Tag Archives: Helen Sharpe

New Amsterdam Character Review: Dr. Akash Panthaki

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series New AmsterdamRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

When we start a new relationship, it would be nice to know if this person will be in your life for the short term or the long term. But, as much as we would like to have this knowledge, no one has a crystal ball. We can only put our best foot forward and roll the dice.

In New Amsterdam, Dr. Akash Panthaki (Sendhil Ramamurthy) enters Helen Sharpe’s (Freema Agyeman) life when she least expects it. He appears to be the answer to her prayers. After spending years building her career, she has reached the age in which childbearing becomes more complicated. For a while, it appears that Helen and Akash will be in each other’s lives for a long time.

But life, like relationships, are not as predictable as we would wish it to be. Akash reveals that he already has two children from a previous relationship. Helen initially stays with him after this information is revealed, even though she is miffed that he kept these details from her. But this romance is not fated to last, and they eventually go their separate ways.

To sum it up: I am a believer that people come and go from our lives for a reason. Their presence in your life is not just a random coincidence. We learn something from their presence, regardless of the time we are with them. Though Akash and Helen are not a couple for very long, they learn that they can find love, even if they do not walk into the sunset together.

That is why he is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, New York City, Television

New Amsterdam Character Review: Helen Sharpe

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series New AmsterdamRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

When one chooses to join the medical profession, one needs more than just years of training and education. They need a heart, knowing that their working lives will be far from easy.

On New Amsterdam, Helen Sharpe is the head of Oncology and the former Deputy Medical Director at the fictional New Amsterdam hospital in New York City. Her introduction to her boss, Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) is not in the ER. Helen spends most of her time doing PR for the hospital and raising much-needed investment dollars.

When Helen finally returns to working with patients, her first patient is her boss. Max has cancer and isn’t exactly following doctor’s orders in terms of treatment. As both boss and patient, Helen’s relationship with Max becomes complicated and remains complicated.

The complication gets worse when Helen is arrested for taking a patient who is addicted to drugs to a safe injection site. On the brink of losing her job, Helen remains employed, but is demoted. Eventually she regains her place in the hospital hierarchy, but not without a few bumps along the way.

If her job wasn’t hard enough, Helen is becoming increasingly aware that her childbearing days will soon be behind her. Her adventures in romance and dating are both dead ends. There seems to be a growing romantic connection with Max, but being that he is married at the time, that idea is squashed. Then there is Akash Panthaki¬†(Sendhil Ramamurthy). It looks like they are on the road to happily ever after, but Helen has doubts when he tells her that he already has two children. Eventually, they go their separate ways, she freezes her eggs and goes on with her life.

To sum it up: In a perfect world, one goes into medicine to help others. But, as we all know, we do not live in a perfect world. Helen’s job is not easy, especially when it comes to the not so black and white relationship she has with Max. But in the end, she is dedicated to her patients and puts them above her needs.

That is why she is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, New York City, Television

New Amsterdam Character Review: Lauren Bloom

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series New AmsterdamRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Addiction and mental health issues weigh heavily on the lives of millions around the world. It is easy to pretend that these issues don’t exist. But the reality is that until one is able to see that they need help, they will never begin to move on.

On New Amsterdam, Lauren Bloom (Janet Montgomery) is the head of the Emergency Department. Smart and efficient, she has the ability to manage a very busy staff while ensuring that the patients are looked after. But underneath her professional abilities, Lauren is facing the two-headed demon of addiction to Adderall and the unhealed emotional wounds from a traumatic childhood.

She is forced into rehab when her colleague and friend, Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman) notices that something is off with Lauren. Rehab forces her to confront her troubled past and deal with the addiction that has hindered her ability to emotionally recover. But life is not all sunshine and roses when Lauren returns to work.

After bringing Georgia Goodwin’s (Lisa O’Hare) daughter in the world, Lauren has a different recovery ahead of her when she survives a car wreck. Well aware of how easily she can slide back into addiction, she turns to Helen and Zach Ligon (JJ Feild), her physical therapist, and sometimes hookup partner for support.

In the end, Lauren is able to put her past behind her, but not without some serious soul searching and hard work.

To sum it up: There are two ways to deal with problems. The first is to pretend that nothing is wrong. The second is to admit that you need help. Though it is infinitely harder to admit that you need help, the payoff is worth the risk. In admitting that she has a problem, Lauren shows that she has the strength and courage to move beyond the demons that have plagued her for far too long.

That is why she is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Mental Health, New York City, Television