February 24, 2015

SHOWBUZZDAILY Season Premiere Review: “The Night Shift”


THE NIGHT SHIFT was a workmanlike performer for NBC last summer, but its promotion to The Voice‘s lead-out on the network’s midseason schedule says more about the empty shelves at NBC than about the show itself, which remains a (very) sub-Grey’s Anatomy mix of surgery and romance.

The season premiere, written by series creators Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, and directed by Eriq La Salle, who knows his way around a TV emergency room, picked up shortly after the summer finale.  Rebellious hero and PTSD sufferer TC (Eoin Macken) is still suspended from San Antonio Medical Center, but now reunited with his former love and fellow doctor Jordan (Jill Flint), much to the disdain of her now-ex and also their boss, Dr. Clemmens (Scott Wolf, still listed as a recurring guest star).  Amidst the usual medical crises (a man caught between an elevator car and a wall, a couple injured in a motorcycle accident that put a rebar through their skulls, a woman whose strained neck is a due to a tumor), the major events of the hour were the introduction of New Age-y surgeon Dr. Chavez (a recurring Adam Rodriguez), and the return to the hospital of administrator Ragosa (Freddie Rodriguez), who’s been humbled by surviving his own tumor and who by the end of the episode had quit his job and decided to become a physician’s assistant while he studies for his MD.  On the romance side, TC proved that the way to a girl’s heart was through the gift of Spice Girls tickets.

The Night Shift is an adequate hour of television, but it’s hard to be more enthusiastic than that.  The cast is capable, and there’s plenty of bustling around, even if it’s instantly obvious that the show doesn’t have nearly the budget of a Shonda Rhimes production, so everything is slightly cut-rate.  Fans of medical soaps won’t find anything to challenge them or scare them away, and the series is a sort of counterprogramming from the criminal procedurals of NCIS: LA and Castle.  After less than a full 22-episode order, it already feels like it’s been on the air for 5 years, but that kind of familiarity serves for some as TV comfort food.  The show supplies a minimum level of entertainment nutrition, while being about as tasty as a platter of hospital food.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."