For the last few weeks, I feel like I have lived in America’s first public hospital New Amsterdam, albeit a fictitious one in New York. My free time was filled with binge-watching this NBC show with 89 episodes on Netflix India and subsequently on JioCinema almost every day for a total of 74 hours – akin to spending three full days engrossed in its world. Some days, the intrigue even led me to consume more than four episodes! The engrossing plot and relatable characters had me hooked, thanks to the commendable writing. The show’s creator, David Schulner, certainly deserves a standing ovation for a job well done. The show has received mixed reviews but I liked it a lot, I will give it a Ripe on the mangoidiots scale.
I dread visiting hospitals, but when I need to take care of a loved one, I somehow manage to do it. As a result, I avoid watching any of the [American] TV shows or movies about hospitals.
My son loves Hugh Laurie‘s House and I have watched a few episodes with him. But I never wanted to watch more. For unknown reasons, I was drawn to this one, NBC’s New Amsterdam.
Ryan Eggold‘s portrayal of the protagonist is so compelling that you’d believe he was born for the role. The show revolves around the compassionate medical director Dr Max Goodwin, who’s driven by the motto, “How can I help?”. He unhesitatingly takes on the system, procedures, prejudices, and inequalities in healthcare, and breaks them apart to put it together, better. While most of his actions are risky, they somehow manage to work out in this telly universe, with a few failing spectacularly making his character both inspiring and relatable. For the first couple of seasons, it was an absolute delight to watch Bollywood veteran Anupam Kher essay the part of the brilliant neurologist, Dr Vijay Kapoor.
The initial seasons shed light on the deep-seated issues in the American healthcare system, and problems in its private insurance system, to portray the diligent doctors striving to provide optimal care for their patients. The show then deftly transitions into the pandemic era, delineating the heavy toll it exacts on doctors and nurses. It proceeds to expose the greed and profiteering rampant in the system, with the final season bringing closure to each character’s journey. While the last episode was a rollercoaster of emotions, it did feel a bit hasty. Beyond healthcare, ‘New Amsterdam’ skilfully touches upon an array of societal issues plaguing the modern-day United States, such as gun control, vaccine hesitancy, conspiracy theories, divisive politics, the adverse impact of social media, racism, drug abuse, alcoholism, and gender bias. I can’t recall any other fiction tackling such a diverse range of issues with such finesse and openness.