I remember seeing commercials for this new show on Fox last Spring and being really interested in watching. I had just finished reading Forever by Pete Hamill and it was impossible not to miss the correlation. A man is given immortality and lives for 400 years in New York until he can find his soul mate. I heard that although it is obviously inspired by the book, Pete Hamill was not involved in the script and he has decided not to press charges. I find that rather admirable in today's litigious society, but I wish that he could get some credit. But that's not really what this post is about.
I watched the series premier on Fox the other night and I was sadly disappointed. I really liked the book and I think it was smart to make it into a TV show, but they did a horrible job. They made the mistake of trying to infuse the show with the same sense of majesty and magic that the book holds but instead it turned out kind of cheesy. Hamill's character has this wonderful deep melancholy that comes from all his years of witnessing people come and go in his town. New Amsterdam tried to convey the same thing in the main character John Amsterdam but it falls painfully short. I think it might be because they tried to make the show adventurous by making Amsterdam a detective, but it was too hard to do both the action and the brooding so it fell short on all counts.
I may continue to watch it in the future just because there's nothing else on, but one would be better served by just reading the book in this case.