Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Medical Dramas

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join in the fun by picking three movies that fit the week's theme (which the last week of every month is TV shows) and writing a bit about them!

I'm really tired this week, so without further ado, here are my picks for Medical Drama TV Shows

Grey's Anatomy (2005-Present) While it's no longer making headlines the way it did in its first few seasons, the show that made Shonda Rhimes is indeed still on the air, and far better than a show in its thirteenth season should be. The story follows one Meredith Grey, daughter of a legendary surgeon, through her internship, surgical residency, and doctor-hood at the INCREDIBLY UNFORTUNATE Seattle Grace Hospital. I would say it's about Meredith and her group of fellow interns that we meet in the pilot episode, except that.... well, there are only two of them left now, and it was pretty much always Meredith's story, from the very first. Grey's has become highly influential for its patented indie music cues and over-the-top devastating emotional moments, so much so that sometimes the show can feel like a parody of itself if you just catch an episode in reruns. But watch it from the beginning and you'll be surprised at how quickly you get sucked in, because it's SUPER entertaining with a wide variety of characters performed by actors perfectly in sync with them... and each other. And then, watch through tears and splayed fingers as you reach the climaxes of episodes like "Into You Like a Train" and "Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response/Losing My Religion" (the second season finale). It's a soap opera through and through, but (mostly) a damn good one.

A Gifted Man (2011) Patrick Wilson plays a handsome, wealthy, cocky doctor with a handsome, expensive private practice in NYC. One day he randomly runs into his ex-wife, now working at a free clinic in the Bronx, and they share a wonderful evening together. Only when he goes to call her the next day, he finds out that she died two weeks prior. She is now appearing to him as a ghost - or a hallucination - and trying to get him to become a better person by giving of himself to the less fortunate. Filled to the brim with top-notch talent (Jennifer Ehle plays the dead wife, Margo Martindale the put-upon secretary, and ER vet Eriq LaSalle the medical partner; Oscar winner Jonathan Demme directed the pilot), A Gifted Man never quite rose above its premise and only lasted one season. But Wilson made the character's journey interesting to watch, and even though the plots at the free clinic were obviously manipulative, they worked more often than not.

The Knick (2014-2015) Ever wonder what hospitals were like before modern surgical techniques were invented? Turns out, it's probably not so far from what you might think, but also completely different. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen, The Knick isn't quite like anything you've seen before, as we follow star surgeon Dr. Thackeray and the denizens of New York's Knickerbocker Hospital in the early 20th century. The attention to period detail is astounding, but it's Cliff Martinez's brilliant, anachronistic, completely electronic score that's the real stand-out.

13 comments:

  1. I have not watched any of these. For some reason, I never got into Grey's Anatomy. It seemed to have some big backstage crap with Katherine Heigl and McDreamy. I have to say I always liked Sandra Oh. The next 2 actually sound quite good. I don't know what channel they were on and have forgotten by watching the clips here already..Brain is going. I remember more The Knick but, to be honest, the title sucked and I just didn't watch it due to the title...pretty sad actually. I think that one was on a regular channel I can get.

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    1. Yes, sometimes the backstage drama did threaten to overshadow the quality of Grey's Anatomy. The Knick was on Cinemax, I think, so not many people got to see it. But it's totally worth seeking out and watching.

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  2. I've heard of all of these shows but never watched any of them. I do remember lol'ing at a Grey's commercial that showed a shooter in the hospital because it looked so over the top.

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    1. OMG THAT EPISODE IS SO SAD. A bit over the top, yes, but STUNNINGLY well done.

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    1. It's a better premise than a show, but it's definitely not bad.

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  4. I've wanted to see The Knick SO bad but I don't have Cinemax. LOVE Clive Owen so someday I'll track it down. A Gifted Man came and went before I ever had a chance to give it a look. I know so many people who loved Grey's Anatomy but I always found it meh. Patrick Dempsey grew up very well though.

    Love most medical shows so with so many choices I simply picked three favs.

    St. Elsewhere (1982-1988)-Set in Boston’s financially strapped St. Eligius Hospital (the St. Elsewhere of the title so called due to its less than exalted place in the city residents hearts despite it being a teaching hospital), headed by Drs. Donald Westphall, Daniel Auschlander and autocratic Mark Craig (Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd and William Daniels respectively). The series follows the overlapping lives of many incoming residents, doctors and patients and their families, including something of a first for serial TV Westphall’s autistic son Tommy (Chad Allen). Critically acclaimed series that though never a big ratings success managed to run for six seasons as a prestige show for the network. This served as the launching pad for many stars including series regulars Denzel Washington, Alfre Woodard, Mark Harmon and Helen Hunt. Laced with an absurdist edge the show could be hysterically funny and also crushingly sad, sometimes within the same episode.

    M*A*S*H (1972-1983)-Long running comedy/drama show based on Robert Altman’s film about life in a Mobil Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War featuring the travails, both funny and sad, of Dr. “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda), Head Nurse Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit)-both of whom stayed throughout the series run-and the various others surgeons & aides-Trapper John, B.J., Henry Blake, Colonel Potter, Radar O’Reilly, Charles Winchester, Frank Burns, the crossdressing Max Klinger and Father Mulcahy who passed through. Beginning as a light hearted comedy this morphed through the years into one of the finest dramedy series in history. What kept it vital aside from excellent writing was the flow of characters during the years allowing for fresh interactions and situations.

    Medical Center (1971-1976)-Dr. Paul Lochner (James Daly-father of performers Tyne & Timothy) is the chief of staff at a large L.A. based hospital. Experienced and capable he is friendly with the young associate professor of surgery Dr. Joe Gannon (Chad Everett) but they often clash over medical procedures for the patients. Lochner favoring tried and true methods while Gannon believes in more experimental methods. Weekly different challenges present themselves to the doctors and nurses, overseen by Head Nurse Eve Wilcox (Audrey Totter).

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    1. DEFINITELY seek out The Knick. It's great, and Clive Owen is sensational in it, as is Andre Holland.

      The only one of your picks I've seen more than one episode of is MASH, which I quite enjoy whenever it comes on. I need to watch some of St. Elsewhere.

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  5. I absolutely love Grey's Anatomy! I would have never thought I would care for some fictional characters so much!

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    1. OMG ME TOO. It's honestly a large part of what keeps me watching.

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  6. Grey's is clearly the fave this week. I used to watch every now and again in the first few seasons. Good stuff, I just never became a regular. I've never heard of your last two picks.

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    1. Definitely seek out The Knick if you can. It's GREAT.

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  7. I want to watch The Knick...but I'm guessing I probably have to cover my eyes for some of the non-modern-medical stuff.

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