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June 07, 2014

Goldsboro News-Argus - TV Showtime

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2 • June 7 - 13, 2014 • Goldsboro News Argus By Jacqueline Spendlove TV Media M edical series tend to enjoy great popularity in prime time, and the trend shows no sign of fizzling out any time soon. NBC's spent a lot of time on that bandwagon over the years, with shows such as "Trauma," "Scrubs," "St. Else- where" and the wildly suc- cessful "E.R." under its belt. Hoping to keep the doctor love alive, the peacock network re- cently premiered "The Night Shift," a medical drama that follows the lives of the staff who work the graveyard shift at San Antonio Memorial Hos- pital. The series kicked off its eight-episode order May 27, and its newest episode airs Tuesday, June 10, on NBC. According to, one of the show's creators, Jeff Judah, has a friend who works as an ER doctor in Atlanta and is constantly regaling him with stories of the cases he encoun- ters and his fellow doctors who work there. It was these stories that served as the inspi- ration for "The Night Shift." "It gives our show more of a blue-collar feel," says Judah, referring to "people who are often drunk or high, and about the 'adrenaline junkies' who work in the ER on the night shift." Day or night, there's always something going on in a hos- pital, and the never-ending flow of material plays a major role in making the genre so gripping. In an article for "The National," journalist Ben East comments on the realism of portraying life or death every week, since the medical pro- fession is "inherently dramat- ic." "While it's faintly ridiculous for an ongoing cop show in a small town to revolve around murder after murder, people are always being rushed to hospital," he points out. Set in a relatively small mar- ket, San Antonio Memorial's ER is the point of call for 22 counties and often involves getting care to patients via he- licopter. According to Judah, he and fellow show-runner Gabe Sachs wanted to bring that military aspect to the se- ries. Eoin Macken, one of the first actors that landed a role in the ensemble cast, plays one of Judah's aforemen- tioned "adrenaline junkies," T.C. Callahan. T.C. is a brilliant surgeon who has recently re- turned from service in Af- ghanistan and is now finding himself constantly at odds with his superiors. His time spent as an Army doctor has taught him some unorthodox medical practices, which, de- spite their effectiveness, aren't always readily accept- ed by the powers that be. The Irish actor and model (yes, we probably have anoth- er McDreamy on our hands) is well known for his role as the honorable Gwaine in the BBC One series "Merlin." He's also made appearances on "The Tu- dors" and the "EastEnders"- esque Irish soap opera "Fair City." The well-rounded Mack- en has also shown his writing and editing chops with his fea- ture film "Christian Blake" (2008) and directed an hour- long documentary on the Irish fashion industry. Jill Flint plays Dr. Jordan Al- exander, T.C.'s recently pro- moted night shift boss who, just to make things a little more complicated, is also his ex-girlfriend. While both are extremely talented doctors, their work styles don't jive, and that, along with the awkward- ness of their romantic history, causes them to butt heads. Jor- dan has risen to her new posi- tion with the expectation that she can bring some order to the unruly nighttime ER, but T.C.'s fly-by-the-seat-of-his- pants manner clashes with Jordan's strictly regimented way of getting things done. This isn't Flint's first foray into the world of fictional medicine. She played Jill Casey, an administrator at the local hospital and the main charac- ter's on again/off again girl- friend in USA Network's medi- cal drama "Royal Pains," and has had recurring guest roles in "Nurse Jackie." T.C.'s fellow late-night teammates include his best friend Topher (Ken Leung, "Lost"), who helps keep his brash pal from getting into real trouble, and Drew (Bren- dan Fehr, "Roswell"), another former Army medic for whom T.C. acts as a mentor. Rounding out the medical team are surgical residents Paul (Robert Bailey Jr., "The Happening," 2008) and Krista (Jeananne Goossen, "The Vow," 2012), who are new to the ER and are trying to prove themselves, plus Kenny (JR Lemon, "Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas," 2013), a seasoned nurse who keeps the doctors focused and helps maintain or- der. Like T.C., Kenny isn't afraid to break a few rules if it means getting the patients the care they need. While some of our favorite medical dramas are over for the summer, "The Night Shift" is stepping in to fill the void Tuesdays on NBC. Tune in June 10 to see how the docs handle a nighttime hog-hunting ex- cursion gone terribly wrong. 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