or "Emergency Room" - the central cases always follow a certain pattern and their solution, and the end of each episode is always with it celebrates that someone has coitus in the closet. Even more serious series often couldn't get rid of it.

But in recent times it has been proven in many cases that the genre is far from at its creative end. Productions like "The Club of the Red Ribbons" or "The Good Doctor" have taken on different perspectives and delivered a quality that has helped hospital series to regain prestige. "New Amsterdam" now forms a wonderful symbiosis of a classic hospital series and newly gained authenticity - without any annoying romances. All the "Grey's Anatomy" fans who are currently on dry land, as new episodes will not appear on ProSieben until the end of March, will in a certain sense be disappointed if they expected otherwise. "New Amsterdam" didn't want to waste any screen time on trivial affairs and instead wanted to devote itself to a more ambitious statement.

Dr. Max Goodwin comes to a public hospital where the well-being of the people does not seem to come first. Accordingly, in his welcome speech, he first fired the entire cardiac surgery, as he is of the opinion that patients there are most likely to be forced to undergo unnecessary surgery. This increases the productivity rate of the respective surgeon, who earns more money accordingly. In addition, he promises without discussion that no patient will have to wait in a barren waiting room and that healthy food will be served from now on. Goodwin's overriding goal is therefore clear: He wants to break up aging clinic structures and do everything possible to ensure that the patient is well.

However, "New Amsterdam" would not be a good and, above all, not a realistic series if Dr. Goodwin as a kind of Messiah would change everything for the better on the first day. Of course, he comes across enough enemies who still prefer profit to healthy people. The least amount of money can be made with healthy people. That's why the series takes you not only into the emergency rooms and operating rooms of the hospital, but also behind the desks and thoughts of people who want to make the world a little better.

But then there is a certain pinch of extra drama: Max Goodwin has resolved to overturn everything as quickly as possible because he doesn't have too much time for it. He has cancer and with all the work he has to do is not only helping the patient, but also himself, who then has less time to think about the cancer. But although this part in particular sounds just as melodramatic as a season of "Grey's Anatomy", "New Amsterdam" can package this fact in such a way that it is organically woven into the rest of the story. Means that the viewer should not be moved to tears explicitly, but only get an understandable argument for Goodwin's actions.

The main reason that NBC's "New Amsterdam" feels like an authentic hospital series is that it is actually based on real events. Showrunner David Schulner ("Desperate Housewives") worked with Dr. Eric Manheimer worked together. Manheimer is the template for Goodwin and the stories that fill the episodes. As chief physician, he worked for many years at Bellevue Hospital in New York City - the model for the New Amsterdam in the series. It was even allowed to shoot on site, which is a win for the series not only because of the beautiful architecture.

The collaboration between Schulner and Manheimer proves that a series is only good when real memories are combined with the ideas of a director. In this case, the result is a stunning tale about a man and his team whose morality infects the viewer with positive thoughts. Because as much as "New Amsterdam" may shock in certain scenes, it is never forgotten to end an episode with a shade of hope.

The first season of "New Amsterdam" will be shown in double episodes on Vox every week starting today at 8:15 pm.