As if 15 seasons worth of “ER” were not enough, NBC has unleashed a new medical drama upon the world, whether we like it or not. Medical dramas such as “Ben Casey” have been around almost as long as television itself. Therefore, it is incredibly difficult to break new ground in this particular genre. Indeed, NBC’s “The Night Shift” does not offer viewers anything new in this tired and dusty format.
It is not the easiest thing in the world to create a completely original show, especially one in a genre that has been done to death over the years. However, the thing that is infuriating about “The Night Shift” is that it does not even try to be original. In fact, it can be argued that the series has more clichés than any other medical drama in history. Of course, everything begins with a staff of doctors and nurses that would look equally at home on the covers of GQ and Cosmopolitan. I am not sure why these people chose to get into the medical field when they could have made much more money as professional models. Although, this trend is hardly unique to “The Night Shift.” Have you ever been treated by a doctor who looked like George Clooney or Julianna Margulies? I didn’t think so.
The show focuses on a night shift staff at a hospital. The characters seem to be cardboard cutouts, purchased from a store that specializes in generic medical drama personnel. There is no effort made to develop the characters whatsoever. The lead doctor is T.C. Callahan, played by Eoin Macken. Between surgeries, he likes to drink beer, punch his superiors and take his shirt off every chance he gets. I guess these are the things rebel doctors do, never mind the possible malpractice suits.
The clichés keep right on rolling with the hospital administrator played by Freddy Rodriguez. You see, this guy actually wants to save money more than he wants to save lives. As I said, the originality train left the station long ago as far as “The Night Shift” is concerned. It might be time to permanently put the medical drama genre out to pasture. “The Night Shift” could help make that happen.