"The Knick" Method and Madness (TV Episode 2014) Poster

(TV Series)


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The New Refined Age of Medicine...Not So Refined Thanks To Human Nature
AudioFileZ5 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The Knick is a story about people behaving badly, for the most part. Some are narcissistic in that they believe they're operating on a higher plane in which whatever they desire is justified. Some are bottom-feeding criminal types who have thrown away acceptable morals as justification to get what they can because it's a "dog eat dog" world. And some are really good people who have to use a little bad to actually get to good. Well, it's complicated no doubt.

You may think this is a medical show. It's a medical show like General Hospital was, and remains, a medical show. Not a medical show per 'se, it's a drama about the doctors, patients, administrators, all manor of unsavory types, and public servants who intersect in and around the Knickerbocker Hospital. If things are not really wonderful today, the years surrounding the turn-of-the-century is a worse time - corruption the norm and bigotry accepted and encouraged. All this, plus the medical sciences are still pretty arcane in many ways such as the life expectancy is not yet made it to an average of 50-years.

I do not pretend to be a "deep" reviewer as I've only watched the pilot episode. I do like what I see. The show is a gorgeous time capsule allowing the viewer to glimpse into a late 1800's world with tremendous accuracy and lush cinematography. Each scene is as if it took the better part of a year to craft into a seamless view of a time well past. Oh, the props and the costumes! They're great. Clive Owen is, more or less, spot-on as the plenty mysterious doctor you love to hate. In his role here every crease of his face is as if perfect in bringing this character to fruition. I think we have a possible series for those of us who will miss that recent other great period drama "Boardwalk Empire". An excellent start.
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The Soderbergh experience
vegfemnat29 May 2017
Neither the trailer nor the plot line had interested me too much but all that changed when I found out Steven Soderbergh has been directing. Being a Soderbergh enthusiast and with some free time in my hand, I convinced myself to try it out, even though I was a little apprehensive (even Soderbergh have had his dull moments). Five minutes into the first episode and the Soderbergh signature is unmissable.

The Cliff Martinez soundtrack comes in as the doctor protagonist shoots cocaine in a horse carriage on his way to the hospital and all that Traffic, Contagion sense memory comes back. Nothing more exciting than a dark gripping Soderbergh thriller. He is just such an exciting director, he can go into any familiar territory and make something extremely unconventional. The hand-held camera aesthetic when most period pieces are shot steady, the Cliff Martinez psytrance score in place of classical music, the camera angles, the acting, the blocking everything just builds up the most gripping television experience I have seen in some time.

Everything is just so nuanced; the dialogues are realistic, the characters believable. None of that over the top witty exchanges between characters that pretends to be more intelligent than it actually is. The gore is not overdone and perfectly builds up the tension. Corrupt civic institutions, the hypocritical church, sickly immigrants, racism while at the same time the progressive social workers and the men dedicated to furthering science, perfectly paints the picture of a city that is grappling with its troubles but there is hope in the future.
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