THE NIGHT SHIFT
Bare Naked Ladies “One Week” as promised above – unrelated to the show just… blog title prompted… Listen here.
THE NIGHT SHIFT
NBC ~ Tuesdays at 10 pm
Premiere Date Tuesday, May 27, 2014
It’s so ironic… when a show or film is mediocre to dismal, I can write about it instantly, whereas when I fall ‘truly madly deeply’ for a show, I procrastinate, trying to do it justice and yet not sound SO besotted as to not be taken seriously. I needn’t have worried so much, my ‘procrastinating’ turns out to have been serendipitous timing, as today, FINALLY NBC announced the premiere date for “The Night Shift”.
As per “The Hollywood Reporter”, THE NIGHT SHIFT premieres on NBC on Tuesday, May 27 at 10pm.
At last TV programming seems to be ‘shift’ing gears indeed. With so many reboots, and spinoffs, both from former TV shows as well as from films, it is refreshing, and for this media-lover, a relief to have something NEW to watch, enjoy, and get thoroughly engrossed in. New characters, new scenarios…. At the end of this blog I have added the official NBC show description.
YES, The Night Shift is indeed a medical drama, but to quash any of the already over-debated comparisons to ‘ER’ and/or ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, let me share MY perception of why this new med series is a true ‘life saver’ for TV viewers.
Night Shift is full of richly multi-faceted characters, brought to life by some fabulously gifted actors. There is humor alongside heart wrenching stories as one would expect to see in such a program. There are friendships, failures, success, and foibles, complicated working relationships… there is life. It feels real, not contrived. Actually that is it in a nutshell…it FEELS… and isn’t that the point of any small or big screen production? To make us FEEL?
As I watched the pilot episode, I was pleased to see that each character was presented in a manner that made evident how textured they were, how much more there was to get to know about each one, how relatable they were as people enduring life and its emotions just as we all do. The actors did such beautiful justice to the creation of their characters….the emotional range in some scenes was simply riveting. Keep your eye on Brigid Brannagh's portrayal of her character Althea. Perhaps one of the less flamboyant or entertaining characters, she brings such intense reality to a key scene for her character, that I felt every emotion triggered in her as the reality she faced went bouncing pinball machine like inside her mind and heart.
You see even the prime antagonist, new hospital managing boss Michael Ragosa (Freddy Rodriguez), as facing his own challenges and inner demons. Just as he maddens you in most moments of being cold and mercenary, he also saddens you in his personal moments. Orchestrated so well that I found myself thinking, ‘crap, am I going to have to feel sorry for this guy??’.
The cast is FULL of extraordinary actors, most familiar faces from other media favorites, doing a stellar job at bringing The Night Shift to life.
The lead? You didn’t think I’d skip him did you? I always save the very best for last…. and I DO mean the VERY best.
TC Callahan played by Eoin Macken (perhaps most recognized especially here in the States as Sir Gwaine from Merlin, BBC One) is described on the NBC site as, “An Army doctor who recently returned from Afghanistan and uses unorthodox methods to save lives, Callahan’s brash style does not sit well with his bosses, but he is a brilliant surgeon and a fearless advocate for his patients....But TC has never met a rule he couldn't break or a person he won't fight. If Ragosa wants a war... he'll get one.”
UNlike ER’s Doug Ross (handsome, gifted doctor, but essentially a self absorbed cad), or Grey’s Dr. McDreamy (attractive, gifted surgeon, and a cheater), 'The Night Shift's TC, another dashingly handsome doctor, is clearly BEYOND complex and a handful to deal with but seems oddly not ego driven…confidence and ethic driven, but not from a self glorifying inner space. With ex-girlfriend Jordan Alexander (Jill Flint) as his newly appointed night shift boss, we get to see that TC has caused his own fair share of emotional hurt, but we also see why. The walls and layers and sub-layers of his emotions…as a dedicated, caring, and extremely skilled doctor, as well as someone who gave years in service to his country, saw and experienced unspeakable things that walk with him in every step, more alive with him than if they were mere haunting memories. So much paints the hue in which he sees life, sees those in need of his help, and molds his unwavering determination to help as many as truly (not bureaucratically) possible. The same huge heart – feeling and wise…and practical… is seen being a supportive, trusted friend and confidant, mentor to the ‘first years’, and even doing right by the ex (cue boring paperwork…watch the episode, and you will see what I am referring to).
What brings TC out of the screen and into your heart is fully to the credit of Eoin Macken’s extraordinary acting. There is a scene in which during a mere 6 seconds of NON-verbal, facial expression only acting, Eoin conveys more range and depth of emotion, than most actors do with 10 full pages of dialogue. Actually there are several such scenes, and as you watch the pilot episode you will think, ‘oh this is the scene she was referring to’…and then there will be another…and another… Yes, I have a specific one in mind, but I also mean each and every one of those! (More on other works of his another time)
The Night Shift is fresh, it is engaging, it is entertaining, it is emotional, and it is amusing, all in the right proportions.
OK NBC…. You’ve had some good programming before and you played schedule shuffle, and light promo games with those shows and they vanished. I live here in LA and I expect to see kiosks at bus stops (hey, if Singapore can have them….I’m just saying!), on billboards (up and down Highland, Sunset…the 405.. you get the idea), in magazines… just don’t make it end up on the side of a milk carton. You have a treasure here… cherish it, take good care of it, support it….and bring it to us weekly….for MANY years to come.
I think I’ll go re-watch the pilot episode… Paging Dr. Callahan….. as the Lumineers 'Ho Hey' plays in my head... (watch the episode...and you will see why now this song even in standard radio play makes me smile) (Listen here)
As promised... NBC official show description….
Welcome to the night shift, where the toughest and craziest cases always seem to come through the door. Every shift is a fight between the heroic efforts of saving lives and the hard truths of running an underfunded hospital.