You want to see a real E.R., folks? Forget the prosthetic wounds and doctors-in-love dramatics on NBC's version. The Learning Channel's Trauma: Life in the E.R. airing Mondays at 8 pm/ET is an hour-long crash course in emergency medicine that may leave you ready to check yourself into a hospital, STAT.
The reality show's gory scenes apparently aren't meant to be gratuitous. "We are not there to do an exposé," notes exec producer Liane Thompson. "Our focus is on the caregivers and whomever [they] may treat." Still, the show does log 180 to 200 hours of footage from a month-long stay in a trauma unit, eager to give viewers an uncensored, all-access pass. And with its scalpel-wielding docs facing every woe from detached earlobes to head scalpings, Trauma is hardly for couch potatoes with weak stomachs.
Behind the scenes, Thompson laughs, "no one has passed out... yet. [Though] some of our crew, I'm sure, believe that they now know how to put in a chest tube [from watching doctors do it so many times]."Waxing a bit schmaltzy, the producer underscores her six-year-old docudrama's main lesson: "Doctors are real people... real people who just happen to be angels on earth." Uh huh. Our prescription for Trauma fans? Eschew snacks, keep Kleenex and air-sickness bags at the ready, and you should be covered.