So, we’re back at Chicago Hope for the 3rd Season, after that dramatic attack business with Dr.Dennis Hancock during last Season’s finale. He’s okay.. unless you think wincing in pain whilst being prodded and poked by a bunch of inadequate, dopey looking interns can be considered safe and sound? The Hospital Trust is crumbing after a semi-corporate take over .. Dr. Kate has been clapped in irons after running off with her daughter, and Dr. Aaron thinks someone is having sex on his office couch.. yes, business as usual.. Dr. Dr. Dr. etc. Although we have lost a key player, since Mandy Patinkin jumped ship last season.. although he sort of kept one toe in the door, by popping in on occasion for a cameo or three.. and besides, somehow the cast manage to keep up the pace despite being short staffed.
Creator and writer David E. Kelley certainly knows his stuff when it comes to weaving TV Hospital and Legal drama series into gold, with such iconic offerings as ‘LA.Law‘, ‘Ally McBeal‘, ‘Doogie Howser M.D.‘, and more recently ‘Boston Legal‘. The mid-nineties Chicago Hope series is set in an Illinois charity hospital, and manages to combine both medical and legal matters, by installing an in-house cut-throat lawyer played with aplomb by the excellent Peter MacNicol ( ‘Sophie’s Choice‘ and later to appear as the remarkable ‘Biscuit’, in Kelley’s Ally McBeal), in the earlier Seasons, and introducing the corporate suit Ron Silver (‘Blue Steel’) later on. So we have a difficult partnership of opposing natures, that of the caring (though affluent) professionals struggling to maintain idealism within the cold, money-orientated system, whilst an instrument of that very system (MacNicol) fights fire with fire, ultimately making the doctors reliant upon the very backhanded tactics that represent everything they despise about the System. This unholy alliance characterizes much of Kelley’s work, with the legal dramas internalizing the battle between the desire to help, and the seductions of monetary reward, of what is best for the client, and what feeds the Firm that allows the Pro-bono work to exist in the first place.
The general mood of Season 3 is one of recrimination and self doubt, as most of the characters get the rug pulled out from under them in both their careers and private lives. There’s a collective sense of unease throughout, as the very foundations of the Hospital Trust shake and threaten to fall into private hands, with blame shifting left right and centre. No one is happy in their work or in their play, and by god if they are..well.. we sure as hell know they won’t be for long! Since happy, resolved characters go out the back door, so it’s in everybody’s best interests to radiate a general angst at all times (Adam Arkin being the archetypal King of midlife angst in every role he get’s his teeth into). From the outset this Season we experience Chicago Hope a’new through the eyes of it’s latest generation of interns – “This hospital’s changed..’ mutters one shiny new cast member.. “I hear it’s haemorrhaging red ink…”, counters another young’n. Sounds like the perfect breeding ground for good TV drama, and at the same time an uncomfortable reflection of the fragile National Health Service..
SEASON THREE EPISODES:
Ep.1: Out of Africa / Ep.2: Back to the Future / Ep.3: Papa’s got a brand new bag / Ep.4: Liver let die / Ep.5: Liar, liar / Ep.6: Higher Powers / Ep.7: A Time to Kill / Ep.8: A Day in the Life / Ep.9: Divided Loyalty / Ep.10: V-Fibbing / Ep.11: Mummy Dearest / Ep.12: Split Decisions / Ep.13: Verdicts / Ep.14: The Day of the Rope / Ep.15: Take my Wife, please. / Ep.16: Missed Conception / Ep.17: Mother, may I? / Ep.18: Growing Pains / Ep.19: The Son also Rises / Ep.20: Second Chances / Ep.21: Positive ID’s / Ep.22: Leggo my Ego / Ep.23: Colonel of Truth / Ep.24: Lamb to the Slaughter / Ep.25: Love on the Rocks / Ep.26: Hope against Hope ~
~ Chicago Hope : Season 3
Released on DVD by Revelation Films on 05/11/12
IF YOU LIKE THIS, THEN YOU’LL LOVE..
– E.R. / St.Elsewhere / Monroe / Green Wing / Bringing out the Dead (1999) –