New Amsterdam: Golden Boy
(S01E02) Whenever a character in a drama like New Amsterdam has a secret, there is always a character who knows about it. On Smallville, it was Pete and then Chloe, on The Greatest American Hero it was Bill and on this show it's Omar. The difference here is why Omar knows his secret...because he is John's son. That's different. It's really quite brilliant actually, because not only does it explain why Omar knows all about John and his entire history it also explains their relationship. Omar can be bitter and upset with John on a daily basis but they will always be there for each other since they are family. In the TV business, we call this the Simon and Simon principle.
While racism is a pretty easy target for a show to tackle, I was moved by the angle this show took. The writers weren't just portraying John as a great guy who "doesn't see color," they also got to show the difficulty of interracial dating, which hasn't gotten much easier since the '40s, by the way.
From the beginning, I liked this episode better than the first. Not only did the dead body have a more interesting story to tell, but the flashbacks had more life in them too. I wonder how many versions of New York the writers can come up with to use for John's last name? I hope that each episode's flashback will be specific to the episode's plot and not just some excuse to show off their wardrobe budget.
I noticed that one of my favorite TV writers became involved in the show with this episode. Eric Overmyer has written on St. Elsewhere, Homicide and many of my favorite shows of all time. If he stays with New Amsterdam, I can see it becoming a surprise hit.
I understand that many viewers are already tired of the cute references to John's long life. Personally, I don't have a problem with it. The only thing that bothers me is that there is no explanation for his incredible memory. I will concede that by now he's heard a version of every joke ever written but can he really remember them all? Hopefully, we'll eventually see a flashback that shows John taking a memory course.
As for John taking his great grandson to work with him, I don't know where to begin. The idea that a smart detective would take a child to a crime scene is so ludicrous that I really found it insulting. I really hope this was just a case of growing pains and not an example of what's to come in future episodes.
Also, could someone please explain why the school employee who was sleeping with a student is allowed to go back to work while her husband is forced to pack up his things? As a former teacher, I am sick of TV shows that depict the relationship between students and teachers. Yes, when I was a teenager, there were a few teachers who I would have welcomed to the back seat of my car, but as we've all seen, this kind of things ruins the lives of everyone involved. More importantly, the teachers involved are almost always mentally unbalanced, which is a big clue as to who killed the kid, by the way.
Once John found out about the fisherman's daughter, it was clear who the murderer was, so like any good detective, he went and got a confession. It's nice to see that John's not above some trickery to get results.
So far, I'm on board with New Amsterdam, at least for another week.