Television: Reality is a headache

By Lin Ferguson

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Lin Ferguson Photo/File
Lin Ferguson Photo/File

It's billed as high drama but strays into a fast furious documentary style medical programme.

Code Black is set in an overcrowded, small, shabby, A & E department in Angels' Emergency Hospital, Los Angeles.

It's like watching a jittery race (Wednesday, TV One) as anxious staff try to keep their treatments rapid and their patients calm.

However, it doesn't win on either front with the screen constantly moving with shots of doctors, nurses, and equipment.

It is a sea of flailing, yelling and sobbing patients and a contingent of doctors, nurses and receptionists who look as though they're all on steroids.

A time and motion study script keeping up with the many and varied short cases all happening at once. Yet another example of American TV ensuring your concentration must be on full alert then you can be thoroughly entertained.

It was so fast moving my eyes watered and the dialogue streamed with platitudes that made me wonder if perhaps I was watching some sort of evangelical medical programme.

Small snippets of wisdom came thick and fast.

Like the 83-year-old woman with the fractured leg who the dewy-eyed young doctor told she needed surgery but she must be aware of the risks.

The old dear called Dorothy said she'd been in a book club for past 40 years and only she and another woman were still alive and meeting once a month.

She'd just read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged from cover to cover but now wouldn't use it as a door stop.

She said her favourite book would always be The Wizard of Oz .

"In that case Dorothy," said the doctor wielding a large syringe of anaesthetic, "click your heels."

Then there was the chap who had serious spinal injuries from a street casualty where a driver had driven into a crowd of festival goers.

He was there with his girlfriend and he needed urgent surgery but only next of kin could consent.

His wife was contacted and in she came.

Fist she wanted to let the old boy suffer for his adulterous ways by not signing which mean he could be paralysed for life.

However, in the midst of this medical chaos the young doctor managed to sit her down and talk about the worth of every human life.

She of course saw the light and signed the consent form.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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