Why 'Grey's Anatomy' Fans Will Love 'New Amsterdam,' Another Medical Drama That's Not Afraid To Break The Rules
The TV landscape has long been filled with medical dramas, none more enduring than the soon-to-be 15-season long Grey's Anatomy. But while fans will clearly keep coming back to ABC to see the adventures of Meredith and company, it's worthwhile for staunch Grey's fans to check out new medical dramas, too — especially if, as Ellen Pompeo hinted to Entertainment Weekly, the show is heading toward a 2020 end. One such show like Grey's Anatomy that could be a promising replacement? New Amsterdam on NBC.
Airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET, the series tells an original story that also contains many of the elements that make Grey's so special. It follows Dr. Max Goodwin as a new-on-board medical director who joins the hospital wanting to shake things up and actually help people. Gone are the waiting rooms that leave patients unable to seek speedy medical care, out are doctors who prioritize money over people, and it's exactly this fight-the-establishment attitude that will make New Amsterdam so appealing to fans of Grey's.
The Grey's doctors are beloved because they never hesitate to break a rule if it means saving a life. Remember when Izzie cut Denny's LVAD wire to get him to the top of the heart donor list? Or when Bailey went against the wishes of a sick patient all because she knew giving him a dose of HIV would help improve his T-cell count? What about when Meredith risked the integrity of a medical trial to ensure Adele Webber got the real medicine, rather than the placebo? To the Grey Sloan Memorial doctors, rules are just guidelines — and if they get in the way of helping a patient, everyone better look out.
New Amsterdam takes that mentality to the extreme, resulting in a refreshingly uplifting medical drama. Sure, there are patient deaths, a doctor struggling to accept his own cancer diagnosis, and plenty of scary accidents along the way — but the core of the show is about helping people. It's about moving mountains and confronting institutions to stand up for the little guy, which could actually be how got its name. According to Amsterdam's official website, the city is known for making state of the art healthcare a right, not a privilege. A social healthcare system ensures that all Amsterdam citizens have medical care, with everyone helping to pay for coverage countrywide.
The idea in the show seems to be that this American hospital is trying out an Amsterdam approach by being a public healthcare facility, rather than a private one, and serving everyone regardless of illness or financial status. (Or maybe the name is just referring to the fact that, according to the History channel, much of New York used to be called New Amsterdam. But the good-healthcare-for-all mentality fits the show's themes better, so I'm gonna go with that.)
Aside from the doctors who will risk it all to save a life, New Amsterdam has several other Grey's mainstays. There's romantic tension between doctors, seemingly uncrackable cases that get solved just in time, badass female leads, and mood-setting music. (How has Grey's never featured Coldplay's "Fix You"?)
New Amsterdam may be only one episode in, but so far, it looks like a worthy companion show for Grey's Anatomy fanatics. And, if Grey's does go off the air in a few years, fans will need all the decent medical dramas they can get to fill its giant shoes.