In the case of this series, it is based on Dr. Eric Manheimer’s memoir Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital. Since he’s been the Medical Director of Bellevue Hospital for over 13 years, I can only wonder how much of what is on screen is what happened in real life, what Manheimer WANTED to happen in real life, and how much is just television.
The premise, so far, is, from IMDB,
Dr. Max Goodwin is brilliant, charming — and the new medical director at America’s oldest public hospital. While he’s set on tearing down the bureaucracy to provide exceptional care, the doctors and staff are not so sure. They’ve heard this before, and no one else has delivered on those promises. Not taking no for an answer, Max disrupts the status quo and proves he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded and underappreciated hospital — the only one in the world capable of treating Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers Island and the president of the United States all under one roof — and return it to the glory that put it on the map. Inspired by Bellevue in New York City.
- “Max Goodwin,” aka new guy, played by Blacklist favorite Ryan Eggold (so popular, they gave him his own series for when Blacklist was off the air, a bribe, I suspect, to keep him on the show a little longer). Eggold is a talented and solid actor, and I would like him to have even more of a career than he has already. He carries off the role of “eager new guy” in a way that isn’t obnoxious or cliche. It’s strangely refreshing. Heck, the character of Goodwin is so well written, even in the first episode they hit him with a moment where, nope, Goodwin isn’t perfect either, and the character bounces right back with “I’m wrong, so what can I do for you and the patient?”
- “Dr. Helen Sharpe” is played by Freema Agyeman, of Doctor Who fame. Yes, she’s playing yet another doctor. The fun thing with this character is that Sharpe is the chief oncologist who has spent the better part of the last few years trying to be Doctor Phil. Basically, she’s a media doctor who has spent so long away from actual patients, she has to be retrained to interact with real people.
- Kapoor / Fromme — These are two doctors, but they’ve been so intertwined, they’re fairly inseparable. Thus far, they each have a fairly solid subplot in neuro / psychology. The most interesting thing here is that every issue brought up are real issues, and solved in a realistic manner. I know this because I know a lot of people with problems both neural and psychological. Issues span from over-prescription of psychoactive medications to simple and straightforward “Yeah, foster care is messed up.”