It’s time to grab your scrubs and scalpel and head to TNT!
Sanjay Gupta’s novel, Monday Mornings, is set to debut on the small screen on February 4th. It is guaranteed to be an innovative medical drama unlike any other you may have seen. SheKnows talked to Gupta and director/producer Bill D’Elia on the set to find out what makes this show different from the rest.
“[The show] is quite different in one big respect,” director and producer Bill D’Elia states, “and that is that the drama showcases the morbidity and mortality conferences that every hospital has… These meetings are the central part of this show.”
A great deal goes on behind the scenes in hospitals that the general public is completely unaware of, including the notorious morbidity and mortality conferences. This is “where all the surgeons get together and analyze what happened on particular cases,” D’Elia explains. The viewers of this new show will get to be privy to this (until now) hidden domain.
Sanjay Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon and a multiple Emmy award–winning chief medical correspondent for CNN, is the brains behind this new series. Monday Mornings follows the lives of five surgeons at Chelsea General as they perfect their skills and face their personal and professional failings. All scenarios in this new series are based on Sanjay’s own experience.
“I think we all write from our own experiences to some extent and there are certain characters, certain storylines, little things I have observed — I use these things as a basis,” Sanjay reveals. He adds that “all the characters are amalgamations of people I have known both inside and out of medicine.”
To further help viewers revisit his past experiences, Gupta makes sure that every inch of the hospital set, including the operating rooms, is as high-tech as imaginable.
“I do joke that the [operating room on set] is pretty advanced. If someone fell and bumped their head, we could probably take out a subdural if we had to. The microscope is a better microscope than some of the ones hospitals have,” Gupta says.
D’Elia also mentions that he “takes great pride in how real the show feels and looks. I think a large part of it comes from [Gutpa’s] influence.”
Attention to detail is obviously essential when operating, but it is also vital to making a television show like this one as realistic as possible. And it’s a reason this show is not for the faint of heart.
“These meetings can be brutal. Some would describe them to be a sort of street fight, slightly more dignified but only slightly,” Gupta explains as he reminisces about his past experiences.
While Monday Mornings is an extremely accurate representation of Dr. Gupta’s experiences, each character has quirks that every viewer will be naturally attracted to.
“There is less [quirkiness] but we can’t get away from it. I think it’s kind of what elevates and distinguishes. [The show] will always be about character. There is never just a doctor or a patient. We are all very distinct so we try to color our characters with distinctions, whatever they may be,” D’Elia says.
Apart from the diverse personalities, many shocking and unexpected events occur throughout the first season of Monday Mornings. (Who would have thought hip pain could be a sign of cancer?) If you are at all squeamish or a bit of a hypochondriac, you may want to watch this show with a friend. You have been warned!
There is no doubt that Monday Mornings will make you much more aware of what is going on “out of sight” in hospitals — and that’s a very good thing!