Category Archives: TV

Beyond the Scrubs: How St. Elsewhere Set the Standard for TV Dramas

St. Elsewhere, the critically acclaimed medical drama series that aired from 1982 to 1988, boasted an ensemble cast of talented actors, including William Daniels, David Morse, Denzel Washington, and Tim Robbins. In Season 1, viewers were introduced to the doctors, nurses, and staff of the fictional St. Eligius Hospital (derisively called as St Elsewhere) in Boston, and each actor brought their own unique energy and perspective to the show.

William Daniels, who played the tough yet brilliant Chief of Surgery, Dr. Mark Craig, gave a standout performance in Season 1. His strong views and opinions often clash with others, yet his loyalty to his profession steers him clear out of those, and his commitment earns respect from others. But Daniels was not the only one who shone in the show. David Morse, who portrayed Dr. Jack Morrison, and Denzel Washington, who played Dr. Phillip Chandler, brought their own unique talents to the table, creating a dynamic and diverse cast that kept audiences engaged.

Tim Robbins, who played Andrew Reinhardt, who sets off a bomb in a bank and becomes responsible for the death of a woman, makes his mark as the icy and remorseless man. In the making feature of the series, he acknowledged this as a big break and it opened doors in Hollywood.

Howie Mandel, who played Dr. Fiscus, the likable and mischievous resident, added a touch of levity to the often-heavy subject matter of the show. His character’s antics and humorous one-liners provided a much-needed break from the intense medical cases and complex ethical issues that the show tackled.

The making of St. Elsewhere during that time was a fascinating glimpse into the world of television production, with long shots and camera moving from one action to the other, without cuts. The show was groundbreaking in its willingness to tackle difficult and controversial topics, including AIDS, euthanasia, sex-change operation and mental illness. The show also touched upon some uncommon and sensational stuff like a character posing as a patient just to confuse the doctors, a pregnant woman with a gun with intent to kill a doctor etc. The writers and producers worked tirelessly to ensure that the show was both engaging and thought-provoking, which ultimately led to its niche yet very loyal audience.

Overall, Season 1 of St. Elsewhere was a compelling and groundbreaking series that challenged viewers on conventional viewpoint about the world around them. With its talented ensemble cast, powerful performances, and willingness to take on tough subjects, the well crafted show set a new standard for medical dramas and paved the way for the many that followed.

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Previous article on St Elsewhere

Westworld- Movie and TV series

‘Westworld’ first came out as a sci-fi movie, written and directed by Michael Crichton. It is about an amusement park that offers different worlds—Roman, Medieval and the wild west—where in guests participate in the actual action and propel the narrative forward. The guests are pitted against humanoids that are controlled by a team of engineers and story architects. Things go haywire when a malfunction in the code, makes the humanoids go out of the control loop and behave independently and erratically. The most deadly of this behaviour results in killing the guests. The first part of the movie is all about the presentation of the new world and the second part is about how the protagonist (Peter Martin played by Richard Benjamin)escapes the threat ofantagonist (The Gunslinger played by Yul Brynner).

Westworld TV Series created by Jonathan Nolan, is based on Michael Crichton’s movie, but is mounted on a much larger scale and with a complicated story structure and a key story architect played by Anothony Hopkins.

Both are a must-watch for sci-fi fans.

Tail piece:

Yul Brynner’s character is in many ways like a precursor to James Cameron’s ‘The Terminator’

The Patient


  • Someone’s nemesis is a person or thing that is very difficult for them to defeat.
  • (a cause of) punishment or defeat that is deserved and cannot be avoided:

Nemesis and Greek Mythology (Source: Merriam-Webster Dicitionary)

Nemesis was the Greek goddess of vengeance, a deity who doled out rewards for noble acts and punishment for evil ones. The Greeks believed that Nemesis didn't always punish an offender immediately but might wait generations to avenge a crime. In English, nemesis originally referred to someone who brought a just retribution, but nowadays people are more likely to see animosity than justice in the actions of a nemesis.
‘The Patient’ Streaming on Disney Hostar

The Patient is about a psychiatrist and a serial killer, whose interactions form the crux of the TV series, made for Hulu, now streaming on Disney Hotstar. It stars Domhnall Gleeson (Sam Fortner), Steve Carell (Alan Strauss), Laura Niemi (Beth), Andrew Leeds (Ezra), Linda Emond (Candace) and David Alan Grier (Charlie).

Imprisoned, and displaced to an unfamiliar setting, and that too by a compulsive serial killer, who seeks help to curb his homicidal urges, Alan Strauss wonders if he has met his nemesis. Several questions plague him during the course of his captivity including that of his personal life, related to his wife’s recent death and troubled relationship with his son. His struggle seems uphill with imaginary conversations with his dead mentor, and the biggest question hanging in front of him—will he come out of this situation alive? If he cannot, can he hope for some form of redemption?

The TV series is engaging for most part with excellent performances and terrific script. It offers a unique take on therapist-patient relationship, and presents it with as little theatrics as possible. One can debate about the ending, but relationships can never be fully reconciled. This is true even when there is forgiveness and acceptance, as the residue still pours into the future. Life and death are inevitable, and life after death of loved ones, changes forever.

In treatment is another interesting TV series on therapist-patient situations.

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