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I blame Freddy Rodriguez. Yes, he was my gateway into the wild, insane, inspiring world of The Night Shift. I followed Freddy Rodriguez...

My Name Is Karen, and I Watch ‘The Night Shift’

I blame Freddy Rodriguez.

Yes, he was my gateway into the wild, insane, inspiring world of The Night Shift. I followed Freddy Rodriguez from Six Feet Under to Ugly Betty to Chaos (remember that show?), and I wasn’t about to stop just because he jumped to yet another network for The Night Shift.

As someone who devoured every episode of ABC’s loopy medical show Off the Map (remember that show?), naturally I was intrigued about The Night Shift, which follows a group of skilled Army Rangers veterans/doctors who return from Afghanistan to work the night shift in the emergency room of San Antonio Memorial. The question, of course, is how will these unconventional battlefield doctors fit into the structured world of a major hospital while dealing with their inevitable personal demons?

In the first five minutes of the pilot, rogue doctor/bad boy TC Callahan (Merlin alum and resident Irish hottie Eoin Macken) wakes up in the drunk tank with a black eye, hops on his motorcycle, and immediately happens upon a man impaled by a tree branch writhing on the side of the road with a couple of baffled paramedics looking on in horror. Callahan, with his battlefield resourcefulness, saves the day with a couple of tubes, a needle, and a scalpel. And with that, I was hooked.

TC was equally compelling in the ER setting. From his sexy interactions with Dr. Jordan Alexander (Jill Flint), his on-and-off again girlfriend and chief of the night shift; to his combative relationship with Michael Ragosa (Rodriguez), a dogged hospital administrator who becomes a doctor’s assistant in Season 2 (it’s complicated, trust us); to the deep ties he forms with fellow veterans Dr. Topher Zia (Ken Leung) and Drew Alister (Brendan Fehr), TC Callahan did not disappoint. He proved to be the kind of psychologically damaged, broody nighttime soap hero I can root for.

Another reason I love the series? It’s set in San Antonio, a city that I have to conclude is one of the most dangerous places on earth. In between dealing with bizarre (and I mean, bizarre) late-night ER trauma cases, the emergency staff of San Antonio Memorial inexplicably desert the ER to ride along with paramedics to the scenes of various catastrophes involving things like hunting parties gone awry, nightmare car crashes, gas explosions in urban areas, disorderly rodeos, and snipers wreaking havoc on hapless San Antonians.