New Amsterdam is the NBC medical drama (similar to Night Shift) which is available on Amazon Prime. It stars Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist) as the brilliant and charming Dr. Goodwin.
Inspired by Dr. Eric Manheimer's memoir Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, the series takes a deep dive into the medical, emotional, and ethical challenges that confront the staff of the fictional New Amsterdam Hospital in New York City.
Through the lens of Goodwin, the new medical director striving to reform the hospital, the show offers a compelling mix of medical cases, character-driven plots, and broader socio-political themes.
New Amsterdam is a show for viewers who enjoy a blend of emotion, medicine, and activism, all served up with a dose of reality that keeps you invested.
What Is New Amsterdam About?
Goodwin happens to be the new medical director at America's oldest public hospital. Right from the get-go it is clear the direction New Amsterdam is going in. It is about bucking the bureaucracy and prioritising patient care over billing. And Dr. Max Goodwin is just the idealistic man for the job.
A character whose only flaw appears to be caring too much, Goodwin announces his arrival by instantly firing the entire cardiac department. And anybody who cares more about money than patients is welcome to join them. The man is on a mission.
Next up is the hiring of 50 new attendings, which of course ruffles the feathers of the residents. He continues to introduce sweeping measures across the hospital, bringing no end of headaches to the board. But it's all done with the notion that they can be better. The hospital can be better. Everyone can be better.
And yes, while this is worthy and the show does a great job of highlighting real-world problems, it's all done in an unrealistic cloud of candyfloss. It is really quite tricky to engage with mostly because it's so hard to believe.
New Amsterdam Official Trailer
Is New Amsterdam Worth Watching?
Ironically enough it is based on the book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer. He is the former medical director at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital and New Amsterdam is based on his life. So quite possibly they have taken some dramatic licence with the tv version.
That said, and despite some of the cringy eye-rolling, overly sentimental moments, there is a point to New Amsterdam. The system is broken but not beyond repair. Each episode focuses largely on one case while the rest of the show progresses.
The series doesn't shy away from tackling big issues like healthcare reform, racial inequality, and ethical dilemmas, making it more than just a standard medical drama.
Situations such as over-medicating children, vulnerable pregnant young women, mental health issues and the misdiagnosing of patients due to lack of time, are all real-world problems faced by people every day. And the show does a very good job of tackling them.
So what really is my problem with it? It has no grit. It has no bite. It's making a point but in the nicest way possible. Imagine if somebody put an Instagram filter on the medical profession and added a moving backing track and you would get New Amsterdam.
How Many Seasons Of New Amsterdam?
In total, there are five seasons and 89 episodes of New Amsterdam. They aired between September 2018 and January 2023.
Season 1 (2018-2019)
The first season introduces the new medical director at New Amsterdam Medical Center. His mission is to reform the hospital and prioritise patient care over profits.
Throughout the season, he initiates various changes that shake up the system but also faces considerable pushback from the bureaucracy.
Max is diagnosed with cancer in this season, and his struggle with the illness serves as a subplot that runs parallel to his efforts to reform the hospital.
Season 2 (2019-2020)
In the second season, Max continues his battle against cancer and starts to explore experimental treatments. His role as a single father comes into focus, especially as he faces the death of his wife.
The other doctors also experience significant life changes: Dr. Helen Sharpe becomes more involved in the hospital after spending time as a TV doctor, Dr. Lauren Bloom struggles with addiction, and Dr. Floyd Reynolds navigates his personal relationships while considering leaving the hospital.
The season expands on the backstories of several characters and continues to tackle social issues through medical cases.
Season 3 (2021)
In the third season of the show, the storyline confronts the COVID-19 pandemic head-on, showcasing the impact of the virus on healthcare workers and the healthcare system as a whole.
The season explores how the pandemic exacerbates existing inequalities in healthcare and how it takes a mental toll on healthcare providers.
Max is still dealing with the aftermath of his cancer and his wife's death, while the other characters face personal and professional challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.
Season 4 (2021-2022)
In the fourth season, the evolving relationship between Max and Helen takes centre stage. As they wrestle with their feelings, Helen considers a future in London, adding another layer of complexity to their relationship.
Meanwhile, the hospital faces a grave threat when an arsonist strikes, causing havoc and endangering lives. Dr. Iggy Frome seeks help from an inmate to profile the unknown criminal.
At the same time, Dr. Lauren Bloom welcomes a new batch of interns to the Emergency Department. Among them is Leyla, who resents the preferential treatment she receives from Dr. Bloom.
Season 5 (2022-2023)
In the fifth and final season, emotional and professional challenges abound for the hospital staff. Max grapples with his breakup from Helen, even as he navigates difficult ethical and personal choices for the hospital.
Dr. Lauren Bloom faces her addiction issues and her complicated relationship with her sister.
The hospital grapples with broader societal issues too, including the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court's overruling of Roe v. Wade, and the ethical dilemma posed by a large donation from a questionable corporate donor.
In the end, Dr. Goodwin announces he is leaving New Amsterdam to join the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
Flashforwards reveal that his daughter Luna will return to New Amsterdam as the hospital’s new medical director years later, signifying a legacy of compassionate care and echoing her father’s iconic question: “How can I help?”
Cast Of New Amsterdam
Ryan Eggold as Dr. Maximus Goodwin, the medical director at New Amsterdam Medical Center
Freema Agyeman as Dr. Helen Sharpe, Head of the Oncology Department
Janet Montgomery as Dr. Lauren Bloom, Head of the Emergency Department
Jocko Sims as Dr. Floyd Reynolds, Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery Division
Tyler Labine as Dr. Iggy Frome,Head of the Psychiatry Department
Anupam Kher as Dr. Vijay Kapoor, former Head of the Neurology Department
Margot Bingham as Evie Garrison, the associate director of the Legal Department
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