Friday, August 8, 2014

Try It Out: The Knick

Cinemax's The Knick first caught our eye at TCA last month, mostly for two reasons: first, it's a medical drama in 1900 New York (a fantastically intriguing setting), and second, twenty episodes are in the pipeline (a second season has already been picked up), so there's no worries of getting attached too quickly only for it to be cancelled.
Mary Cybulski/HBO
We covered the basic background, plot, and characters before, so let's look at some specific points that really drive home why the series will be worth trying.

Steven Soderbergh managed to make time to direct all ten episodes of the first season, and is planning to do the next ten as well. He felt this series was a fit for Cinemax because he "wanted to be the big kid at a small school," and take advantage of working in a small group - "it was efficient and it was fun" to work with just HBO executive Kary Antholis on the project. Antholis noted that David Fincher has apparently described The Knick as "Paddy Chayefsky's hospital as directed by Jack the Ripper," if that's any indication of the type of program you'll experience beginning tonight.

When you watch the pilot, here are some fun things to be on the lookout for:
- The look of the show. "The sets were designed to be lit practically by the kinds of instruments that existed during [the turn of the century]" (Soderbergh), so be sure to notice the dim lighting. (like that seen in the above image)
- The medicine. Co-creators and writers Michael Begler and Jack Amiel spend "four or five months just reading before [they] ever started writing or outlining" in order to be immersed in the time period and archival material. Even star Clive Owen noted that "it was clear that [Begler and Amiel] had done a phenomenal amount of research."
- The relationship between Doctors Edwards and Thackery. Actor and Executive Producer Andre Holland finds that it "gets worse and it gets better and it gets worse, and it's ongoing," and the adversarial nature begins immediately.

Watch The Knick on Fridays, starting tonight, August 8th, at 10pm ET/PT on Cinemax. Cinemax is found on 515/615 on DirecTV, 310/311 on DISH, 420/421 on FiOS, 832/1832 on U-Verse, and other on carriers.
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