'Nurses' Episode 1 is based on real-life Toronto van attack, here's what happened in 2018
'Nurses', the NBC drama that was originally aired in Canada in January, is premiering on December 7 and the first episode is inspired by a real-life incident that occurred in Toronto
Medical dramas are the rage and we see that reflected in the success of 'The Good Doctor', 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'New Amsterdam' among other shows within the genre. 'Nurses' on NBC will be a new addition. The Canadian show which aired earlier in the year has been acquired by NBC and the first episode of the show sees young medical professionals on their first day join a fictional hospital in Toronto and find themselves thrown into a high-stress, mass-casualty situation. This situation is inspired by a real-life incident that occurred in 2018 in Toronto. Of course, the episode doesn't really take us in-depth into the situation, which is an accident, or show us how it occurred, instead, 'Nurses' will concentrate on the reaction of the medical professionals to this accident.
For instance, one of the subplots in the episode is of how one of the lead characters -- a rookie nurse, Grace (Tiera Skovbye) -- reacts to treating the perpetrator of an accident that killed many. While such ethical dilemmas have been run-of-the-mill plot devices set up within medical dramas to give us an insight into a character's belief system, the fact that the incident itself is real is what adds a layer to the show. However, it is not necessarily an engaging one. As much as they have tried to add elements to the show that might reel audiences in, nothing about 'Nurses' is new and so, this is a show that one would watch if medical procedurals are your thing.
Speaking of the incident itself, the Toronto van attack had been planned by Alek Minassian, who had admitted in court to planning and carrying out the April 23, 2018, attack. He had intentionally driven his van on a Toronto sidewalk and had killed 10 people while injuring 16 others. According to a report in ABC, the perpetrator's defense lawyers cited that Minassian had an "autistic way of thinking" which was severely distorted. He had also pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. In addition, he was also asked to be found not criminally responsible for his actions.
In the show, however, we see that the perpetrator is misogynistic, racist and it makes it more difficult to understand Grace's perspective. For instance, the conflict is not nuanced enough and when she has a conversation with another nurse about treating a killer, Grace says, "It must be so easy, only treating patients you like.” There is not much else and the episode itself suffers from this problem of being nothing more than a surface-level attempt at a medical procedural.
'Nurses' will air weekly on NBC at 10 pm ET on Mondays.