Medical Dramas: Bringing Them Back

March 13 2015 – ROBERT FIUMARA

Long past are the days of impeccable medical television dramas like NBC’s iconic E.R. or Chicago Hope from the 90s. Even recent medical drama shows like Grey’s Anatomy have seen a decrease in viewers in recent years, signaling that medical dramas are a thing of the past. Television shows that are labeled as ‘medical drama’ often leave the medicine out while focusing instead on romance and interpersonal relationships. It seems that even the best medical show out there doesn’t want a lot to do with medicine. Producers and writers are hoping to change that with the addition of a new TV show that hopes to revive medical dramas.

If you’re a fan of British television and medical dramas, channel Sky 1 has a new and exciting show from producer and write, Jed Mercurio. Beginning a thirteen episode run on Tuesdays, the medical drama entitled Critical, concerns itself with the action of medicine and not behind the scenes drama. It has the added bonus of Mercurio himself being an experienced doctor who practiced for three years before entering the television field. The premise of Critical will follow one patient over the course of sixty minutes, while Doctors and Nurses try to save the life of the patient, with the outcome differing on each case.

Critical hopes to pull in viewers who were fans of shows like E.R. because of its grittiness and real-life feel - there was nothing quite like the excitement of seeing a patient rolling in on the crash cart while doctors in bloody medical scrubs tried frantically to save his or her life. To add to the realism of the show, it’s set in a honest-to-goodness trauma center and no expense is spared to recreate the harrowing life or death scenarios that are reenacted. Visual effects and prosthetics are often used while the cast attended a trauma course at a local hospital to ensure the true to life nature of the program. The show intends to be as medically technical and accurate as possible, from the terminology used down to the medical uniforms worn.

Critical is shot in sequence bringing about a tension that is hard to find nowadays. All about the patient’s care and end result, it’s rethinking the possibilities of medical dramas.

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