Why do medical TV series work?
Medical dramas have been around for a long time and they don’t seem to go out of fashion. Why do so many people still love them?
Over the years, medical dramas have become their own unique genre of prime-time television. From Grey’s Anatomy at The good doctor, Chicago Med, and everything in between, these shows both have a lot of formulaic elements in common and each stand out in their own way. The intense and generally heart-wrenching shows are often told from the perspective of doctors and nurses, and tend to present medical mysteries that the main characters in each episode struggle to solve with viewers. Beneath the surface, however, medical dramas still focus on the hardships of being human.
Medical dramas have been around for decades. But stories of heroes saving lives have been around for much longer – and the same broad themes remain on these shows, even today. With each news story, audiences are introduced to characters who struggle with morality, mortality, and the role each person plays in preserving the very fragile lives of others. Could this utterly ordinary look at humanity be the reason why so many people keep watching medical dramas even as additional options seem to pop up every year?
Experts will tell you that medical dramas attract large audiences because people are drawn to stories about people. George Ikkos, chairman of the psychiatry department at the Royal Society of Medicine, told BBC News: âPrograms like Victim are dramatic and exciting – they involve a lot of ordinary people with whom we can relate directly. It’s not like looking at something on nuclear physics or stamp collecting. “
While relatively ordinary in their focus on people – usually those without superpowers or supernatural gifts of any kind – medical dramas have that element of shock factor to them. Patients are rushed through emergency rooms and operating tables with the kind of fuss that raises a person’s heart rate and causes them to fall over the edge of their seats. Actual emergencies may not always be as dramatic as they are portrayed on the small screen, but television is almost always overdone to delight the masses.
People are likely to come for the drama but stay for the relativity. Even though someone is very unlikely to be rushed to hospital with a rare, incurable disease, someone who watches this happen to a fictional character sees him not as a patient, but as a patient. person facing a tragedy. Everyone faced some sort of tragic event; they know what it feels like. For some, it can be heartwarming to see others dealing with trauma.
As you explore beneath the surface of shows like emergency and New Amsterdam, what makes medical dramas work isn’t just the extreme medical cases, the complicated relationships between doctors, or the mysteries surrounding illnesses that many audiences have never heard of outside of the TV shows. It’s the emotional stimulation that keeps it all together. Without giving faces, voices and stories to medical cases, people wouldn’t be so attached to stories about surgeries, x-rays, and insurance claims. Medical dramas grab attention because they are about suffering and healing – and there is nothing more relevant than that.
Regardless of the medical accuracy of each of these shows, they all do one thing exceptionally well: They tell very real stories every day that people can relate to. Not all medical drama viewers work in the medical field, know the lingo, or even have a remote interest in how hospital systems actually work. But everyone who looks at us is afraid of loss, tragedy and the unexpected. Medical tragedies, even in their darkest moments, bring hope. They feature characters in peril, but also characters with the power to save them. Especially now, the medical staff are real heroes for many people. In the face of life’s most dangerous circumstances, there are people who are trained, willing and able to help. And there always will be.
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