First, there was Chicago Fire. Then, there was Chicago P.D.. Now, creator Dick Wolf is bringing Chicago Med to TV and making it a part of one of the biggest franchises of the small screen. The newest medical drama’s premiere is right around the corner, so to get viewers excited, let’s dish about the latest Chicago-based series.
Like the other two, it follows a cast of talented actors portraying doctors, nurses and other medical professionals at Chicago Med who set out to protect, heal and serve the city just like P.D. and Fire do every week, except this time it’s through medicine.
The series features many famous faces, including Colin Donnell as trauma surgeon Dr. Connor Rhodes, Nick Gehlfuss as chief ER resident Dr. Will Halstead, Oliver Platt as chief of psychiatry Dr. Daniel Charles, S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin (the head of Chicago Med), Torrey DeVitto as ER pediatrician Dr. Natalie Manning, Brian Tee as military surgeon Dr. Ethan Choi, Rachel DiPillo as a fourth-year medical student Dr. Sarah Reese, Yaya DaCosta as ER nurse April Sexton and Marlyne Barrett as nurse Maggie Lockwood.
During a visit at an NBC press event for all three Chicago series, the cast of Chicago Med dished all kinds of Season 1 teasers that will hopefully entice fans of Fire and P.D. and new viewers to tune in. With that said, let’s get to it.
1. It differs from other medical dramas
If you’re worried this is going to be another Grey’s Anatomy, it isn’t, especially in the sense that it has the same DNA and family feel as Fire and P.D. “I wanted to make sure that it was an inviting show, so people who don’t like hospitals or hospital dramas could feel [like] it’s a place you want to be without being too unrealistic,” executive producer Matt Olmstead explained. “We just didn’t want it to be too grim or too slick. We wanted it to be inviting, but within that have that sense of family that we’ve done so successfully with the other two shows.”
2. There’s still that sense of family
Echoing Olmstead above, Med‘s Tee also iterated how much the show has that sense of family, all while ensuring that Fire and P.D. fans won’t lose the overall feel that comes with each show, the characters and the story lines. As Tee said, “[It] cohesively falls within the same universe.”
3. It’s realistic and stays true to the medical profession
How realistic can a medical drama be? When it comes to Chicago Med, pretty darn realistic. Not only are there actual medical professionals lending a helping hand and educating each cast member about what and what not to do, but each actor studied and researched at Chicago’s Cook County hospital. Barrett teased, “[The show] stay[s] true to the urgency and the calmness that comes with the medical care.” She added, “Nobody needs another show where it’s all about the doctors and us smooching. You wanna know what does it really mean to be cared for in a medical institution.”
4. The surgeries are lifelike
Trust me, I would know, because I actually watched Donnell and Gehlfuss perform surgery. OK, not really, but myself and a group of reporters watched how a surgery goes down on Med. It’s impressive how realistic everything is. “Before we started, we had this, we called it our ‘medical boot camp,'” Donnell explained. “We spent about five days just getting a bunch of medical terminology and scenarios thrown at us that we would eventually use throughout the show. We have these amazing medical advisers with us.” He also expressed how important it is to the show and the cast to ensure they’re doing justice by other medical professionals. He said, “We’re trying to make it as realistic as possible and be as representative of what’s going on in that community as we possibly can.”
5. The cast knows what they’re talking about
You know how a cast of a medical drama usually lists off a bunch of medical jargon? Ever wonder if they actually know what they’re talking about? Well, it seems like Med truly does, because not only did they receive medical training, but they’ve studied and continue to learn the medical lingo. For Gehlfuss, it is extremely important for him to know everything that’s coming out of his mouth. “I make sure of it, because there’s no other way I can effectively portray and be a part of what it is that I’m doing, if I don’t,” he said. What happens when he doesn’t understand his lines? He goes straight to a medical consultant and even does his own research via medical textbooks or the Internet.
6. There might be some abtastic scenes with rain
If you ask Barrett, she’s really hoping Med has some rain scenes featuring Tee’s abs (kind of similar to P.D.‘s Halstead above), because apparently he has an eight-pack. Here’s how they hope the scene goes down: The sprinklers will come on, and Tee will exclaim, “These scrubs are so tight!”, then Barrett will cut them off with scissors and, finally, there will be an injured patient, but rather using medical tools, Tee would rip off his shirt and use that. That sure sounds like a great scene to me. Also, if it does ever happen, Barrett encourages viewers to tweet about it and/or clap.
7. A One Tree Hill reunion is happening
Anyone else make the connection that OTH alums Torrey DeVitto and Sophia Bush are now part of the same franchise? DeVitto teased that she and Bush filmed a scene together. Nanny Carrie and Brooke Davis reunited! Seeing as DeVitto’s character is pregnant, she said there probably won’t be any Nanny Carrie moments, which is obviously for the best. “No, thankfully,” she said while laughing. “Though, you never know, come the end of the show maybe someone pushes her the wrong way.”
8. There are many smart, strong and passionate characters
As you might’ve picked up on, Med is filled with independent, intelligent and goal-oriented characters. Actually, that’s what attracted DiPillo to the show and her character. “I love the idea of playing someone who is in school and ambitious enough to educate herself to be something like a doctor in whatever field she’s going to choose, because I don’t see that in a lot of, I see ambition in material I’ve come across as auditioning actress, but I think Sarah’s very quirky, but very intelligent and very independent,” she expressed. “I really value those characteristics, and for me, that’s a joy to play and to develop for her.”
9. Colin Donnell’s character hasn’t died… yet
If you’re a huge fan of Colin Donnell, then you know sometimes his TV characters don’t really last long, thanks to them being killed off. However, Med seems a bit more promising. “I mean, I’ve made it so far,” he said. “So far, so good. We’re on Episode 5, so you never know what’s going to happen.” For right now, he says to “keep your fingers crossed and knock on wood.”
Chicago Med premieres on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 9/8c on NBC.