Hawthorne: Season 3
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Hawthorne: Season 3

 

There is no disputing the fact that one of the most popular and enduring type is series on television is the medical drama. From the very beginning of TV’s dominance as the medium for home entertainment the hospital has been a setting which has provided countless hours of programming for the loyal fans of the genre. I don’t think it is possible to find a single television season that did not feature a representative of this venerable format. Like everyone kind of show on TV the medical series has experienced a degree of dilution in focus and intensity pulling the stories further away from the issue of medical care to a soap opera revolving around the hyper libidinous lives of the staff. The concentrated determination depicted in the furrowed brow of Dr. Ben Casey has been replaced by the brothel like bed hopping of Seattle Grace Hospital. Most of the shows set in the hospital have sunken into the morass of the prime time soap opera. Sure, that genre has it place mostly as a guilty pleasure but at lease ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Melrose Place were honest about the intent of the series. They didn’t try to sell themselves as something different. In the case of the third and final season of TNT’s ‘HawthoRNe it continued to present itself as a medical drama long after the issues of patient care became secondary to the frequently unrealistic antics of the doctors and nurses. Staff Meetings appeared to be more concerned with who is hooking up with whom instead of which medical is hooked into the patient’s IV. ‘HawthoRNe became ‘Wisteria Lane General Hospital’. Ultimately it was pulled under by its own ponderous self adsorbed storyline concerned with the disintegration of staff member’s lives with an occasional ill person thrown in for appearance sake. One indication that the producers were trying too hard to disguise this shoe as a medical drama was in the capitalization of ‘RN’ clumsily in the title least we forget the main character is a nurse. The shame of the matter is the cast did contain several talented actors who should reexamine their representation teams.

Christina Hawthorne (Jada Pinkett Smith) works at Richmond Trinity Hospital as their Chef Nursing Officer, CNO. Traditionally this is a senior management position with predominately administratively focused responsibilities that typically reduces the amount of direct patient care. Even if a person holding this title has the best of intensions in wanting to stay down on the floor her duties are largely on the level of any chef officer in a large corporation; there were hired to keep an eye of the big picture; responsible for the smooth running of a sizable nursing staff. Christina seems to think the scope of her position give her license to directly intervene in any case in order to personally engage in beside patient care. While this might seem like an admirable attribute it would not go over well with her Boss, usually the Chief Operations Officer. Every minute she takes at the bedside is one that she is not performing the functions described in her formal job description. The legal department would be in an apoplectic fit of ire of such actions. In this third season Christina escalates this jib function crossover soaring past the administrative issues to ones tottering on the criminal.

As the season begins Christina is about to get married to Dr. Tom Wakefield (Michael Vartan) but it quickly turns into an episode of ‘weddings from Hell’. As friends and co-workers greet the radiant bride a car crashes outside their home. Cristina hikes up her bridal gown and rushes to aid the injured, pulling others from their seats to assists. The blissful couple winds up involved at the hospital making plans to meet later for their wedding night. Christina wanted Tom to wait and come with her but he was too involved in work, a circumstance she knows all too well. Adding to the increasing soap opera elements the bride was pregnant. Out in the parking lot Christina is brutally attacked by a shadowy figure of a man grievously injuring her and causing a miscarriage. What should have been a happy day turned into a horrible nightmare. This does set the stage for much of the remaining season. While recovering her job is given away by the hospital’s Chief Opening Office, Dr. John Morrissey (James Morrison) to her best friend, charge Nurse Bobbie Jackson (Suleka Mathew). This serves to push a wedge between the friends and displace Christina from the only thing she finds solace in. her job. Facing the loss of her job, best friend and unborn child isn’t a sufficient amount of melodrama she has to get pulled into an internal affairs investigation of the detective assigned to her assault case, Nick Renata (Marc Anthony). Det. 'Jimmy' Dupree (Bill Engvall) spends most the season poking around in Nick’s life and the growing involvement in his relationship with Christina. Her daughter, Camille (Hannah Hodson) becomes romantically infatuated with a new surgical fellow who is separated with children. On a positive note he does introduce the teen to a spiritual side. Morrissey’s drinking problem results in senior management reorganization and young nurse Kelly (Vanessa Lengies) decides she needs a change in her career and convinces surgeon Brenda Marshall (Anne Ramsay) to train her to be s scrub nurse. Never mind that a surgical nurse is a highly specialized function that requires years of formal training Kelly does in the space of a few episodes. This is indicative of how dramatic license and iota of reality in this show. The decided to concentrate on the dramatic at the cost of any credibility.

Posted 02/14/012

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