The Knick: Methods and Madness
August 16, 2014 4:11 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

It's NYC, 1900, the Knickerbocker Hospital. A brilliant but troubled surgeon tries cutting-edge procedures with his mentor by his side. His hospital needs those newfangled electric lights, tragedy awaits him, and the hospital board is eager to introduce an unwanted but similarly brilliant new surgeon to the team.‎
posted by Ik ben afgesneden (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The episode starts with a shot of male feet encased‎ in white shoes, then full frontal of a woman waking Clive Owen, Dr. Thackery. He then proceeds to hail a hanson cab, taking the scenic route so he can shoot up--in between his toes. That last bit is very important, so don't forget it. All the while, really great background music is playing. It reminds me of the original Tron. Retro techno? I don't know. 

Cut to an old school operating theatre with MAX HEADROOM presiding. That's where I got hooked. ‎Matt Frewer brings a certain panache to every role that makes him a joy to watch. Sadly, he shoots himself after the 12th or so patient he experimented upon died. Frewer shows up in Owen's flashbacks and imaginings already so I'm sure it will be on-going but it's just not the same dynamic. 

Since this procedure was on pregnant women, I'm wondering how they counted that. Also, I'm waiting for the show or movie where the woman who is about to go into a labour that's not going well, does or says something different. ‎

I loved the ambulance drivers fighting over the injured and being bribed by hospital administrators to get said bodies. The chain-smoking, none-too-pious nun was delightful. 

Miss Robertson was great in taking charge of the board and strong-arming Thackery. Plus there's a great little dig she gets in at Mr. Bower that completely goes over his head. Bower is exclaiming the physical and financial virtues of the new widow. Robertson's"always surprised by your sensitivity" response and his oblivious "thank you" made me chuckle. 

I don't know Soderbergh's official line but the AV Club calls ‎Thackery racist for not wanting to hire Dr. Edwards but it plays more like indifference. He didn't want to deal with patients afraid of being touched by a black doctor. That shit happens now (and one can request to have only certain doctors and nurses in the year 2014). 

The nurse having to inject the coke into the vein of Thackery's dick was a new one for me. I thought they were going for a vein in the inner thigh. So, awesome. So, the rest of veins were too destroyed and the toes were too small for her. Hence the dick shot. lol

None of it was gruesome or too bloody. But then I also love Banshee. ‎

I'm liking the new Cinemax
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 6:06 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

This was a great pilot episode; well worth watching if you like science, medicine, period detail, solid writing and beautiful filming/editing. The gruesomely realistic surgeries are as nail-biting as anything in Hannibal, and make more sense, and the little details of character set up some great threads.
posted by mediareport at 11:50 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Now streaming on HBO Max.

Alan Sepinwall interviewing Steven Soderbergh:
[L]et’s be clear. This in my mind was very pulpy. It was a doctor melodrama. Doctor shows are one of the oldest and most sturdy TV genres that have ever existed. [...]

It was about everything I’m interested in: process, problem-solving, class, race, power, ego. For me, it checked every single box, and I liked the idea of doing a period show but trying to shake the dust off of what we typically imagine when we think of a show set at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, in terms of its style and its sound, and the pitch of the performances. I really was sort of acting in opposition to the classic, well-mounted period project.
(note light spoilers in this piece for future episodes & the finale)

I am all in although wow, they're not kidding about the surgery gore; this episode really launches right into it.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:17 AM on March 13, 2021

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