Is 400 Year Old John Amsterdam Worth Checking Into?
What surprised me while watching the first two episodes of New Amsterdam (airing tonight and Thursday on FOX) was not how little attention I paid to the not-so-greatly-covered accents of the cast (which usually drives me crazy) but rather how much I genuinely enjoyed the show!
The show tells the story of John Amsterdam (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), a 400 year old man working on the NYPD. Yes, you read that right. He is immortal, thanks to a life-saving curse placed on him way back in the 1600s by a young Native American woman. The curse says that he will not grow old until his soul is wed to his soul mate.
What I really liked about the story is that John doesn’t keep this secret to himself. He has a confidant in his pal Omar (played by Stephen Henderson; I loved the big reveal around his character in episode 2), who knows John’s true age, and his curse. John callously throws out lines about being sober for 40 years, and fighting at Normandy, and everyone just looks at him like he’s nuts. Only Omar really knows the truth.
I like the chemistry between John and Eva Marquez (Zuleikha Robinson from Rome), his partner. Yes, it’s a bit clichéd that he’s been through a multitude of partners and they all seem to quit or leave him, but I liked the relationship that’s starting to grow already.
I wish we had gotten to see more of the Sara character, played by Alexie Gilmore. She gets to do some heroic stuff, and then we’re left to sort of watch her be confused. I’m sure we’ll see more of her as the episodes go on, because she’s going to play a huge role in John’s future, but it would have been nice to see less back story and more present time information about the people in the main cast.
The police investigations aspect of the show seems a bit contrived, and I could figure out the murderers in both episodes before the detectives could, but I think as the show goes, we’ll see that get a little better.
Fox has a really good thing here – I hope they don’t squander the opportunity to present a really different and very interesting idea. Definitely check it out tonight and Thursday and let us know what you think!