Friday, September 12, 2014
I’m watching…The Knick - Cinemax
I know EVERYONE is watching Outlander (Starz) and since The Knick premiered the same week it kind of fell under the radar. I also think Cinemax didn’t do a very good job promoting it. I didn’t even know what it was about until I actually saw the first episode. From the previews I thought it was about serial killers. I only watched because of my Clive Owen obsession.
Here’s what it’s really about:
The Knick is a television drama series on Cinemax directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen. It looks at the professional and personal lives of Dr. John W. Thackery (played by Owen) and the staff at a fictionalized version of the Knickerbocker Hospital ("the Knick") in New York during the early part of the twentieth century. Source: Wikipedia
I hope more people give it a try. It’s understated as far as premium cable shows go. It is slowly developing the characters and isn’t overflowing with sex, violence or nudity (although it has all of those things).
This is one of the smartest and fascinating shows I’ve seen though. It explores class, race, addiction, women's rights, religion and corruption all against the backdrop of the birth of modern medicine. Electricity is just being invented, there are no antibiotics - most patients don't survive treatment or surgery. Syphilis is sweeping through impoverished communities while hospitals compete for patients to experiment on. Back alley abortions are common.
There is this one brilliant scene where all the various hospital staff wake up and go to work. The wealthy, privileged female head of the hospital's Social Welfare Office, the black surgeon and a young nurse. It just captures everything about class and race without bashing you over the head with it.
The Knick is unflinching in it's portrayal of the reality in 1900 NY but it never panders or tries to force sentimentality on the viewer.
I’m not really a squeamish person but watching some of the procedures/treatments makes me thankful that I wasn’t alive and in need of medical help in those days! If you catch the Post-Op’s after each episode they go into a little more detail about each episode and the history making things that were going on in that era.
Another thing I love about this show is the music. Even though the show takes place in the early twentieth century, the music is very modern/techno. It ads an originality and urgency to every scene.
Check out the galley of clips on Cinemax and an excellent Buzzfeed article about scoring The Knick.
The Knick airs Fridays at 10:00pm on Cinemax