Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.
The Pedigree: The show is brought to you by the team behind Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., including creators Michael Brandt and Derek Haas and executive producer Dick Wolf. Michael Waxman (Friday Night Lights) directed the pilot.
The Cast & How You Know Them: The Chicago Med ensemble cast includes Oliver Platt (The Big C), S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order), Nick Gehlfuss (Shameless), Yaya DaCosta (All My Children), Colin Donnell (Arrow), Brian Tee (Jurassic World), Torrey DeVitto (Pretty Little Liars), and Rachel DiPillo (Jane the Virgin).
The Premise: This is exactly what it sounds like — a spinoff of Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., this time set in a hospital. Doctors and nurses try to save lives while dealing with their own personal and interpersonal issues.
What Works: This is a perfectly solid hospital drama, with a very talented cast — I’m especially excited about Oliver Platt and Colin Donnell, and the dynamic between their two characters. I like that the characters are genuinely trying to do good, and that the medical cases in this first episode brought up some interesting ethical issues without seeming pat or moralistic. I also like the concept here of several interconnected shows, and I’m the kind of politics fangirl who got really excited about Rahm Emanuel’s cameo.
What Doesn’t: There’s not a lot wrong with this, but it’s certainly not doing anything groundbreaking so far, and it doesn’t really seem to intend to do so. Which is fine! Or not! Depending on what you like! The characters are drawn very broadly in this first episode, some little more than clichés or archetypes, so hopefully they will become more complex and interesting as the show progresses.
Our Favorite Line: “So much easier to run a hospital without doctors.”
You Might Like This if you like hospital dramas, or the other Chicago shows. Or preferably both.
(Photo courtesy of NBC.)