Chicago Med has officially reached television viewers with its opening episode, titled “Derailed,” airing this past Tuesday night. Although expectations were relatively high for the Dick Wolf-produced series, the reviews so far have been mixed. With that in mind, how is the newest series in the Chicago franchise stacking up with Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.?
According to a scathing review by the Hollywood Reporter, Chicago Med opened with a rather mediocre performance. Ultimately, the series’ biggest obstacle is breaking away from the typical medical drama formulas that have drummed audiences in shows like Grey’s Anatomy, ER, House, and Chicago Hope.
To that end, the show failed to thrill audiences with anything new, and instead shared a similar feeling to ER. According to the outlet, the show’s plot and storylines were outright boring, and lacked any sort of life that would keep audiences engaged and wanting more.
That being said, there were some good takeaways from the premiere of Chicago Med. Although there seems to be some consensus that the series doesn’t really offer anything new to the genre, it’s strength is in its characters and its connection to the Chicago franchise.
According to TV Guide, the characters should be the main drawing point of the show, especially considering fans are already attached to some of their stories. This is partly due to the fact that a lot of the characters were introduced on Chicago Fire in the past season. This includes Dr. Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt), April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta), Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson), Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), and Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss).
Along with this initial investment in the characters, fans will also undoubtedly be looking forward to all of the crossover potential the series has within the Wolf universe. In fact, Gehlfuss recently stated that the series has plans to include a number of different crossovers with all three shows based in Chicago.
“We’ll be going back and forth. I’ve already done a scene on P.D.” he explained. “The crossovers are working, and they’re going to just continue to capitalize on it. The viewers love it.”
That being said, the show will eventually need to find a way to separate itself from all the other medical dramas that have graced the TV world. With that in mind, the Chicago Tribune recently outlined a few ways in which producers are attempting to inject some new life into the heavily saturated genre.
In regards to what separates the show from the pack, co-creator Matt Olmstead said they didn’t want to put up something that was overly realistic, and instead want to focus on creating an environment that is inviting for viewers.
“There are medical shows that are super realistic and dark,” he stated. “And then there are others that are too slick and it feels like an ad agency and doesn’t feel realistic. I wanted to make sure this was an inviting show without being too unrealistic. But within that, have that sense of family we’ve had with the two other shows.”
At this point, it would seem as though the series has a lot of work to do if it wants to truly become a unique medical drama that draws in viewers each and every week. At the same time, its connections with the already popular shows in Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire might help the series gain a footing. Whether or not this sustains viewership in the coming weeks and keeps the show alive is yet to be seen.
New episodes of Chicago Med air Tuesday nights on NBC.
Check out a preview for Episode 2 below.
Tell us! How do you think that Chicago Med measured up to NBC’s other series, Chicago Fire and PD? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via NBC]