Why New Amsterdam Would Be ‘Irresponsible’ To Ignore COVID-19 In Season 3, According To Showrunner

New Amsterdam Ryan Eggold Dr. Max Goodwin NBC
(Image credit: Virginia Sherwood / NBC)

New Amsterdam has dealt with a lot near the end of its latest season, as it's faced the effects of COVID-19 in more ways than one. And since the ratings winner is a medical drama that addresses real-world issues, it sounds like the coronavirus will be a topic of conversation in Season 3, according to the showrunner.

In New Amsterdam’s unplanned-yet-official Season 2 finale, the series shook things up in the romance department. Dr. Helen Sharpe seems headed for a potential love triangle, and she's not the only one with exciting romantic prospects, since Karen Brantley basically asked out Dr. Vijay Kapoor in the season-ender. Asked about their future, Schulner explained the impact of the coronavirus, saying TVLine:

I would love to see that. We were definitely heading in that direction, but honestly, I’m not being coy when I say this pandemic has interrupted the real world. Because we’re a hospital show set in New York, it would be irresponsible to pretend this didn’t interrupt our world of New Amsterdam. We’re a show about health professionals and a public hospital in Manhattan, and I think they have to go through what the real-life doctors in New York are going through now. This has to be a part of our world, or we lose the sense of intimacy and realism that we strive for. I think all our clever writer plans are thrown out the window, and we have to adjust. Our characters have to adjust. We have to take our cue from the real world, which is telling us, ‘All your plans are on hold, and everything you want to do has to be rethought, and the idea of getting back to normal is going to be a lot harder than flipping on a switch.’

Like many other series, New Amsterdam had to shut down production early, which led to an early end for the second season. Considering all that has happened in the real world, it makes sense that showrunner David Schulner would already be thinking about why it might be “irresponsible” to ignore the coronavirus pandemic in Season 3.

COVID-19 has also affected New Amsterdam on a more personal level, as one of its newest stars, Daniel Dae Kim, tested positive before recovering from it. Kim shared in a video preceding the Season 2 finale that he has since recovered. The actor made his official debut as the new head trauma surgeon, Dr. Cassian Shin, in last night’s finale but was initially supposed to make debut in a currently postponed episode.

Daniel Dae Kim was set to make his debut as Dr. Cassian Shin in an episode that, ironically, centered on a flu epidemic that was about to air when production was shut down. To be respectful and sensitive to the real-world pandemic, NBC decided to pull the episode.

But thanks to some editing, fans were still able to see Daniel Dae Kim’s debut from that episode in the finale. Before said episode aired, Kim and Ryan Eggold (Max) shared a message with fans, explaining the situation. With this, New Amsterdam has already chosen not to shy away from acknowledging the coronavirus pandemic.

With the series having felt its impact so strongly, you can see why New Amsterdam can't move forward without acknowledging COVID-19, and it'll be interesting to see how the mega-renewed medical drama goes about addressing it.

Fans will have quite a bit of time to consider all of this, but, on the bright side, New Amsterdam is set to return for Season 3 this fall on NBC. While you wait to see what happens next on the medical drama, you can enjoy this spring’s premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.