TV Talk: “Code Black” fails to grasp the audience

Members of the Patriot staff review various TV shows.


“Code Black” is a new TV series on CBS. It aired Sept. 30.

In this desperate and failed attempt to create another successful medical drama, Code Black portrays complete disorder and instability within an ER.

“Code black” is a medical term that means an emergency room has more patients than resources to treat them. The average emergency room is in code black five times per year, however where the show is set, a fictitious hospital named Angels Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles is in code black 300 times per year.

This astounding fact brings fast-paced drama and delivers the insane feel of an emergency room. However, the cast’s characters are very stereotypical. Dr. Leanne Rorish (Marcia Gay Harden), is a doctor with a troubled past and an attitude of not playing by the conventional practices. And, like any show, she has an opposing force. A dedicated doctor, Dr. Neal Hudson, (Raza Jaffrey) who disagrees with her practices and always seems to stick to the rules.

The premiere shows Rorish searching for a transplantable heart, while dealing with the increasing number of patients entering the ER. Slowly as they work to help the patients, the “code” they have goes up and up and eventually reaches the dreaded “code black.”

There was an interesting moment in the pilot, where all nurses stop to listen to the birth of a child. This doesn’t seem to make sense and definitely aids them in constantly falling behind with their patients.

Marcia Gay Harden portrays a role similar to Dr. Gregory House portrayed by Hugh Laurie in the hit show “House M.D.,” which ran for eight years. Each episode of Code Black seems to be desperately grasping for the audience’s attention by recreating characters in successful medical dramas, which makes the whole show seem lazy.

The premise almost projects a vibe of being too easy. Creators took this one idea of “code black” expanded it to the extreme by having Angels Memorial Hospital enter it 300 times a year and created a show. The show is a rash attempt at creating the next “Grey’s Anatomy,” which has been on the air since 2005. The show is another swing and a miss, and I would be shocked to see it last through its current season.

Grant Sharretts is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and