Tuesday, October 2, 2018

REVIEW: 'New Amsterdam' - Max Continues to Keep His Secrets While Iggy and Kapoor Go to Court in 'Rituals'

NBC's New Amsterdam - Episode 1.02 "Rituals"

Max navigates his diagnosis while Dr. Sharpe encourages him to make a plan. Dr. Bloom encourages Reynolds to take a chance. Dr. Kapoor and Iggy work together to help a child.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of NBC's New Amsterdam.

"Rituals" was written by David Schulner and directed by Peter Horton

Does the creative team really think it's a smart idea to keep Max's wife in the dark about his cancer diagnosis? She barely functions as a character at all. She is just a plot device for a complicated personal life for the main character. That's all she is. She doesn't have her own agency. The show just keeps coming up with excuses for Max to delay telling the person he should be the most honest and vulnerable with. Instead, he doesn't want to share anything real with her. He lives in the perpetual fear that he won't be good for her. And yet, him refusing to say how he's feeling is already ruining this marriage. It's beneficial that the show better clarifies what is going on between the two of them this week. However, it doesn't make their story together any more engaging. In fact, it's much more meaningful when Max and Sharpe are on the roof talking about what they are running away from inside the hospital. They both have to step up and face their fears. Sharpe does it and Max doesn't. But he can't keep running away from things. Moreover, the show can't keep positioning him as the champion of patients and doctors if he is unwilling to take his own advice. He seems incredibly reckless and not all that responsible. He continues to avoid the Dean of Medicine's calls. That is bound to explode in some way sooner rather than later. Right now though, it's much more engaging to watch the show just operate as a medical procedural and better develop its cast. The premise is really minor in the grand scheme of things. It's mostly just defining Max. He's the one trying to run things in a new and better way. However, it doesn't seem all that radically different than all of the other medical procedurals airing at the moment. As such, the characters have to really become more engaging to make it an interesting show to watch. In that regard, this hour does improve. It's doing a better job of expanding this world and seeing these doctors be the advocates for their patients. That's much more clear with Iggy and Kapoor's storyline. Sure, it's leading to the melodrama of Kapoor's estranged relationship with his son. But it's also just fascinating to see the show operate under the examination of what medicine is allowed to do under state law. Meanwhile, Reynolds may still have an ego even though he was portrayed in the premiere as the surgeon smart enough to know when not to cut. Now, he's telling his patient to have faith in him even though her fears are what lead to her current medical crisis. She feels very passionate about helping the world. So of course it makes sense that she would be terrified of going into surgery without this ritual being performed. Reynolds accepting that means that he goes through a transformation as well even though it is a little forced.