If you’re looking for one of those cliche medical dramas--as if there aren’t enough already--now there's NBC’s Nurses. The show premiered in the United States, with its first episode, “Incoming,” airing on December 7. It follows the path of five new bumbling nurses on their first day on the job at St. Mary’s, which just so happens to be on the day of a van attack against art students.
The show begins with the voiceover line: “Fun fact about the heart: If you don't have one, you die. Take it for granted, well, you're gonna learn that it's as fragile as it is resilient. One mysterious little muscle.” Clearly, it’s meant to be deep.
As victims come in from the terrorist attack, the bustling is both boring and hectic. The male nurses are particularly idiotic. Keon (Jordan Johnson-Hinds) can’t find an easily discoverable fetal heartbeat of the baby of pregnant mom Lydia (Aurora Browne), who is facing a geriatric pregnancy and ends up delivering a month early. Wolf (Donald MacLean Jr) spends the episode carrying around the missing fingers of a man in hopes they find him in time.
Patient Lydia became pregnant after “one Hail Mary IUI, but we didn't survive," referring to her relationship with her female partner. Lydia used intrauterine insemination to save her relationship, only for the lesbian couple to break up. Finding out she was pregnant a month later, she "was sure I would terminate."
The attack perpetrator's identity, Eric Wayne Tippit (Landon Norris), is revealed when he asks nurse Grace (Tiera Skovbye) “how many of you bitches did I get.” He's an extremist motivated by not getting into that art school.
There's still a duty to care for him. Yet Grace is vilified by fellow nurses, particularly Ashley (Natasha Calis), even though Grace didn’t know the man's identity until he regained consciousness. Grace has to remind Ashley that “we need to protect his privacy,” as Ashley suggest telling the victims’ relatives where his room is.
Another nurse, Nazneen (Sandy Sidhu), gets particularly close with Mrs. Richie (Yanna McIntosh), the mother of a victim, a teacher who experienced a brain bleed. It’s on Nazneen to not only comfort the mother, the operating doctor also has her convince the mother to donate her son’s organs, while he is still alive, in order to help his students who are in the hospital. It’s a decision made in a matter of moments, with no moral qualms or discussions about the alternatives of euthanizing a person with a new diagnosis of "no brain activity."
Reviews are in. Decider says “Skip It.” With regards to that opening line, the piece says that “you know that the show has just thrown its viewers a massive red flag that states 'THERE IS NOTHING ORIGINAL HERE,'” as it goes onto to lament the “multitude of clunky lines,” the “melodramatic cases,” one which “feels like it’s just directly cribbing from other shows” and that “Every single medical drama cliché you can think of was stuffed into this first episode, which gave us no insight into any of the characters beyond the broadest strokes.”
The show has 5.7 stars on imdb. One viewer gave it a 9/10, but because the show is “unintentionally hilarious.” There are multiple reviews from real-life nurses who warn it is unrealistic.
NBC acquired both Nurses and Transplant to air after they initially premiered in Canada. Feel free to stick with the latter, the worst thing about it, so far, is how much the Los Angeles Times gushed about the wokeness of the series. Nurses is DOA.