Summer has traditionally been the wasteland of commercial television. Repeats, reality, and oh yeah, repeats, basically serve as place holders while ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC push the reset button to unveil a new lineup come September. But something's different this year, and I can't help but think that this past year's prime-time successes have a lot to do with it. Last week's Emmy nominations confirmed that the scripted drama (The Good Wife), half-hour sitcom (American Family) and guilty pleasures (Glee) are alive and well. And now, even the prime-time documentary has returned in top form. We're not talking about a PBS snoozer. ABC is swinging for the fences in presenting Boston Med on Thursday nights this summer. The backdrop includes three Boston hospitals: Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Children's Hospital. Each episode includes a tapestry of stories, showing caregivers at their best and their worst. In one recent episode, a full team of physicians, nurses and surgeons responded to a code blue when a child was crushed in an automobile wreck. After an attending M.D. performed compressions on the tiny child's heart, she said, "I kept telling myself don't look at his face, don't look at his face." Seconds later, the child was in the operating room. But it was too late. The grief was tangible and the results were possibly the most impressive drama you'll watch this summer. But there is good news on Boston Med, too. Surgical miracles. Caregiving with respect and dignity. Healthy newborns.
You can keep Grey's Anatomy or House. Boston Med, a production of ABC News, is the real thing.