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Primetime Picks… 9/1/20

Sep 01 Posted by in Features | Comments

There’s not a lot of new scripted programming on the broadcast networks these days. The Fall season about to begin and many shows are still just starting to get back into production, so it may be a few more months before that changes. However, tonight NBC premieres the exciting new Canadian medical drama Transplant. Dr. Bashir Hamed (Hamza Haq, Quantico) came to Canada as a Syrian refugee along with his 12-year-old sister Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus). Even though he was a skilled trauma surgeon in his own country, he now works as a chef/waiter in a small restaurant. That is, until a truck crashes into the restaurant, and he quickly goes into action to attend to all of the wounded patrons and staff, including Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), the legendary head of the Emergency Department at York Medical Hospital.

While Dr. Bishop is the person who hired Bashir, his attending Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith, 19-2) and her longtime head nurse Claire Malone (Torri Higginson, This Life) question that decision. Now Bashir must start again at the bottom, redoing his residency at this teaching hospital. His new life in Canada is not going to be easy. He faces prejudice due to his Middle Eastern background, doubt in his abilities, and a lack of cooperation from his medical school back home. While Bashir honed his medical skills with limited resources under battle conditions, his rogue methods aren’t exactly condoned by those in charge at the hospital. So he is assigned to work closely with analytical second-year resident Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf, The Disappearance). His other new colleagues include Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson, Mary Kills People), a family man who is doing his pediatric fellowship in the city so he can join his father-in-law’s small-town family practice, and Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa, Polar), an ambitious but reserved surgical resident who isn’t taken seriously by some of the more senior male members of the staff.

While the series’ title may imply that a lot of the medical cases will involve organ transplants, I checked out the first two episodes and there were none. The title “Transplant” actually refers to the fact that Bashir is a transplant from Syria to Canada. In addition to the typical life-and-death ER drama, the series also explores Bashir’s struggles as a foreigner in a new country. This first season originally aired on CTV in Canada to rave reviews, and now makes its way to U.S. audiences. I thoroughly enjoyed what I have seen of the series so far. The first episode wastes no time thrusting the viewer into the action, feeling more like something out of 9-1-1. While tonight’s episode introduces some of the characters, it focuses more on the aftermath of the restaurant crash. It is not until the second episode when Bashir joins the hospital staff that the series becomes more of a straightforward medical drama with interesting cases of the week. I highly recommend checking out tonight’s premiere (or watch it tomorrow on Peacock).

Tonight, I’ll also be watching/recording Dead Pixels, Tell Me a Story, What’s It Worth?, and Extreme Unboxing.