The Knick is a medical show/ period piece set in 1900 and it is a brutal look into the beginning of modern medicine. Clive Owen plays Doctor John Thackery who has just been assigned as chief of surgery of a small New York hospital after the sudden death of his colleague Doctor Christensen. Thackery is stubborn, cocky and damn good at his job, but he is also a druggie. Within the first episode, we see him using cocaine which was Americans’ go to medicine in the first decade of the 20th century that could cure anything and was accessible at any hospital for medical purposes. Thackery depends on cocaine to successfully carryout surgeries among other things. The administrators want Thackery to appoint a renowned black doctor (Algernon Edwards) from Europe as his assistant and given the time period, it doesn’t go over so well. Dr. Edwards is played by Andre Holland and his character has to endure so much discrimination since he can’t get the respect he deserves from his colleagues and the the patients don’t want a black doctor operating on them, but he is so determined that he won’t leave until he has left his mark in that hospital and gained the respect of all his colleagues.
The Knick
It is fascinating to watch the operation room scenes which play like a horror film and every time a patient is having surgery, you feel the weight and importance of it all. The room is usually surrounded with a huge audience watching the doctors perform surgery as if it was a play and even the characters refer to the room as a theater; the doctors receive a big applause at the end of a successful operation. Clive Owen is phenomenal in this show and there are moments of brilliance in his portrayal of Thackery especially when he is dealing with his addiction. Andre Holland is also great as the doctor that has to overcome everything and standout in this hospital. Medical advances are a big part of the show as these doctors are actually finding solutions to sicknesses that were deemed untreatable and whenever a new medical equipment is introduced to them, you can’t help but appreciate how far we have come in medicine. This show also tackles race, corruption and religion; the later is seen through a nun who performs abortions. Steven Soderbergh directed this show and it looks marvelous and truly takes you back in time to New York in 1900. The Knick has a lot going for it and always keeps you interested and wanting more. (9/10)


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