After the hurricane is one of the most honest television products of the season. Eight-episode mini-series (three of which premiere August 12 on AppleTV+) based on the book Five days at the memorial Pulitzer Prize-winning Sheri Fink talks about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in a New Orleans hospital where exhausted medical staff face an unthinkable emergency for five days that forces them to make moral decisions of great importance.
We’re being honest because the series, created by screenwriter John Ridley (twelve years of slavery) and Carlton Cuse (who this week presents the third of the mediocre Lock and key) is a mixture of at least two classic television genres that are not exactly obsolete, but also not related to serial elitism, such as a medical drama and a story about a procedural investigation.
Over the course of eight chapters, adding a reasonable dose of disaster movie references with some (great) visuals to help set the scene, the series bounces from one character to another, from one plot to another, without the narrative being in any way abrupt. Neither Cuse nor Ridley allow the story to be turned into anything other than pure survival drama. If it’s like a TV movie, its ambition is, of course, firstly to meet the genre with its proper dignity, and secondly, to do its best.
In this sense, the use of real images and voices interspersed with a fictionalized drama is just as revealing and helps to give extra density to the facts, rather than trivialize them. Best of all, despite this, the series doesn’t shy away from its common wicks: think of a hypervitaminated season emergencies (no melodrama Grey’s Anatomy), and the result will be the first five episodes, one per day, about Katrina’s crisis at New Orleans Memorial Hospital. The climax of tension in these five hours of television is wonderful and exemplary, and also uncomfortably entertaining (despite the gruesomeness of some passages).
Later, the series adds to a certain disinterest by making the system’s condemnation all too obvious, a cry that was clear enough anyway during the ensemble’s lengthy medical drama section. The profession of their actors, not necessarily stars – except for the always spectacular Vera Farmiga– In any case, it helps to outline the characters and traumas they face.