I don't usually watch medical dramas, but my friends Craig and Liz are writers on a new show for CBS called Miami Medical, so Carla and I were able to watch a few episodes in advance. It's a compelling, gory, intense, hour-long drama about a team of trauma facility surgeons in -- you guessed it -- Miami. (It's based on Ryder Trauma at Jackson Memorial Hospital.) After three episodes we are hooked.
Trauma facilities are different than emergency rooms. If you're injured and about to die, you want to be taken to a trauma center, which is staffed by surgeons ready to save your life. Emergency rooms don't have surgeons, they have doctors who evaluate patients and decide whether or not to send them to a surgeon.
When a big accident happens in a city -- a fire, an explosion, a train wreck -- things can get crazy very quickly in a trauma center, and Miami Medical throws you in the middle of the frantic life-or-death atmosphere. I'm not a doctor and I've fortunately never been in a trauma center, but Craig tells me the creators of the show went to great lengths to make sure the procedures, jargon, and equipment are accurate. All the instrumentation is real -- in fact, the consulting surgeon, Dr. Zach Lutsky, has even used the equipment in a few instances to examine cast and crew members.
Daily Kos interviewed the show's co-creator, Jeffrey Lieber, who provided a list of some of the nasty accidents viewers can look forward to in the premiere season: "an alligator attack, a man falling through a ceiling, a gunman in the break room, a man with a pole through his torso, medical care analogized into a common deli sandwich, a loving daughter... who isn't really, a man rolled into the trauma suite with 8,000 dollars strapped to his chest, and an in-hospital stabbing and a 'Do Not Resuscitate' notice tattooed to the middle of someone's chest."
Lana Parrilla (2nd from left in above photo), who was in the weirdly compelling one-season flop Swingtown, is the standout actor in the show.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.