EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

Image Credit: Courtesy of CBS

Kudos to CBS for getting 'Code Black' off the bubble

Among all the pickups and renewals, there’s one that flew under the radar Monday: CBS ordering a second season of Code Black.

The only real surprise was that it took this long. Code Black was easily one of the best new series of this TV season. It brought us Marcia Gay Harden in one of her best roles, which is saying something, considering that she has a Tony Award and an Academy Award. Harden was able to command Angels Memorial Hospital (and the screen) effortlessly, making her character, Leanne Rorish, the doctor that you’d want to see at your bedside.

But Code Black isn’t a one-woman show. It surrounds Harden with a pleasantly surprising group of actors that we need to see more of. Pick anyone out of the main cast, and they had at least one episode where they did something not just great, but provided a performance that could compete with any of the best on TV.

Luis Guzman, Bonnie Somerville, Raza Jaffrey, Harry Ford, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Melanie Chandra, William Allen Young — this was an ensemble who put their heads down and busted their behinds, and it really showed. They got better with each episode, and the best is yet to come from all of them — which we can now enjoy in a second season of Code Black.

There are plenty of reasons why it deserved renewal. As we discussed previously, Code Black is a perfect fit to fill the void left at CBS by the ending of The Good Wife. It’s a wonderful 10 p.m. drama to close out any night of the week, or it could make an excellent choice to literally replace Good Wife on Sundays and pair up with Madam Secretary.

The first season drew an average of 7.13 million live viewers, which is not too far off from what the Julianna Margulies–led drama just did in its last season (8.53 million). And that was with heavy promotion and a hugely anticipated series finale — it’s not unreasonable to think that Code Black, now that it’s been established, could bring in similar numbers as it continues to build its audience.

From a business perspective, it’s a solid performer for CBS. 7.13 million viewers is nothing to sneeze at, especially when two fellow newcomers did similar numbers with established brands behind them. Supergirl averaged 7.69 million while Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders has picked up 7.12 million over 11 episodes so far, and both also earned their second seasons. Those shows have known names; Code Black doesn’t, and it was hanging right in there with them.

But let’s put all those numbers aside and talk about what the show brought to the table creatively. Code Black was a breath of fresh air in the medical genre — one of the most common genres in TV. Many medical shows feel the same: fast-paced, too-serious, relying principally on a mix of in-your-face surgery scenes and doctors’ personal drama. Those series are entertaining for the 42 minutes that they’re on, but they don’t stick with you once the credits have rolled.

Code Black is different. Yes, it drives home the life-and-death stakes in the halls of Angels Memorial, but it doesn’t move so fast that the audience can’t keep up with everything that’s happening. The way the show is presented, you don’t need a medical degree to grasp what’s going on and why. It not only enables but inspires the viewer to think about its cases well after they were closed. Did Christa make the right call? Was Rorish right to step in when she did? If something had been done differently, would that patient still be alive? This isn’t a show you can turn off and toss aside.

And while the doctors’ personal lives are a part of the show (Heather, we’re looking at you), Code Black presents the subplots in a manner that gives them true relevance to the series as a whole. Christa’s relationship with Neal colored how she behaved when treating a patient with his ex-girlfriend Grace, and also put them both in professional hot water.

Rorish’s journey in dealing with the loss of her family in a car accident was one of the most moving parts of the season. And the loss of a team member opened the door for Code Black to have a serious and eye-opening discussion about hospital security and the business of medicine. These aren’t detours about who’s sleeping with whom; these are stories that matter.

And that’s why the renewal of Code Black matters. It’s not just a quality show with solid ratings; it’s a series that has something bigger to offer.

So many TV networks these days talk about wanting programs that are doing things differently. Just look at all their slogans: “Dare to Defy” (The CW); “Fearless” (FX); “We The Bold” (USA); “No Guts, No Story” (SundanceTV). If that’s the direction TV hopes to head in, then Code Black should be at the forefront for CBS.

Bold is about more than having a mind-bending concept or envelope-pushing content. Bold is challenging the audience, pushing the actors and telling stories that go to places that set them apart from the rest of the pack. Code Black has done all those things. It might be a medical drama, but it’s not like any other medical drama that’s out there. It’s bold, strong, and classy, and CBS deserves to be lauded for getting it off the bubble and to a second season where it belongs.

Code Black is available on iTunes and Amazon.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like