The Night Shift

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I absolutely love people who work the night shift in hospitals as they are inevitably a little bit different, more peculiar than “normal”.  My father worked as an ER doctor on the night shift for 30+ years and I frequently got to spend time there for one reason or another. I loved playing in the lounge, getting the scoop on interesting patients and illicitly watching episodes of Doctor Who (scared me to death, which did not please my mother). Night shift people are a breed apart, always a little odd with a delectably twisted sense of humor. This new NBC show captures their spirit very well although there is a bit of unnecessary focus on who’s hooking up with whom and other personal drama, but that’s simply an issue of taste on my part.  I think I’m more interested in the patients, but becoming emotional invested in the characters is also a good thing and exploring their interpersonal relationships is perhaps a necessary component for a well-rounded show.  I first saw Irish actor Eoin Macken as the irrepressible Gawain on BBC’s Merlin and I’m pleased to see he’s playing another ebullient maverick of a character.  Dr. TC Callahan, along with a lot of the other staff, are ex-military and most have served in hot zones overseas. It has altered them in different ways, which adds an extra dimension to the out-of-the-box thinking required for an effective ER and I love anything that reflects well on (and thus supports) the armed services. Although for dramatic purposes the events of what in real life would be spread out over a few weeks are compressed into a single night to comprise an episode, I do like the never-ending stream of truly bizarre stuff that wanders through the doors of this San Antonio hospital. It’s lovely to see Ken Leung, a Lost alumnus, playing Dr. Topher Zia, and hats off to Freddy Rodriguez playing obnoxious bean counting administrator Michael Ragosa. There’s a nice cross-section of people represented by the cast and it didn’t take more than a few episodes for me to know I was really going to enjoy this show. The inevitable drama and ethical dilemmas are beautifully counter-balanced with some inspired humor which I think represents an accurate portrait of what life in an ER is really like. Hopefully this will not devolve into nothing more than a medical flavored soap opera but partway through the second season, I still really like what I see. – BETHANY

For actors’ filmographies, interesting trivia and other details, visit:

TC and Dr. Jordan Alexander (Jill Flint) – believe it or not, ERs are rife with unexpected humor.

          A soldier from a nearby military base shamelessly hitting on Dr. Krista Bell-Hart (Jeananne Goossen).

                         Probably not the smartest move to get out of control in an ER filled with ex-military, like Dr. Drew Alister (Brendan Fehr).

OK, which one of you clowns took my shirt (again)?  Nurse Kenny, who doesn’t seem unhappy with the situation, with Dr. Paul Cummings and Drew.

Dr. Topher Zia (Ken Laung) reminds TC that while it would be satisfying, perpetrating violence on the person of Ragosa won’t solve the immediate problem.

A flashback to TC’s time as a medic which taught him valuable and often unconventional skills.

European royalty in the ER – oh, that old chestnut.

                                         (Found on Pinterest)

Photos courtesy of Sachs/Judah Productions, Sony Pictures Television and NBC.


2 thoughts on “The Night Shift

  1. Really? Then we’d get along famously. In addition to having a dad in the field of medicine, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2001 (right out of college!), so I still spend quite a lot of time in hospitals and ERs. The night shift people are always the most fun.


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