A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that New Amsterdam is a medical drama about an NYC public hospital under the charge of an unconventional new director (Ryan Eggold). Like other dramas set in hospitals, this show features nonstop medical tension, with patients coming in in all stages of life and death. Sometimes they're bloody and in pain; sometimes they die; sometimes they're diagnosed with diseases but pull through. Surgeries and/or injuries can be graphic and upsetting. Meanwhile, doctors flirt with each other, and sometimes hook up; expect romantic complications and kissing that dissolves into morning-after-in-bed pillow talk.
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What's the story?
Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) is the impish and (of course!) devilishly handsome new medical director of NEW AMSTERDAM public hospital in New York City, and he's inherited a problem: New Amsterdam Hospital is performing way behind rival NY hospitals, so Goodwin intends to clean house and return glory to the once iconic facility. Along for the ride are new cardiac surgery chief Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims), tough but tender ER doctor Lauren Bloom (Janet Montgomery), and quirky head of psychiatry Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine). This drama was inspired by a nonfiction book about New York's Bellevue hospital.
Is it any good?
Briskly plotted and staffed with TV's staple super-hot doctors, this series is watchable but as predictable as any other hospital drama. Patients come in, patients go out. Sometimes they live, rescued from the brink of death by a doctor who makes a diagnosis in the nick of time. Sometimes they die and doctors have to break the news to grieving families. In between, doctors flirt and feud, follow gurneys into operating rooms, and look better in scrubs and white coats than their real-life counterparts. And not one beat in any of these storylines will surprise you.
That's not to say New Amsterdam is a bad example of genus Medical Drama. On the contrary, Eggold is as adorable as a baby deer (who can diagnose your cerebral infarction) and has a fire in his belly, and there's real drama to be wrung from the health (or lack thereof) of the citizens of NYC and the doctors at New Amsterdam. Author Dr. Eric Manheimer proved as much with his 2012 book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, which this series is loosely based on. It's just that you've seen this type of thing before -- many times before. If it's what you like, you might like this.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how accurately New Amsterdam portrays the medical profession. Do you think the bed-hopping and personal problems are overblown for the sake of ratings, or is it rooted in reality?
How does this medical soap compare to others like it on the air, or even those that have come before it, such as ER or Grey's Anatomy? Is it like these shows? How? In what ways is it different? If you like one of these shows, will you like others?
Do the doctors on this show look like doctors you see? Why do people on TV usually look better than people in real life? Do you like that, or would you rather see people who look more realistic?
For kids who love medical drama
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