Photo: Courtesy of Cinemax.
Disclaimer: Mild spoilers follow.
The story centers around The Knickbocker hospital, a fictional cutting-edge (heh) chop shop in turn-of-the-century New York. There, Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen) experiments with new surgical techniques that don't always pan out as well as he might've hoped.
Keep in mind that "Thackery" also rhymes with "quackery," and that this show is basically House circa 1900, except here the good doctor shoots cocaine instead of eating opiates.
In the first episode, Thackery's introduced to Dr. Algernon Edwards (Andre Holland), a black doctor whose race quickly becomes a bone of contention (double heh) for the very openly racist hospital staff. When they're not accidentally letting patients bleed out in the operating theater, they're hurling slurs at Edwards.
If the premiere was any indication, The Knick's historical horror coupled with some heavy-handed politics puts it squarely in the realm of American Horror Story's second season. (So far there's been no autoerotic emesis/alien probing scenes, but you can take a wild guess as to which body part Thackery injects his cocaine into.) It's like a Grand Guignol version of Gray's Anatomy — the book, not the show.
With Soderbergh at the helm, though, it's gorgeously directed, even if it does sometimes veer into camp. (Variety)