‘New Amsterdam’ EPs Promise ‘More Joy’ & Interpersonal Dynamics in Season 4
“I really think coming out of this season and pandemic that there’s just going to be more joy all around, more happiness, more love, and rather than struggling against the oppression of the pandemic, our characters get to struggle about chasing their happiness, finding their happiness and keeping it,” executive producer David Schulner tells TV Insider. “Episode 1 of Season 4 is called ‘More Joy’ and that really is a proclamation for the season to come.”
“It really is about re-evaluating your life after what we’ve all been through and realizing I’m going to desperately hold on to the things that I love and get rid of the things that don’t bring me joy,” he adds.
That happiness means that medical director Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) is likely going to be more successful than he was in Season 3. (A large batch of vaccines expired because he was so determined to get them to people who otherwise wouldn’t have received one.) Those losses of his came, in part, due to the state of the world. “To give Max a bunch of wins when the world was constantly losing felt really disingenuous,” Schulner explains. “Max’s journey, I think, reflected the journey of a lot in the medical profession this year, trying to keep their heads above water while confronting the limits of their institution.”
We also won’t see Max trying to fix big issues in the same way he did in Season 3. At one point, he declared he was going to fix global warming. “It got a little much,” executive producer and director Peter Horton agrees with a laugh. “It got a little preachy. Those issues were so prevalent. We had to tell all of our stories in 14 episodes as opposed to 22 and now we can spread it out a little bit, but yeah, everybody was very passionate and wanted to deal with the big issues. I think we probably went a little far.”
For next year, the plan is to deliver more of what New Amsterdam was like in the first two seasons. “We’re gonna work our way back a little more towards just the interpersonal dynamics of our characters and our patients and the more sort of internal issues of what it means to be human again, which is really where emotion comes in and where our show lives most naturally,” Horton previews.
Speaking of changes and looking to the past, Dr. Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman), while in England with family, saw how the clinic where she used to work has been affected by the years that have passed. “It really profoundly affected her without a doubt,” Schulner confirms. Look to see that factor into what’s next for her career-wise.
That may or may not include her and Max butting heads at work (as they’ve finally taken a major step forward personally). “I think everything’s on the table for Season 4,” Schulner says.
The stories they tell at the hospital have to change a bit simply due to the doctors’ personal relationships. Max and Helen are now together. Dr. Bloom (Janet Montgomery) is dating Leyla (Shiva Kalaiselvan), who’s now a resident. Dr. Reynolds (Jocko Sims) is involved with a doctor (Frances Turner) in an open marriage with another doctor at New Amsterdam — who just gave him a promotion.
“Next season, you’re really going to see a lot more relationship stories and personal stories because they’re simply unavoidable,” Schulner continues.
Also coming in Season 4: new doctors. “We’re in the middle of creating those characters now, really exciting for us,” the EP says.
New Amsterdam, Season 4, Fall 2021, NBC