Netflix enters a vein that it did not take advantage of: producing case series

Netflix's creative philosophy in the United States always used to be the same: series with horizontal plots, with defined season arcs, systematically forgetting about procedural or case series.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
29 February 2024 Thursday 16:48
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Netflix enters a vein that it did not take advantage of: producing case series

Netflix's creative philosophy in the United States always used to be the same: series with horizontal plots, with defined season arcs, systematically forgetting about procedural or case series. This last format seemed to be left to the country's free-to-air channels, as if it were a past television model. However, there are changes in this regard: they have just given the green light to a series with medical cases similar to Grey's Anatomy.

The title of the fiction is Pulse. It is created by Zoe Robyn, who had written in The equalizer, and produced by Carlton Cuse, known for his work in Jack Ryan, Bates Motel or Lost. Kate Dennis, who knows the hospital genre after directing New Amsterdam, is expected to film the first two episodes and establish the visual foundations and pulse of the series. And, as the first signing, a face known to the Netflix audience: Justina Machado, who starred in One day at a time (Day by day).

The comparison with Grey's Anatomy is not coincidental. The American media explain that it will combine medical cases with romances between consultations and operating rooms in a center specialized in treating trauma emergencies in Miami. Machado will be a doctor with talent and ambition, and head of Surgery and Emergencies.

Netflix's decision to produce Pulse is due to a change in mentality when commissioning fiction. The platform had always assumed that if it wanted to drive marathons among viewers, it had to produce series based on seasonal plots, to ensure that customers didn't leave the couch until they had seen how the story ended.

The successes of streaming, on the other hand, indicate that series with episodic cases also generate this marathon or binge-watching factor, as Americans say. Grey's Anatomy or Criminal Minds, for example, have always been one of the most watched series on platforms and let us remember that the most viewed series on Netflix in 2023 were the first seven seasons of Suits.

With the arrival of Pulse, in short, Netflix will obey an indirect request from its subscribers: to offer medical cases. Having episodes structured around a medical case, as consumer data proves, does not prevent the viewer from wanting to watch one installment after another.