A new TV season, a new crop of cops and doctors
We love these shows because they teach us about ourselves
It’s network TV fall launch time and you know what that means: Cops and doctors!
Classic programmers love these genres so much, I’m amazed they haven’t yet combined them in a one-hour drama: Cops handle shootings and accidents in the first half; doctors stitch victims and perps back together in the second. Call it Law and Orderly. You’re welcome.
But why are these series so beloved, besides their immediate stakes and open-andshut storylines?
Because, dear reader, they teach us about ourselves. The series that succeed are snapshots of our cultural concerns.
The new hospital drama New Amsterdam (Global, Tuesdays), for example, set in “America’s oldest public hospital,” reassures us that though North America’s medical system is broken, it’s not irreparable.
Its hero, Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold), wants to do Maximum Good (get it?).
He spends his days asking, “How can I help?” and saying things like, “Let’s be doctors again.”
It’s a “Let’s feel bad so we can feel good again” kind of show.
But in case watching doctors and hospitals fight against their own desire to earn a lot of money isn’t dramatic enough for you, Episode 1 also features an Ebola scare and a cancer surprise.
OK now, what are the new cop shows telling us? Well, according to FBI (also on Global, New Amsterdam, starring Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin, reassures us that though North America’s medical system is broken, it’s not irreparable, writes Johanna Schneller. In FBI we learn that cops, even federal ones, really care. Tuesdays), from TV overlord Dick Wolf — he created the Law & Order franchise, as well as the Chicago franchise (Med, Fire, Justice, P.D.) — it’s that cops, even federal ones, really care.
Its hero, Maggie (Missy Peregrym, graduating from Rookie Blue), is an FBI agent in the New York office who sure seems to cry a lot. Nathan Fillion teaches us that it’s never too late to find out what you’re made of.
She says things like, “He’s young and he’s scared — I know how to handle him.”
Unfortunately for viewers who don’t like their dialogue spoon-fed to them, she also says things like, “Isn’t that place the crème de la crème of the white supremacy movement?”
I suppose FBI is also telling us this: Networks are banking that there are still enough viewers who are too tired at the end of their work days for cable/streaming series and want TV comfort food.
Plus, FBI is a really good training ground for actors looking to perfect their “staring intently at computer screen” expressions.
More binge watching at thestar.com/entertainment