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Nurses Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Tiera Skovbye, Natasha Calis, Jordan Johnson-Hinds
When a medical drama starts with a narrator saying “Fun fact about the heart; if you don’t have one, you die,” you know that the show has just thrown its viewers a massive red flag that states “THERE IS NOTHING ORIGINAL HERE.” That line is the first line of Nurses, a Canadian medical series about the backbone of any hospital, but told in a way that pretty much makes it feel like every medical drama that’s been made since ER. Read on for more.
Opening Shot: As a woman packs scrubs and sneakers into a rolling bag, we hear a voice over say, “Fun fact about the heart; if you don’t have one, you die.”
The Gist: A new group of nurses, some coming right out of school and others transferring from other hospitals, are starting at St. Mary’s, a busy hospital in downtown Toronto. And on their first day of work, shortly after being given a sobering introduction by head nurse Sinead O’Rourke (Cathy White), the new nurses are tested by a multiple-casualty incident; someone purposely drove his car into an art college’s courtyard, plowing down a number of students, teachers and bystanders.
Grace Knight (Tiera Skovbye), who had transferred to St. Mary’s from another hospital and doesn’t want to discuss why she left, has the unfortunate assignment of caring for a tricky patient that turns out to be the racist that plowed into the courtyard. She’s determined not to treat him any different, despite him being a general dickhole. One of her fellow newbies, the super-aggressive Ashley Collins (Natasha Calis), starts arguing that she should just let the guy die, but Grace thinks otherwise. Oh, and Grace also has a boyfriend, who seems to be already engaged to someone, whether he wants to be or not.
Super-nice nurse Keon Colby (Jordan Johnson-Hinds) helps a pregnant woman whose baby is coming early; the woman has no support system because her wife left after the couple has trouble conceiving. Goofy nurse Wolf Burke (Donald MacLean, Jr) is determined to find the man whose severed fingers come into the hospital, mainly so he can give the guy his wedding ring back. Finally, Nazneen Khan (Sandy Sidhu) deals with a harrowing situation where a professor who at first presented with just minor injuries strokes out and eventually becomes brain dead; Khan has to ask the man’s doting mother to donate his organs.
Our Take: Nurses is one of the Canadian shows that NBC has imported to fill in schedule gaps due to COVID; it aired earlier this year on Global TV. We’re not sure if the show is going to get better after this pilot, but we’re not going to stick around to find out. Every single medical drama cliché you can think of was stuffed into this first episode, which gave us no insight into any of the characters beyond the broadest strokes.
Yes, this show focuses on the caring nurses that are the lifeblood of any hospital, the ones who do the brunt of the work and who also are who interface with the patients the most. In that regard, it’s refreshing to not see the drama revolving around cocky doctors for once. But it’s not like there aren’t archetypes: Ashley is bummed that she’s busy calling relatives all day instead of being “in the action,” Keon stays with the pregnant lady to the detriment of other patients; Nazneen talks to the professor’s mother about how hard it is to find a man, even though “attracting them is no problem.”
We’ve seen all this stuff a million times, except treated with more subtlety and a bit more character development. When we gave poor initial reviews to current network mainstays New Amsterdam and The Good Doctor, we did so because it seemed that those shows were just repeating the same tired formula we had been seeing for a couple of decades. But those shows at least had a couple of characters that had the potential to get deeper and give the show some dimension if the writers played their cards right. Nurses doesn’t demonstrate that at all, at least not at first, because it feels like it’s just directly cribbing from other shows.
The introductory and final-scene voiceovers that talk about the heart and the other parts of the body as a metaphor for the nurses who hold a hospital together feels like pure Grey’s. The cases the nurses have to deal with, all melodramatic in their own way, is a less-sophisticated formula perfected by ER in 1994 and carried over to Grey’s and other hospital dramas. The glib dialogue feels very Chicago Hope-ian, but cruder, as if all anyone can do to relieve the pressure on them is banter. Everything about Nurses feels like it was pieced together from other medical shows, and it does its main characters a disservice by turning them into immediate cartoons instead of actual humans. And that’s the part that annoys us the most.
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