Helllo, Nurse! (But Goodbye, Strong Black Woman?) – Pt. I

16 Aug

The television show HawthoRNe has had a pretty amazing run. For three seasons now, it has captivated audiences by blending hospital drama from a nurse perspective, with storylines outside of the hospital that are equally engaging and entertaining. HawthoRNe hasn’t always had the best ratings, but it does have a very committed fan base that extends into social networking sites. It’s a given that, if you’re on twitter, you likely have more than a few friends who have tweeted about “Christina,” “Tom,” and “Bobbi” on their Tuesday nights.

For those unfamiliar with the series, HawthoRNe stars Jada Pinkett Smith as Christina Hawthorne, the head CNO (chief nursing officer) at James River Hospital who juggles the stresses of work with those that come with being a widow and mother. Christina’s patience is tested not only by her daughter, Camille; but also by her fellow coworkers at James River, such as the hospital director, Morrissey (who has always had a target on her back. Some will say it’s because Christina tends to shun authority and rules when it comes to saving a patient’s life… I’ll avoid playing the “it’s ’cause she Black” card); fellow nurse Bobbi (the sexiest thing on one leg, ever… that was inappropriate, but it is true); and Tom, a doctor who was friends with Christina’s husband and who has harbored romantic feelings for Christina for a while.

One thing that really kept bringing me back to HawthoRNe, was the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith made Christina such a STRONG character. Finally, we had a strong Black female lead in primetime who didn’t need to buoyed by a group of friends (see The Game, Girlfriends, Living Single) and who was charismatic, feisty, and sexy all the while. The show exposed viewers to many facets of the nurse life – being looked down upon by doctors, for example, and going above and beyond the call for every patient. And while many actual nurses spoke out against Hawthorne’s “unrealisticness” (claiming that, if a real-life nurse took half the actions Christina does, much less ignored authority figures like she does, she would’ve been fired), the fact is, it was refreshing to see a no-nonsense Black woman at the helm of such an entertaining show (Jada is a producer for the show, as well).

However, I’ve admittedly found myself… disenchanted, for lack of a better word, with HawthoRNe’s third season. While the episodes have been high on drama, they have been regrettably low in other areas. Seeing as HawthoRNe’s season finale is tonight, I figured I’d voice a few of my concerns with the turn the show has taken.

**Additionally, in the interest of space, this will be a two-part post.** 

1) Christina & Tom’s sham of a marriage

Tom & Christina - Back when it all made sense.

Followers of HawthoRNe know Tom has been trying to get at Christina since the very first season. We’ve always noticed a sort of attraction between the two of them, and it became heir apparent when Tom tried to sneak some sweet talk to Christina in French during one of their conversations in the first season. In season two, Tom & Christina finally confronted their feelings for each other, culminating in them having sex and after which Tom gave Christina an impromptu proposal… one that was funny at the time, but turned out to be true. Indeed, Christina was afraid to really get into another relationship, but she gave in to love, and she and Tom start out season three getting married. (I personally felt as though this was a rushed marriage and a corny way to start out the season. But as a viewer, we’ve been rooting for them to get together forever, so I was like, okay, fine.) Yet over the course of the third season, Christina somehow found herself in the arms of another man, Detective Nick Renata (who was first introduced in season two as a potential love interest). Not to mention, we haven’t seen ANY of Tom’s family members, but Christina is over at Renata’s mother’s house all the time and gets real familiar with his family. And now, in the second to last episode of the season, they’re about to get divorced. I should’ve known their wedding getting interrupted by that car accident at the start of season three was a sign, huh? *Unfortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to know that Bossip had provided a sign of their own back in June*

2. True Life: My Daughter Pimped Jesus

Have #Thirst, Will Pray

Okay, that’s harsh. But Christina’s daughter Camille has been doing the most this season. In season one, she was just a rebellious free spirit. I could deal with that. By season two, she was becoming a fixture at the hospital – granted, we don’t even know if this girl was a nursing major, much less if she was going to school – and dating one of the nurses (the guy from Stomp The Yard: Homecoming). By season three… Stomp The Yard dude is gone, and now Camille’s working at James River and seriously lusting after a new doctor (Miles, played by Derek Luke) who’s separated with kids. I mean, seriously – Camille’s all but earned an endorsement from Gatorade with all the #thirst she’s exhibited towards Miles. Now, Miles has some scruples, so he shuts down Camille’s earliest attempts to make moves on him. But then Camille sees that Miles is very devout, so she pretty much uses Jesus to get on his good side. She asks him to teach her how to pray, but we know what the deal is…  By midway through the season, Miles has baptized Camille in the hospital fountain and she’s looking after his kids. Miles’s wife (Keisha from Single Ladies LisaRaye, reprising her role as Diamond) notices it too, because she slaps Camille at the hospital when she comes to check on her son after something happens when Camille’s been watching him. (Keep in mind, that Camille apologizes to Miles because she feels she disappointed him… not because she, you know, put his child’s life in danger) It’s just all a mess, y’all.

3. Hospital Drama Turned Murder Mystery? Sure, why not?

I ruined my marriage... and I'll ruin your show, too.

Apparently, Marc Anthony’s character Nick Renata was easy to pay well-received in his brief appearances from last season, because they brought him back for the third season. Here’s the thing – at the start of the season three premiere, a pregnant Christina is randomly attacked and beaten in the hospital parking lot. All Christina sees before she loses consciousness, is that her attacker is wearing a ring. Renata assigns himself to Christina’s case… and at the end of the first episode, Renata places a ring similar to the one her attacker was wearing, on the food tray near Christina’s hospital bed. Now, my first suspicion is that Renata CLEARLY had something to do with her attack; after all, how else is he in possession of the ring? Tom shares my skepticism. But Christina, for whatever reason, sees Nick as MORE trustworthy after this happens.

Anyway, there’s now a side story going on throughout this third season of “Who Attacked Christina Hawthorne?” And Renata seems to be present whenever any new evidence pops up, such as when the body of her alleged attacker is found. Plus, we have an Internal Affairs officer who finds Renata’s methods suspicious, to say the least, especially because of his work on another case. And in last week’s episode, now we have ANOTHER dude popping up around the hospital who wears a similar ring? Is there a murder club or something going on here? Umm… can we get back to the patients, please? Lowkey, I think this storyline was much more heavily pursued because another didn’t pan out…

**Stay tuned. I have a few more points to make, but I’ll address those in Part II.**

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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Television


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