New Amsterdam: Why the one-of-a-kind medical drama is one to watch on Amazon Prime Video

Everything you need to know about the gripping Amazon Prime medical drama.

By Sophia Moir Published: 16 April 2020 - 5.23pm
Prime Video New Amsterdam

Freema Agyeman

From Grey’s Anatomy to ER, American medical dramas have long been a staple of TV schedules this side of the pond.

And our appetite for hospital-based dramas shows no signs of stopping, with both The Resident and 9-1-1 launching in 2019.

But New Amsterdam - returning to Amazon Prime Video in the UK following its US release on NBC - is a one-of-a-kind medical drama, as it’s based on America’s first ever public hospital.

From the plot to the release date, here’s everything you need to know about New Amsterdam on Prime Video, including our top three reasons to watch...

When is New Amsterdam on Prime Video?

Season 1 started streaming on Prime Video in February 2019.  New Amsterdam will return to Amazon Prime Video UK to finish airing its second season from Tuesday, April 21.

What is New Amsterdam about?

New Amsterdam cast Jocko Sims, Freema Agyeman, Tyler Labine, Janet Montgomery, Anupam Kher

Inspired by the oldest public hospital in America, New Amsterdam follows the brilliant and charming Dr Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold, above), the institution’s newest medical director.

Not taking "no" for an answer, Dr Goodwin must disrupt the status quo and prove he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded and underappreciated hospital - and return it to the glory that put it on the map.

Three reasons you can’t miss New Amsterdam…

1. It’s a one-of-a-kind medical drama

Bellevue Hospital, the inspiration for Amazon series New Amsterdam Copyright (c) 2014 Shutterstock. No use without permission.
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Unlike many US medical dramas, New Amsterdam is based on a real hospital.

But not any hospital - it’s inspired by New York City’s iconic Bellevue Hospital (above), the oldest and largest public hospital in the US, which traces its origins back to the 1700s.

Eric Manheimer, the former medical director at the Bellevue Hospital - which was renamed NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue in November 2015 - wrote the book which the show was based on: Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital.

Manheimer also served as a producer on the show.

2. Ryan Eggold leads a superb cast

Ryan Eggold as Dr Max Goodwin in New Amsterdam

Eggold (above) is known mainly for his long-running role on The Blacklist, but his performance in New Amsterdam is stand-out.

He's passionate, determined, enthusiastic as the hospital’s new hire Dr Max Goodwin, asking “How can I help?” at every turn.

Eggold’s a “man with a mission” and he will “go to any lengths to shake up the system if that means better medical care”, writes IndieWire.com.

His performance has gone down well with viewers in the States, who have tweeted their delight - and sadness at having to wait for new episodes!

No wonder then that the show has been renewed for a second series.

There’s also a surprising amount of British talent - including Doctor Who’s Freema Agyeman and Entourage’s Janet Montgomery (below, with the rest of New Amsterdam’s lead cast).

3. It’s a mini history lesson in US healthcare

Freema Agyeman in New Amsterdam 2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
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The fact New Amsterdam is based on a real hospital allows it to explore storylines rooted in fact.

Psychiatry, cancer, childbirth - these are all plot lines in New Amsterdam that real doctors and nurses at Bellevue deal with on a daily basis.

Childbirth in particular is significantly connected to the real Bellevue, as it opened the first maternity ward in the United States in 1799, and hit the news in 2017 when it was confirmed that midwives at the hospital would no longer be providing 24/7 care to their patients.

An Ebola storyline in the pilot episode is rooted in fact also - the first person in New York City to test positive for the virus was treated at Bellevue in 2014.

Elsewhere in the show, Dr. Goodwin sacks a whole department because they’re too focused on finances to concentrate on patient safety - a juggling act at US public hospitals.

According to the 2014 American Hospital Association Annual Survey, there are 2,904 public hospitals in the US, with about 33.6 million admissions annually (they are government funded, and can't turn anyone away).

US healthcare is a contentious issue, with daily news stories coming out of Washington about drug prices and hospital bills.

New Amsterdam offers a unique insight into how US public hospitals are run - and it might make you see the NHS in a whole different light.

Watch New Amsterdam if you liked…

The Resident, Grey’s Anatomy, 9-1-1, Chicago Med, ER, Heartbeat, Code Black, House.

New Amsterdam will return to Amazon Prime Video UK to finish airing its second season from Tuesday, April 21.