Elective Surgery: ‘The Knick’ is bloody, brutal, and brilliant

It’s a testament to the inventiveness of The Knick, Steven Soderbergh’s new medical drama, that it’s hard to know what to fear more: turn-of-the-century ailments or the antiquated tools used to cure them. Golfball-sized hernias, or primitive cauterization? Syphilitic holes in your face, or what passed for a cosmetic skin graft in 1900? The much-hyped show is at first completely overwhelmed by pressing issues such as these.

The pilot, which aired on Friday, is a little weighed down by all the gore and period detail. Characters have big expansive thoughts like “God always wins.” But if it seems like a bit much, I encourage you to keep going.

For those of you catching up: “The Knick” is the nickname given by its staff to New York City’s…

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