Real life, real drama
Posted on August 5, 2010
I hate reality television shows. They are not reality (inherently, given the cameras and editing) and they are usually just awful. However, I’ve found one wonderful exception: Boston Med.
It’s on Thursday nights at 10PM and I am hooked. It is shot in three Boston hospitals and it is more dramatic and moving than just about anything else on television and at the movies.
There was a moment in last week’s episode when a pediatric surgeon realizes he has made a mistake in repairing a newborn’s heart that was maybe the best three-second shot I’ve ever seen of pained realization and despair. What he does afterwards, the reaction of the young parents, and the steps to undo his mistake were mesmerizing.
In another episode a transplant transportation team exult at the quality of the heart they are carrying to a 12-year-old girls, all smiles and high fives in the van, but there is a moment when you realize that in their wake there is a grieving family somewhere and one death saves another’s life.
I could do without the digresions into the private lives of the individual doctors and nurses (for the most part anyway), but moments like those described above contain the kind of drama and irony and mix of pain and joy, often irrevocably linked, that novelists and painters strive for and rarely achieve.
My pop recommendation of the week: watch Boston Med and download the episodes you have not yet seen. And don’t call me between 10 and 11 tonight — I’m not answering.