Review: TNT's 'Hawthorne'


TNT ventures into the world of nursing with its newest drama series Hawthorne.

The series stars veteran actress Jada Pinkett-Smith as Christina Hawthorne, a passionate but no-nonsense chief nursing officer at Richmond Trinity Hospital. Like other successful hospital dramas such as ER, Hawthorne has its share of adrenaline-filled scenes of doctors frantically trying to save the sick and infirmed - including suicidal patients falling off the hospital roof - and heart-tugging scenarios such as the rescue and care of a homeless baby.

But unlike its medical predecessors, Hawthorne takes its cue from the nurse's point of view. Series executive producer Pinkett - through her brilliant portrayal of the strong-minded Christina - gives viewers a rare look into the trench wars nurses wage everyday with patients and doctors themselves. Pinkett in the pilot episode is forced to battle hospital administrators to defend one of her nurses (David Julian Hirsh) after he nearly kills a patient by acting, against his better judgment, based on a doctor's incorrect diagnosis.

While Christina has a tight grip on the demands of work, the threads of her personal life are a little less secure. Still coming to grips with the cancer-related death of her husband, Christina often talks to her husband's urn which she carries with her throughout the house. In the pilot episode, which opens on the first anniversary of his death, Hawthorne is reluctantly forced to relinquish her husband's remains for a year to her bitter mother-in-law (Joanna Cassidy), who happens to sit on the hospital's board and who blames Christina for her son's death. Christina also struggles to balance her career with raising her smart, but rebellious teen daughter Camille (Hannah Hodson) who proves to be every bit a strong-willed as her mother.

TNT is known for producing smart, well-written dramas with strong, likable female leads, and Hawthorne is no exception.

Hawthorne premieres June 16 at 9 p.m. on TNT.