“The Night Shift” introduces us to the night crew of an emergency room in San Antonio, Texas. Most of the doctors are ex-military, including the main character, TC Callahan, ably played by Irish actor Eoin Macken. TC is a hot mess and he’s been dispatched from the military and barred from returning for a yet unknown reason. He treats every case coming into the ER as if he’s still on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
TC’s best friend is Topher, played by Ken Leung. Topher served with TC and the two of them complement each other, Topher being somewhat softer and gentler. To add insult to injury, TC’s new boss is Dr. Jordan Alexander, played by Jill Flynt, who just happens to be his ex-girlfriend.
As in any hospital drama, there are many characters supporting the ones at the top. The most intriguing, to me, was hospital administrator Michael Ragosa, played by Freddie Rodriguez. Ragosa is cast in the light of the bad-guy bureaucrat who’s only in it to save money. Toward the end, though, you find out a smidgen of his back story which makes him a little more human.
So we have three radical doctors pitted against a seemingly heartless administrator. But that’s not all. There is Paul, the brilliant but fresh out-of-school doctor who’s more than a little scared of things, and Krista, another newbie who isn’t afraid. You have Kenny, a nurse who’s just as nonchalant about the rules as TC and company, and Drew, another military-trained doctor and MMA fighter, who is hiding the fact that he’s gay and doesn't want to come out under any circumstances.
There’s also a staff psychiatrist, Landy, played by Daniella Alonso. Her job may be to help psych patients work it out but, by the looks of the premier episode, she’s going to be doing even more work with the staff.
Those are the players. The scene is a very busy ER where anything and everything comes through the door. The accident and surgical scenes are graphic and bloody. This is not a show for the squeamish. Like most current shows in the 10 p.m. time slot, there is some language.
Is “The Night Shift” going to be a hit? I honestly can’t say. The first episode was action-packed and fast. If they can keep that up and not lose the emotional interaction between the characters, it just might be.
At the close of the episode, they showed previews of what’s to come. They're setting up a lot of friction between the battlefield docs, led by TC, and the administration, led by Ragosa.
“The Night Shift” airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on NBC.