The Knick is an American drama TV series created by Jack Amiel for Cinemax. This new show certainly knows how to get their attention. Within the first five minutes of the first episode you will have a very clear picture of what it meant to have to undergo surgery at a time when even the most common surgical procedures of today have been barely tested – let alone successfully. With this new series, writers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler have created a fascinating – and exciting – look at the humble beginnings of modern medicine. The title of the show is derived from the “Knickerbocker Hospital”, a fictional hospital in the early 20th century. In New York, which serves as the central arena around which the lives and struggles of the protagonists revolve. “The Nick” shows us a restless and turbulent moment in which everything is in motion, and although the benefits of the so-called “modern era” are already waiting around the corner, the situation of people without money is bleak. Immigrants live in horrible sanitary situations, young children have to work in factories and social frictions and racial prejudices run within society.
Clive Owen does an excellent job portraying a conflicted but passionate surgeon in The Knick, who is constantly trying to push the boundaries by inventing or perfecting surgical methods in hopes of reducing the mortality rate among his patients. The rest of the cast is also great; His performances-along with great writing-help create a sense of realism that is rarely seen in movies or television shows that represent that era. The same can be said for the fantastic values of production – the team behind The Knick obviously struggled to portray the everyday life of that time as accurately as possible. Almost every painting oozes quality: New York City in the early twentieth century has been meticulously recreated and every street corner, alley or candlelit room feels authentic. No wonder, perhaps, given that the director, producer, director of photography and editor of the 20 episodes of The Knick is none other than multi-talented and Oscar-winning Steven Soderbergh.