Medical dramas are a dime a dozen these days, as you can find one on probably every channel. These are TV shows that take place in hospitals or are about doctors, are sappy and dramatic, and usually live longer than their most inspiring patients.
As is the problem with finding a good doctor, it’s a real struggle to find quality, meaningful television in a medical setting without the usual trite that infests so much of primetime television. That’s why we here at Paste have done the dirty work for you, delving into the deepest of what Hulu has to offer.
So, without further ado, here we have a plethora of medical dramas that showcase the best and worst parts of what may be some of the toughest jobs out there.
1. NY Med
ABC received unprecedented access to a couple of facilities under New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and captured something really special inside those walls. NY Med is a docu-series that follows the doctors, nurses and patients of these hospitals and offers an unfiltered and bracingly emotional look at their typical day in healthcare. It’s some really rough stuff, as they attempt to save lives and, all too often, deliver bad news.
2. St. Elsewhere
St. Elsewhere is a relic of its time, a show that now seems to wear its age proudly on its sleeve, ranging everywhere from the opening theme to the haircuts of the leads. This is a drama/dark comedy that was beloved during its run-time and has a huge ensemble cast, featuring an especially young-looking Denzel Washington of all people, which is especially cool. Also, what the hell is up with that ending?
Scrubs has all the makings of a classic television show: a heaping pile of comedy nostalgia with all the best parts of Zach Braff’s career sprinkled on top. J.D. starts the series as an intern at Sacred Heart Hospital and is almost literally in his mind the whole time. While it’s not an outright drama, it’s not short on dramatic moments that will absolutely rip your heart out. Also, pro-tip: We do not talk about season nine.
4. Rizzoli & Isles
Featuring the dynamic duo of Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, Rizzoli & Isles was TNT’s take on the cop procedural/medical drama mash-up. Jane is a detective and Maura is a medical examiner, and obviously they solve mysteries together. Because why wouldn’t they? Based off a series of books by Tess Gerritsen, this series is brimming with a fun back and forth repertoire between the two leads, who are the absolute bestest of friends.
5. Chicago Med
Dick Wolf is everywhere, you guys. One of the most prolific showrunners out there, many of his shows procreate like rabbits into a litter of spinoffs. Chicago Med is no exception, as it’s one of three Chicago shows that habitually crossover with each other. Chicago Med follows the doctors and nurses of Gaffney Chicago Medical Center as they try to save lives and still be friendly with each other at the end of the day. It’s not always easy.
6. Grey’s Anatomy
The Big Poppa of medical dramas, Grey’s Anatomy has aired 13 highly successful seasons so far. Following a slightly fluid cast of doctors, interns and nurses at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, Grey’s Anatomy is likely most notable as being the property that put Shonda Rhimes on the map. It also features a huge ensemble cast of Dr. McSteamys and McDreamys, assuring the audience they’ll be hardpressed to a find more attractive hospital staff.
Pete Mercer writes for the science, travel and health sections at Paste Magazine.