*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.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 Amsterdam. Read 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.
Managing a large organization is not easy. It requires negotiation, patience, and the ability to make tough decisions. But that does not mean that those decisions will always go over well.
On New Amsterdam, Karen Brantley (Debra Monk) is a wealthy businesswoman and the Chair of the Board of Directors at New Amsterdam Medical Center. Her business perspective often clashes with Medical Director Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold). His point of view is that the patients come first and the business side of running the hospital comes second. Even if that means stepping out of the box. The problem with this is that Karen is often left cleaning up the mess of Max’s unorthodox choices.
But Karen is not all work and no play. When a impromptu memorial is put up in memory of those who were lost to drug abuse, Karen reveals a part of her life that no one knew up to that point. She includes an image of her daughter, who died from her addiction.
In a light-heartened moment that surprised both the audience and the characters, Karen receives a flirty text from Vijay Kapoor (Anupan Kher). She responds in kind.
To sum it up: A full character is one in which the audience sees the whole person and not just one aspect of their lives. A good writer knows how to slowly reveal who the character is outside of the initial introduction to the audience. The revelations of Karen Brantley outside of her role within the hospital gives both the audience and the other characters a chance to know her and have a complete understanding of her motivations.
Which is why she is a memorable character.
This will be the last New Amsterdam Character Review post. The next group of characters I will be reviewing are…will be revealed next week.