Grey’s Anatomy. House. Night Shift. Nurse Jackie. Scrubs.
No matter the genre, no matter the streaming platform, people really like medical shows. New Amsterdam rides that hype while filling in the gaps many TV shows leave untouched.
While other shows boast a diverse cast, the diversity doesn’t feel or unnatural. Not only does the show have several black women (all with natural hairstyles) with jobs ranging from head of oncology to part of the legal department, but also has other doctors of color, a hijabi nurse and a gay head of psychiatry. Additionally, the white cast members of the show all look different. Each actor is easily distinguishable from their counterparts, which not only makes the show easier to follow but also more fun to watch.
That’s one of the best parts of the series: the attention to detail in every aspect shows that the set designers, costume designers, make up artists, casting departments, and every other part of making a television show put an incredible amount of thought not only into the characters themselves but also the relationships between them. These include the beautiful synergy between Dr. Vijay Kapoor and Dr. Iggy Frome, the friendship between Dr. Helen Sharpe and the head of the hospital Dr. Alex Goodwin, and the marriage between said Dr. Goodwin and his wife Georgia. Georgia and Alex highlight another part of the show that I loved: their incredibly healthy relationship. While a couple who communicates, respects each other’s boundaries, and works through problems shouldn’t be something I need to praise, it still deserves a shoutout in this review. At the beginning of the show, we see that Georgia has struggled emotionally with her husband’s busy schedule - specifically his running of a Chinatown clinic (his job before being hired at New Amsterdam). Instead of breaking up with her, bullying her into feeling sorry for him, or any other tactic that would all file under “manipulation” at best and “abuse” at worst,” Alex makes an effort to give Georgia whatever she needs in order to feel secure in the relationship. Sometimes it’s space, others it’s moving her into his bed while he sleeps on the couch as she recovers from a problem with the pregnancy. Every move Alex makes in his marriage is calculated to allow Georgia the most comfort possible.
Their chemistry highlights another part of the creators’ attention to detail: the writing. There are a lot of things that separate good dialogue from a great dialogue. These include camera angles, extras and their reactions to the scenes playing out in front of the lighting set design, the whole shebang. Mostly, though, it’s the writing itself that has to be fantastic for anything else to be great. Luckily, New Amsterdam has completely checked that box.
The dialogue feels realistic and natural. It captures each emotion the doctors, nurses, patients, and Dr. Kapoor’s barista friend have.