17 March 2015 | lzvictor
Good but totally LA and not San Antonio - Misses all the cultural marks
I like this series and this hits many good marks on the point of the show plus contentious points in real life.
They miss a lot of cultural points unique to San Antonio and the actor lineup of the guests are all standard LA actors you see in many shows around the networks.
Where this show really misses the marks are to focus on the reality of the culture. First, San Antonio is a MAJORITY Mexican (yes, Mexican, not Hispanic and not a pejorative) city. It was part of Mexico BEFORE it was part of Texas or the USA. The city still embraces that heritage regardless of your particular race. There are few Mexicans on the staff whereas the hospitals in SA are representative of the local populace. There are more black people in this hospital than Mexican people which is insultingly wrong. I may be lily white, but where I shop, eat, and do anything, I am surrounded by not just 85%/15% white / black people.
After their shift they talk about going out for pancakes and grits. That is totally the EXCEPTION for San Antonio. Elsewhere, this would not make sense, but in SA, its the Breakfast Taco. This is a normal tortilla filled with eggs / potatoes / chorizo / cheese / bacon or sausage. The countryside was settled by Germans and Poles in the early 1800's so you find incredible Polish Sausage and Kielbasa so even if they don't speak English, the restaurant has good sausage in the breakfast tacos. Only place in the country with this unique combination. You can't swing a dead cat in San Antonio without hitting a church or a restaurant that has breakfast tacos.
Things they hit right are the military that come here and when they get out they stay here. Many of those military also have brown skin. It is good to see how the former military still maintain contact with current military but they always ask the white guys when they need military help and they seriously downplay the Asian doctor's service when it comes to phoning a friend for help. Only the white guys can reach out to other white guys in the military when they need military help?
The show also calls it wrong in hiring someone as a Physician's Assistant and treating them like a Physician's aide. A Physician's Assistant is an ACTUAL Title and has the same power as a Nurse Practitioner which have specific boards they have to pass, get their own patients, and write prescriptions. They're treated like doctors and given the same responsibilities except that a doctor simply has to review/sign off on their charts so they're NOT treated like assistants like in the show While actual specific privileges vary between states, they're treated like doctors almost universally.
I feel slightly insulted they rely on a Mexican to translate to local immigrant families when in reality many of the staff who have skin of a different color (white or black, etc) would also be fluent. It's just part of the culture in SA while in California there's more of a stigma to it. If you're not Mexican and you speak some of the language, it's normal but in California it's often shunned. San Antonio embraces this which creates a more congenial atmosphere.
Reminding you that I have no Mexican heritage, hopefully you can see my point about the fact that the writers simply don't get the SA culture. They rely on cliché actors which unfortunately becomes rather bland quite quickly. Maybe they could reach out to Robert Rodriguez in Austin to grab some talent that would make an impact (no pun intended).
It would be great of the writers to interface the hospital staff with the Burn unit at Fort Sam which is widely considered the best burn center in the world.
In the show there are lots of pranks which are often funny and good spirited. In the real world, most of those would get someone in real trouble with the hospital policies since there is always that ONE person who complains and creates an actual incident out of a harmless prank as an HR issue. How I wish life could imitate art in this.
EDITS: I am 13 episodes.
After seeing it is filmed in Albuquerque, I must ask why they never thought to film in SA which would be MUCH less expensive and give them local shots. Shooting in Alb is completely out of touch. Might as well film it in Portland for how different it's from SA.
If there are 5 unique cities in the country including New Orleans & SA, why not use the actual city because there's no substitute for unique.
After reading the other reviews on blatant medical blunders, I would stress to the writers including a little more showing of washing hands, changing gloves, and medical sanitary procedures they would naturally follow while chatting which happens a lot more than chats up at the counters or store rooms. Doesn't waste film, just changes the set locations. Other than that, get over it since there is a review by a surgeon and everyone knows surgeons aren't mere humans. Yes, there is cinematic license, but use a medical adviser since half of the decisions shown where doctors ignore protocols would get them immediately suspended due to liability reasons and the malpractice insurance concerns. Sorry folks, doctors aren't rebellious when they pay 50K+ malpractice insurance but this is ignored for drama.