Posted June 16, 2009 by Greg Dragon in TV Show - Premier

Hawthorne (2009)

Hawte hawthorne the nurseSo tonight aired the season premier of Jada Pinkett Smith’s new hospital drama Hawthorne. Going into it I was hoping to not be annoyed by the sass and over-acting that I was used to seeing when the petite actress was on screen but I tried my best to have an open mind being that I had not seen her on the screen for awhile.

The show highlights the shaky life of one Christina Hawthorne (Jada Pinkett Smith), the head nurse of a hospital where all the doctors seem to be a-holes (not the first time you’ve heard this I’m sure). As soon as Hawthorne’s personal drama is over and the nursing begins (about 30 minutes into the show), it becomes obvious that the show will be a highlight for the invisible nurses in the hospital. This drama will showcase nurses as the heroes and doctors as cold bullies who collect the big checks (don’t quote me on this).

One of the likeable areas of Hawthorne is the methodology of the camera as it follows Christina throughout her hectic job and although very unoriginal in its writing, you tend to feel sorry for her as she gets it from all angles. Nurse Christina must champion her nurses as the doctors kill people due to bad decisions… and as you can probably guess they blame the nurses. She must weather the spite and nastiness of a mother-in-law and a feisty teenager, all while trying to attend meetings and play diplomat within the hospital. Jada Pinkett Smith is different from what I expected in this show and easily believable once I got past the initial 20 minutes. The writing became hokey at times when her co-workers were on screen and to be honest the only actor I could really feel was the one male nurse (I think Matt Crabtree plays the character).

The things that annoyed the hell out of me could be seen as minor but to me they touched a nerve. Hawthorne’s bi-racial teenager was as unbelievable as her acting and it started with the afro that television seems to always place on people of mixed race (hey she’s light-skinned so let’s make her hair really black so there is no question about it). Yawn people. Somehow with Jada at the helm, I thought this would be avoided, but oh well. Another issue I had was with the token Asian doctor speaking such broken English that when he first was on screen I thought he was teaching the new nurse another language. Dr. Mazaki (Keisuke Hoashi) was laughably bad and when it became apparent that his gimmick will be his inability to speak coherently I literally placed my face into my hands. Not to mention the token blonde slut nurse, and the disabled person to even out the scales I guess. Just awful.

So my synopsis on Hawthorne? Nothing original outside of the concentration on nurses and nothing to really drive me to DVR the next episode in hopes of catching it but at the same time it wasn’t a flop in my eyes. I do hope that things improve and a good amount of you tune in to judge for yourself since I believe the “nurse’s tale” is one that needs to be told. Jada is a good reason to watch, for all her charismatic beauty and sexy eyes, but I do hope that there will be more of a reason outside of this. The show has hope and people who love hospital dramas may find a niche with it. Just for the love of god lose the Asian stereotype fast, it’s really painful to watch.


Greg Dragon

Cinephile and opinion writer, Greg Dragon has been a fan of movies since the 80's when Kung Fu theater was all the rage and Roger Moore was James Bond. Greg is the founder and lead critic of Spicy Movie Dogs. You can follow him on Twitter @Rafacus or on his Google+ account.