Review of "Code Black" on CBS From The TV MegaSite

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Code Black cast

"Code Black" review by Eva Diaz  10/1/15
Airs Wednesdays 10/9c on CBS

I was really excited to watch this show because I enjoy watching medical dramas and there hasn't been a good one that has stayed on the air for a while since ER (which I still miss very much).  "Code Black" left me a bit disappointed in the pilot episode.  The term Code Black refers to when the ER is so crowded with patients that the staff is in organized chaos, trying to tend to them all.  This term was explained  before the show began, since it is based on the documentary of the same name, and the show has the same documentary style to it.  I give you this long explanation to say this: given the meaning of the show's title, I expected the show to be fast paced, but it wasn't.  It dragged along slowly and just when I got bored, some action happened, and a trauma was brought in, so then I got interested again. 

The show is set in the fictional Angels Memorial hospital in Los Angeles and follows a group of interns as they learn how to be doctors.  The show stars Marcia Gay Harden (Dr. Leanne Rorish) as the head of the residency program at the hospital.  We learned that Dr. Rorish was a compassionate and dedicated doctor until an unnamed trauma made her harder on the doctors she teaches and willing to try things that might bend the rules.  Luis Guzman plays Jesse, the senior ER nurse that guides the young doctors.  Hee can be tough, but he is also compassionate and funny.  The show is great at realistic trauma scenes, and when there is action in the show, it is very exciting.  I think that NBC's summer show Night Shift is much better because it strikes  a balance between action and trauma of a medical show and the personal drama that the doctors live each day.  (If you have not seen it, you can watch it on iTunes or Amazon, and a few episodes on  I give Code Black a 3 out of 5 stars. I will keep watching, hoping it will improve as more episodes air. 


CODE BLACK is a heart-pounding medical drama that takes place in the busiest, most notorious ER in the nation, where the staggering influx of patients can outweigh the limited resources available to the extraordinary doctors and nurses whose job is to treat them all—creating a condition known as Code Black. At the heart of the ER’s controlled chaos is Residency Director Dr. Leanne Rorish, renowned for successfully performing high-risk procedures in Center Stage, the trauma area reserved for the most critical cases. Her four new first-year residents are Christa Lorenson, Malaya Pineda, Mario Savetti and Angus Leighton. Leanne’s confidante, Jesse Sallander, is an amiable seen-it-all senior nurse who manages the residents. Also working in the ER is Dr. Neal Hudson, an excellent physician who sometimes disagrees with Leanne’s “cowboy” approach, and Dr. Rollie Guthrie, the energetic, longest-serving attending. In Center Stage, life is measured in seconds, and these heroic doctors and nurses operate with speed and skill within an overwhelmed system to treat the crowds of people who are often there for one of two reasons: to die or to receive a life-saving miracle.

Interesting article: Code Black Has Many Sources Of Inspiration

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Page updated 10/4/15

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