Thursday, March 13, 2008

Quick Review: New Amsterdam

John Amsterdam is a homicide detective who really has seen it all. He's 400 years old, thanks to having saved a native girl from a fate worse than death ... or maybe it was from death itself. She rewarded him, if it can be called that, by putting a spell on him so that he would live until he meets his true love. This results in an understandably brooding man who views death as a gift that he would like to earn. His current homicide cases usually remind him of a past part of his life. They are well handled and serve to lift the series above the standard show. Most interesting of all, the show consistently reminds us that immortality is a hollow gift and one of which most of us would tire. This is a message quite at odds with what we often see in modern thinking.

This reminds us most of Moonlight, in which a man, turned vampire against his will, wants nothing more than to be human again. It consistently reminds us that to be human with all the accompanying pain is still better than a false "superiority." New Amsterdam, however, has more depths to plumb and is the better show.

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