This 8-part documentary about three Boston hospitals is a perfect mix of emotions and story. It’s not exceptionally gory, and I feel like it gives a good perspective on the daily life within a hospital.
In many ways, surprisingly, it shows some similarities between Boston Med and Grey’s Anatomy or ER. One nurse comments, “There are no McDreamies, no McSteamies” in a real hospital. That being said, there are a lot of interrelationships between hospital employees, much akin to some of the earlier seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, though a lot less steamy (at least on screen). It actually made me appreciate that some of the shows I really enjoy are not far off from the truth.
There are some very touching stories, inspirational even, and the miniseries showcases the lengths to which the doctors and nurses remain committed to their patients. A lot of shows focus on the extraneous details surrounding the patients and cases–that’s where the drama is, right? in sexual tension? in competition between doctors?–however, this integrates and synthesizes the cases into stories, following the patient care and how everything is interconnected, the effect on both the doctors and their patients.
And sometimes it doesn’t end perfectly. There aren’t always happy endings. It’s one things to watch a medical drama, to watch suffering and death portrayed on the screen. It’s incredibly moving to know that these aren’t actors. We see a resident deal with confidence and proficiency, a girl hoping for a heart transplant, a double lung transplant, life in the ER, and much more.
Anyway, watch the show. You can watch previous episodes on the show’s website. I’m only partway through the show’s run, and apparently it follows after another documentary mini-series, Hopkins, and I’d like to check it out.