An utterly realistic look into an overworked, inner-city emergency room.
“Code black” is a medical status at which the influx of patients is so great, staff and resources are not adequate to cope with the situation. An average hospital sees a “code black” situation approximately five times a year; at Los Angeles’ Angel’s Memorial, it happens over 300. Striving to bring order from chaos is skilled but abrasive trauma doctor Leanne Rorish, who also has responsibility for four new first-year residents: middle-aged homemaker-turned-doctor Christa Lorenson, brilliant Malaya Pineda, brash Mario Savetti and insecure, self-doubting Angus Leighton. Helping to manage the residents and the ER is head nurse Jesse Sallander, who serves as Leanne’s “rock” in times of crisis. Also in the mix is top physician Neal Hudson, who clashes with Leanne over her harsh manner with patients.
Based on a 2013 documentary film, Code Black is a harrowingly realistic portrayal of day-to-day operations at a big-city emergency room. The program strives for total realism, and eschews such cliches as trauma doctors having wild sex in linen closets rather than attending to the massive influx of patients. Such unrealistic soap opera elements are happily played down, and the program conveys well the intense, seconds-from-death atmosphere of an ER. The result is that the viewer becomes caught up in events, and feels like he or she is actually there. While the show’s utter realism is what makes it so compelling, viewers should be aware that the program also contains many scenes of graphic, bloody, and often gruesome surgery.
Praised by many critics as the best new show of 2015, Code Black is well worth a look for adults, but its highly realistic content may make it inappropriate for children, teens, and more squeamish viewers.
Code Black premieres Wednesday, September 30th at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS.