For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Friday, September 12, 2014

I’m watching…The Knick - Cinemax

220px-The_Knick_Promo_Poster

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

20 comments:

  1. I am not watching Outlander, but I've heard of it. And you're right, I hadn't heard of the Knick. (Sounds like basketball -- not sure about that name, even though Knickerbocker is definitely an old-school NY name that dates back to the Dutch settlers, I think.) I normally am all over historical NY stuff, but I'm not sure about this one. Okay, I trust you. I'll try it.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Me either. I read the book and that was enough for me lol

      The NYC scenes are interesting. You MIGHT like it. It's more social commentary than about any one actor hamming it up or the usual cable sex and gore.

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  2. I'm completely addicted to Outlander, and with a bunch more of my go-to shows starting up this fall, I don't really have time to add another show into my rotation, but I'll keep The Knick in mind for the holidays when everything goes on break, and I need a marathon watch.

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    1. There are SO many shows on right now!

      S1 is only 10 episodes - it will be easy to binge watch later ;-)

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  3. Not a series that has made it here yet. I hope it does given the themes of class, addiction and religion etc that you mention.

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    1. I hope you get it soon. I think this is one you might like.

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  4. Not overflowing with sex and nudity?!? God forbid. I DO want to see this one. It sounds so intriguing!

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    1. Don't worry - it's there lol It just places an emphasis on story/character growth more than flash.

      I have a feeling that it's on purpose - to try to change the "Skinamax" label for the network.

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  5. I caught a little of this and yes I am watching it for clive but not as much as Outlander.

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    1. I lurve Clive lol He's really good in this. I'm not watching Outlander….I could barely handle the book lol

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  6. I'd not heard of this one but it definitely sounds worth checking out!

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    1. Critics love it but I think it's flying under the radar with all the other returning/new shows out there. It's not as flashy and easy to promote.

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  7. I haven't heard of this one. I doubt I can handle it though, I'm such a big baby regarding anything in the medical field!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

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  8. You are right... I was all about Outlander. LOL I"m going to have to check this one out now.

    Btw, love the changes and the kitty pic, but miss the puppers pics. I hear that they are demanding equal time or treats... whichever comes first. :)

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  9. I gave up after 2 minutes, I am bad

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  10. I don't have the channel to watch, but it does sound really fascinating! I'm so glad medicine is where it is these days.

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  11. I was just thinking tonight that I wanted to start blogging about shows more. (I'm Outlander-obsessed)
    I've only seen a couple of previews for this one, so I agree that it hasn't been promoted well. Glad you're enjoying!

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  12. This does sound really interesting. Kind of reminds me of "the young doctor's notebook", have you seen it?

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  13. Oh I want to watch this but we don't have Cinemax. I've seen the previews and caught Owen promoting this somewhere. It's so fascinating and the racial discrimination angle is the part that intrigued me.

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  14. Ooh historical drama - sign me up! I do need something to tide me over until all my historical faves - Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge - return. Thanks for the rec!

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