After seeing a promo for NBC’s new drama, “Nurses,” a friend of mine posted on his Facebook page, “Can we take a moment to ponder that NBC execs thought what we needed in this pandemic season is one more medical drama!”
His point is well taken, as most of us are sick of hearing about anything medical these days. But after the success of the Canadian import, “Transplant,” NBC couldn’t resist going back up north and acquiring another successful Canadian drama to fill a hole in its schedule.
And much like “Transplant,” there isn’t a lot new and groundbreaking about “Nurses.” Yet, somehow, I still found myself getting sucked in a little by its combination of both heartfelt and heartbreaking medical cases.
The nurses of the title are five newcomers at a busy downtown Toronto hospital. Grace (Tiera Skobye) brings solid experience from another hospital, as well as more than a little mystery about why she left her previous job. Ashley (Natasha Calis) is an ambitious professional with a messy personal life. Wolf (Donald MacLean Jr.) is anxious to prove himself but doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to do it. Keon (Jordan Johnson-Hinds) is a former college football star trying to make a difference, and Nazneen (Sandy Sidhu) is a prim and proper know-it-all.
In the premiere, on their first day, the quintet is faced with a tragic act of terrorism as a man drives a vehicle into a crowd of people at a university. Grace impresses while having to make some difficult choices, while Keon becomes a hospital legend for the wrong reasons. Wolf is given an impossible mission, while Ashley complains about being forced to the sidelines with a desk job. And Nazneen is immediately knocked down a peg when she is forced to deal with a concerned family member.
The cases in the premiere are nothing we didn’t see numerous times on “ER,” all the medical drama stereotypes are on full display, and the episode’s biggest medical twist you can see coming right down Broadway. Yet, I still found myself engaged and emotionally affected because of the outstanding cast bringing it all to life. Skobye is fantastic bringing all aspects of Grace to the screen, and Johnson-Hinds instantly grabs your attention with his warm eyes and kind demeanor. And Sidhu does a great job transitioning her character from someone you instantly can’t stand to a person you want to see succeed.
If you can handle another medical drama right now, then you will like “Nurses,” and you may even appreciate the show’s familiarity. But for everyone else, there’s just not enough new and unique to hook you in to watch. As I said, I was engaged, just not enough to watch the next episode.
“Nurses” premieres at 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, on NBC.