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New Amsterdam Review 2018 TV-Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Christopher Cassarino, Stacey Raymond, Ryan Eggold
Review: Being John Amsterdam’s girlfriend would probably feel like a trying business, partly because he is a New York homicide detective, but mostly because he has lived for 366 years, accomplishing enough to acquire a not entirely unwarranted sense of arrogance. To make matters even more troublesome, John has spent all of his exceedingly long life in New York, where, ever since the first days of the pelt trade, presumably, the dating scene has been at once so vigorous and disappointing that he has gone out with more than 600 women, never finding “the one.”
Immortality is the spinning wheel of “New Amsterdam,” a Fox series that begins on Tuesday, but you could just as easily say that it runs on an exaltation of the selective codes of Manhattan bachelorhood. And once you start seeing the show through this lens, it is hard not to experience it as a kind of maddening invitation to grievance. All those singles mixers at Governor Stuyvesant’s, all those iterations of Columbus Avenue, and no one has been compelling enough to fracture John’s heart into a million desperate, needy splinters.
“New Amsterdam” arrives with some anticipation and a tweak of controversy. The premise — a man in New York granted eternal life until he finds enduring love — also supplies the plot for Pete Hamill’s best-selling 2002 novel, “Forever,” a matter that has irritated Mr. Hamill even if it hasn’t driven him to litigation. In the department of intellectual-property violation, though, “New Amsterdam” treads more aggressively on the spirit of writers like Nora Roberts. It is a romantic thriller, the police procedural as fairy tale.
During each hour John solves a crime, and if the first two episodes are any indication, he lands the homicides that turn out to be committed by jealous lovers. Intuiting the guilty — the reasoning isn’t always clear — he experiences brief, murky moments of envy toward those whose reckless depths of feeling he has never shared.
We are asked, essentially, to lend our sympathies because he has never been worked up enough about anyone to want to dig around for a crowbar. This is Hitchcock and Highsmith territory, but the writers here aren’t up to making complex inquiries into the nature of obsessive impulse, they’re simply lionizing it as if to suggest that through violence we might really begin to understand love.
John will get to lead a normal life, which is to say that he will eventually grow old and die, when he meets the one woman the fates have deemed for him. This became his destiny, when, as a young man hundreds of years ago, he saved a Native American girl, who thanked him with a spell that granted a kind of conditional eternity. The series begins with the idea that the woman — his salvation because, apparently, immortality grows boring — is finally emerging in the guise of a young physician.
The filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom has directed the pilot with cool, almost metallic tones, as if trying to conceal the show’s distorted bedrock sentimentality. He can’t. The cinematography is a stylish and sophisticated veneer, though, much like Mr. Coster-Waldau himself, a chilly presence with the look and aura of someone who has steeled himself from wanting too much more.