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The Night Shift reviews

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See individual episode analyses of The Night Shift below:


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Bartender of the emergency department

The Night Shift's first season

Kenny in the locker room Night ShiftJuly 2017 – As NBC's summer hospital drama The Night Shift airs its fourth season, it may be instructive to look back at the season that started it all, from summer 2014. That first season revealed the San Antonio-based show to be one of many descendants of the network's classic ER. That means pulse-pounding trauma scenes at a public hospital emergency department (ED), romantic intrigue among the roughly seven physician characters who dominate, and an attractive major nurse character who's not an idiot, along with a few minor nurse characters who actually talk. The major nurse character, Kenny, is a strong African-American man, continuing a recent trend--such characters have appeared on Showtime's Nurse Jackie and short-lived shows like Combat Hospital (ABC/Global) and Miami Medical (CBS). Kenny displays some health knowledge, reports vitals and performs basic procedures. However, he also seems to know and do less than the major nurse characters on ER did. And it seems clear that the Night Shift nurses are there to carry out physician commands, fetch physicians, and convey information to physicians. The actor who plays Kenny, J.R. Lemon, observed in an interview posted on the NBC site in July 2014 that his character is like the "bartender" of the ER, not a physician but a "doctor of the heart," deploying his interpersonal skills to help patients; Lemon also suggested that nurses run the ED, presumably in a logistical sense. But on the actual show, the physicians run the ED in every important way. In addition, consistent with Lemon's implication that his character does not have the kind of technical knowledge physicians do, Kenny never takes the lead on a clinical case. The physicians perform the complex life-saving procedures. In fact, true to the standard Hollywood model, these nurses rarely speak to patients. Kenny's personal skills are usually directed at the physicians, as he encourages the junior physicians, banters with more senior physicians, and helps the hospital administrator improve his online dating profile. Meanwhile, it is the physicians who educate, advocate for, and comfort patients. Please join us in urging show creators Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah to highlight the life-saving roles nurses really play in the ED. more...


You can watch The Night Shift online here.
The show broadcasts on television Thursdays on NBC at 10 pm / 9 pm Central time.

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Leslie Schwartz
Director, NBC Entertainment Publicity

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