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Code Black - Pilot - Advance Preview



Premiering September 30th, Code Black is a medical drama set in the busiest and most notorious ER in the nation where the extraordinary staff struggle in the face of a broken system to protect their ideas and the patients who need them the most.

Code Black wastes no time pitting the four residents we'll be following weekly into the hectic surroundings of the hospital. The show does fail to properly introduce each of these characters before they dive into a case, but as the episode progresses you'll slowly start to learn a bit about who they are and why they decided to become doctors. The stories of these individuals are touching and sweet and as the episode progressed I started to warm to each of them. A show needs to have likable characters for me to enjoy it and that's exactly what Code Black had.

Marcia Gay Harden leads the glorious ensemble and what a fantastic job she does within the pilot. She plays Dr Leanne Rorish, who's a fierce character and whose sole goal is to save lives even if that means breaking hospital policy. She's a risk taker but is the best of the best and is renowned for successfully performing high-risk procedures in Center Stage, the trauma area reserved for the most critical cases.

Like every great doctor they have a history and Leanne is no different. You'll find out why she's so devoted to saving lives and why she doesn't get attached to patients. The reason is devastating, but makes Leanne more likable than she appears. Marcia Gay Harden was excellent throughout; she showed the raw emotion of the lifeless Leanne as she struggles to connect with patients or her co-workers whilst also portraying the emotion well when she did.

Luis Guzman plays Nurse Jesse Sallander. Luiz is known for his comedic roles in films and whilst this show is more serious he doesn't differ in his role as Jesse from films. Jesse has a strong sense of humor and it helps at times make situations less intense and more enjoyable, but sometimes it makes things less dramatic than they should be. However, his character is easy to like and in a hectic medical drama you need a character that still possesses an urgency to help patients whilst making you smile in the process.

We also have the four residents; they each come with their own distinctive personalities - strangely similar to Grey's Anatomy. Mario (Ben Hollingsworth) is a rude, sarcastic and uncaring resident who pays little attention to detail. Christa (Bonnie Somerville) is someone who cares deeply for her patients but doubts her own abilities even though she's brilliant. She's the Meredith Grey of Code Black. Malaya (Melanie Kannokada) is a know it all resident who earns the highest respect from everyone including her fellow residents. She is easily the shows most likable resident; I found her charming and someone who, I'm sure, will be the moral support for the group. Finally, we have Angus (Harry M. Ford) who is a struggling resident who knows very little about anything. Who I should add, is trying to live up to his family name.

Rounding out the cast we have Neal Hudson (Raza Jaffrey) & Mark Taylor (Kevin Dunn). Kevin's role is limited to head of the hospital and I worry that it will be a waste casting such a talented actor for a small, occasional appearance role. Raza, unlike Kevin, plays a big role in the pilot; he's the opposite of Leanne and one of the head practitioners. Neil is someone who follows the rules and is angered by Leanne because she's reckless. During the pilot, Neil and Leanne's professional relationship gets put to the test. They have a history, and you'll see bits of that history come out throughout as they work together.

Code Black offers many medical cases in its pilot, but these weren't too original or anything surprising. They felt like typical medical situations - a baby giving birth in an ambulance for example. They were well executed and looked authentic - so I applaud the creators for that - but the shows cases didn't stand out enough in comparison to other medical dramas. It's not that the cases were bad, because they weren't; I just wanted them to be little more unique.

The characters have interesting backstories and I can definitely see a lot of development happening with them; I just worry that what we'll be seeing on Code Black weekly will just be things that have happened on other shows. Sure, it's a different cast and the pacing of the show is quicker - so elements will be different - but I have to wonder if the basic ideas for the cases will just be things we've seen on other shows such as E.R or Grey's Anatomy. I can't predict what they'll do in future episodes, so the show might surprise me. Only time will tell. Still, I urge you to check this one out.

Summary
It’s an intense and fast-paced medical drama that is sure to keep you entertained. However, so many things were happening at once that I found it a little hard to get to know the characters and to digest everything that was happening - that's not necessarily a bad thing. The show also didn't stand out enough from other medical shows as much as I would've liked; it looked more authentic and was faster paced compared to slower medical dramas, but I felt a sense of 'been there, done that to it.' The cast though led by Marcia Gay Harden were fantastic with Luis Guzm├ín’s character standing out the most because of his comedic personality. Overall, it was a captivating and fast paced pilot, with superb acting. That, if becomes more unique, could be the next best medical drama. 8/10

As always, thank you for reading! You can catch the premiere of Code Black September 30th at 10pm on CBS.

About the Author - Robert Fruin
Robert is a sixth form student from the United Kingdom, currently studying Business Studies, IT and Media. Robert is a huge fan of the ended ABC series LOST; he has seen it many times over and has even visited some of the filming locations for it. Robert mainly watches drama series such as Game of Thrones and Person of Interest, but has a soft spot for the comedy The Middle. Some other interests include Cycling, Kayaking and Photography. Robert joined SpoilerTV in 2014 and currently reviews Colony, Game of Silence, Outlander, The Bastard Executioner and Z Nation. He also previews Ash vs Evil Dead, Black Sails, Blunt Talk and Counterpark. You can contact him at robert@spoilertv.com or feel free to connect with him on any of these social media sites.
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