A (Not So) Little Show Called New Amsterdam


Welcome to the ninth day of this shiny new 2019. I’ve decided after 2 serious posts, I wanted to have a little bit of fun. 

 TV shows are returning this week from their holiday hiatus and my favorite this year will return tonight at 10PM: New Amsterdam. Well, maybe. As I finish this post up, many are waiting to see if President Trump’s speech will pre-empt the newest episode. I personally would much rather see the new episode tonight but these events are totally out of my control.

So while we’re all being held in political limbo let me talk about a show that I adore. I’m sure there are many others who do as well.

As per my MO, I’m not going to recap episodes. I am going to highlight what I believe sets New Amsterdam apart from other medical dramas.

Ready? Here. We. Go.

  1. No Limits Mindset

Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) leads a group of maverick doctors aiming to do what is right for the patients of New Amsterdam hospital. They have a no limits mindset when it comes to healthcare and treating patients.

What is a ‘no-limits mindset’? An easy explanation: No boundaries.

A better and a little fun explanation: My grandfather was known to put peanut butter on everything he ate. So you could say he had a no-limits mindset when combining food and peanut butter. He also had a no-limits mindset when it came to making a point by shaking whatever item on his plate served his purpose. It was usually a hot dog. Messy but we always understood his point.

Each episode has a specific no-limits mindset medical story mixed in with ongoing character stories. The doctors of New Amsterdam offer hope to patients that the impossible can become possible.

2. Well-played banter and profound story

Banter is always good – in real life and on TV. And great banter is peppered throughout each episode, sometimes countering emotionally-intense scenes. During a preview for episode 10, Dr. Frome (Tyler Lavine) and Dr. Kapoor (Anupam Kher) are discussing how Kapoor helped pay for a pet’s much-needed surgery. I know everyone is concerned about Max in this episode but pay attention to the discussion between these two doctors. Dr. Frome casually slips in a great play on Dr. Kapoor’s name.

Ten weeks in and we are still learning about character. Much like Max’s illness not every story is complete at the end of an episode. We learned about the conflict between Max and his wife, Georgia in episode 1 but didn’t find out the ‘why’ and basically Max’s journey until Episode 2.

Although someone is going to have to explain to me what is going on with Dr. Bloom (Janet Montgomery), Head of ER . I’m really not sure. At all.  It appears there is a medication involved but I didn’t think Adderall was addictive.

3. Social Media

The show is very active on social media. Yes, I know other TV show are as well but there is the added bonus of “Script to Screen” videos for New Amsterdam. These short videos display the script lines against the actual scene giving us a glimpse of how production becomes reality. One for episode 9 is above.

Much of the cast are on Instagram. Frankly, this is one of the few reasons I came back to Instagram. That and I’m not a huge fan of Twitter. Though I love following the cast and a few of my close friends, Instagram can be a source of frustration. I can’t figure this program out. I tried to in the beginning but now I’m just following along for the ride. I’ll figure it all out at some point or I’ll have to seek out the latest edition of You Know You Can Get This! Let’s Start by Re-learning the Alphabet then Understanding Instagram.

Among all of this I have my own little agenda. A few weeks ago I mentioned a theory in my head: Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation. In the simplest terms, Rogers’ theory explains how people adopt something new. I’ve been pseudo-applying this to New Amsterdam. The first adopters are the innovators, which I would take as the cast and crew of New Amsterdam. Next up, are the early adopters. I would consider that Season one viewers. I wish I knew how to keep the train moving.

May sound a little crazy but this is what I do even as a nurse. Sit. Watch. Observe. And let my crazy little brain do its thing. 

Instead of my usual quote, I will leave you with the scene that explains the ‘why’ of Max’s journey. It’s a link. Enjoy. ETA: There’s more of the why for Max’s journey in episode 10. 🙂

https://www.nbc.com/new-amsterdam/video/new-amsterdam-is-maxs-everest/3805004

Start thinking about empathy – for nurses and writers. And I’ll be back sometime soon. 

Embrace Hope.
Abbi 🙂

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