‘New Amsterdam’: The Show’s Most Interesting Character Is the Hospital Itself

NBC’s New Amsterdam is close to beginning its fourth season TV. The pulse-pounding medical drama may indulge in the genre standard of soap operatic interpersonal problems from time to time, but it’s always endeavored to take a more realistic approach to the day-to-day operations of hospitals, in part because it’s based on true events. That said, the characters are still a major draw for the show, with one unorthodox member of the main cast having become the most interesting part of the whole show.

The New Amsterdam hospital is like a character all on its own

Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin
Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin | Karolina Wojtasik/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

When the setting is a major part of a show or movie, viewers are always going to end up getting attached to the primary location where the action is set. New Amsterdam is one such series, the New Amsterdam hospital being treated in much the same way as the rest of the characters on the show. The actors said as much when talking to E Online about the show when it first aired, Freema Agyeman (who portrays Dr. Hana Sharpe) calling it “a very detailed, well-fleshed out character in the show.”

The hospital grows and changes just like everyone else

Like any character, New Amsterdam also goes through development over the course of the show. When the series first starts, the hospital is decidedly past its prime. Much like the hospital staff inside it, the building no longer seems like the kind of place one would go to be cared for, but to slowly wait for death.

However, once Dr. Goodwin gets involved, he’s able to breathe new life into the environment. By refreshing the doctors and getting everyone on board with his people-over-profit doctoring, he’s able to bring the New Amsterdam back into its former glory. Various episodes also revolved around revamping the facilities of New Amsterdam, literally fixing up the hospital and making it better.

Even the way the show is shot subtly transforms. In the pilot, most of the episode is presented in very muted, washed out tones. As the series goes on, however, there’s a subtle but much more apparent amount of color graded into each scene. This can be said to symbolize Dr. Goodwin’s impact on the people around him and New Amsterdam itself as he slowly brings life back into the down and out medical facility.

Season 4 is set to take the hospital and its staff to new heights

Running for four seasons is already quite an accomplishment, but being a medical drama in 2021 puts New Amsterdam in an interesting position. Having already tackled COVID-19 during the third season, marking a change from season two when the final episode was pulled and replaced at the last minute because of its unfortunate similarities to the real life pandemic. The fourth season, then, begins in much the same place most of us viewers are in; dropped into a world that’s healing, but maybe not quite quick enough.

Details are pretty sparse so far, but there’s certainly a lot to speculate about based on the information released so far. For one thing, there’s the major development in Dr. Goodwin and Dr. Sharpe’s relationship, plus Goodwin reuniting with his infant daughter after a season spent away from her due to the threat of infecting her with the virus. All of this seems to play into the central theme of the season, which appears to be “love heals.”

On the side of the New Amsterdam itself, the new character of Dr. Veronica Fuentes is supposedly going to be involved in “fixing” the hospital over the course of the season. We’re not sure what her plans are now, but it’s certainly an interesting prospect and sure to make things even more exciting.

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