Monday, June 22, 2009


**Spoiler Alert** This post reveals information about the first episode of HawethoRNe, please don't read it if you've yet to watch.

Having been out of town last week, I set the DVR to record this new medical-drama on TNT, told from the nurses point of view. My wife and I finally got to sit down and watch the pilot last night.

For the most part the show was enjoyable. Jada Pinkett-Smith is a talented actress, and the supporting cast is equally up to the task. The story lines felt a little forced at times, but maybe the writing will settle in instead of trying to flex all its muscles at once trying to impress viewers enough to come back for episode 2.

There were the inevitable medical TV show flub-ups--several of them just in this episode alone. For example, when CNO Christina Hawthorne jumped in to save the day and inserted an IV on a newborn, she put the catheter in backwards--completely counter flow! And the "large vessel" she found in the baby's scalp to catheterize, well she used a butterfly... That same poor baby was on an adult gurney--good thing they put the side rails up to transport--with holes big enough for the baby to completely slide out.

Or how about the patient that went from a blood glucose level of 225 to a diabetic coma within minutes of receiving a grand total of 6 units of insulin...

I think my biggest gripe with the show had to with the sole male nurse character. It's unfortunate the show's writers saw fit to portray Ray (played by David Julian Hirsh) as a medical school reject. The reason Ray didn't get into medical school? He tanked on his MCAT. I really hate the message this sends about nurses--Ray wasn't smart enough to be a doctor, so he became a nurse. Ugh.

The really annoying thing about it is that the story line called for Ray to be smart enough to recognize a doctor had a made a mistake. Clearly we need for Ray to be ALMOST smart enough to get into medical school to make such a leap, right? Wrong. The story line wouldn't have suffered at all if Ray had just been, say, an intelligent nurse (like hundreds of thousands of nurses in practice today), in fact it would only served to empower nurses.

Some of the characters were over the top, but not unpleasantly so. The newbie nurse who has a colossally bad "first" day was a bit funny. The character of Dr. Marshall was waaaay over the top. I only hope a doctor never speaks to me in the manner she did...that will be quite a day.

Overall, I give the show an A for effort. I'll be back to watch episode 2. It was perfect, and it wasn't the best show I've ever watched, but it worked.

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