With all of my favorite fall shows ending for the season, I’ve been on the lookout for a great new show I could look forward to every week. When I tuned in for the pilot of Night Shift, I found everything I was looking for. Before watching, I’d never heard of creator Gabe Sachs, but he’s quickly become my favorite showrunner. The show airs every Tuesday night on NBC at 10:00.
Let me start by saying I’ve never been a fan of medical dramas, so when I tuned in, I was cautious. I figured I’d give it one episode and see how I liked it. I don’t know what I’d been expecting. Something like E.R. or Grey’s Anatomy, but this show surpasses those. It’s fresh and witty, but there’s a deeply emotional feel to it, too. This show has heart—it reminds me a lot of One Tree Hill in the artistic shots they do, the songs they use and the way they bring all of this around so we get into the character’s minds. There are parts of it that are downright beautiful.
And while we’re talking about characters, Night Shift has some truly great ones. They take a stereotype—like the PTSD suffering soldier and turn it on its head. Not only is TC Callahan (played magnificently by Eion Macken) a former army medic being haunted by battlefield ghosts, he’s a badass doctor with an incredible love and passion for his patients. This guy will risk his medical license, his job and even his life to help someone who needs medical attention. These qualities are more than enough to make us overlook his gambling habit, love for drinking and violent tendencies. Did I mention he’s a hot head? I wouldn’t want to stand in his way. Who doesn’t love a tortured soul? This one is the hunkiest broody guy I’ve seen in a long time.
And then there’s Dr. Jordan Alexander (Jill Flint). She’s responsible for wrangling the…charismatic staff of Night Shift. With a sassy nursing staff, knowledge-thirsty interns, and a pain-in-the-ass boss, she’s definitely got her hands full but she manages them like an expert. Not to mention she has a sweet past with TC and I can’t wait to learn more about them. Their relationship is definitely not over, no matter how hard they try to convince themselves that it is.
About that pain in the ass boss….talk about turning a stereotype on its head. Michael Ragosa (Freddy Rodriguez) is arrogant, stern and seemingly insensitive. He’s all about the bottom dollar and making sure the hospital stays within budget, even if it means turning sick people away. (I kind of see where he’s coming from, but still.) Ten minutes into the pilot, I hated Ragosa’s guts. But by the end of that first episode, the writers had made me feel for him. I literally teared up when his inner struggle was revealed. What happens when a surgeon can’t practice because of failing eyesight? Well, I guess I’d be pretty bitter too. His storyline is made sweeter by the compassionate counselor who takes it upon herself to be there for him. Dr. De La Cruz (Daniella Alonso) is so sweet and is such a good listener, she immediately won my heart. I see a very likeable romance brewing for these two.
Did I mention that this show also has Brendan Fehr? Drew is a war-toughened doctor struggling with his sexuality. Or rather, struggling with being open about his sexuality in a world of macho soldiers. I’ve loved this actor since Roswell and I’m super psyched to see him on TV again. He’s brought such depth and emotion to this role; he deserves an award or something. One of the main reasons I choose series television over movies is because of character development, and Night Shift is delivering that in every single episode. I can only imagine the things they will accomplish this season.
Yes, this is TC pulling a little boy out of a demolished house! He’s an E.R. doc and he does things like this all the time!
Another trademark of Night Shift is its great writing. It takes talented writers to pull off such intense scenes. Some shows focus on having great special effects but let writing fall to the wayside, or vice versa. But Night Shift doesn’t skimp on anything—it delivers in full. It has surgery scenes and wounds that make squeamish little me squirm and cover my eyes and medical cases that make you scratch your head and think. I tuned in for one episode, but I’ve greedily been tuning in every week. Next week’s episode looks really intense, so if you haven’t started watching it already, I recommend you do a quick catch-up and join in. Only 5 episodes have aired so far, so there’s plenty of time for you to catch up. Again, Night Shift airs Tuesday at 10 on NBC. This show is too great to be missed!
I’m giving it five giant stars for great writing, artistic beauty, character development and intriguing plots.
And if you’re not convinced, maybe the official trailer will help you tip the scales.
What do you think of The Night Shift? Are you as hooked as I am? Let me know in the comments section, I love talking about TV!
Jasmine Denton is the author of several books for teens and young adults. Check out her Amazon author page to see if any of her stories are right for you. You can also follow her on twitter.