Two months ago? Three months ago? Some time ago a friend in Canada sent me recordings of a television show called Transplant. It was a medical drama that I wanted to ignore because I was tired of medical dramas, but felt obligated to take a look at because my friend had taken the time to send it to me.
I watched the first episode on a Saturday morning while I waited for my cats to finish breakfast. I wanted to add their dishes to the dishwasher before I ran it. I knew I had some time because Jenny is famous for eating a bit, walking away, coming back and eating a bit more, then walking away, then coming back... it can take her 20 minutes to finish a meal.
I was riveted to the screen for the entire first episode. After running the dishwasher I sat back down and watched the remaining 12 episodes back-to-back. My day was gone but I really didn't have a choice. It's that good.
Transplant is about a Syrian immigrant doctor in Toronto who can't get work so he takes a job in his uncle's restaurant. Then one fateful night, everything changes...
Hamza Haq should be a shoo-in for a Best Actor Grammy for his portrayal of the lead character. He plays the part with a grace, subtlty, and sympathy that seems effortless. And yet he also plays it with a certain level of detatchment that somebody who lived through the horror of civil war in Syria would have to have. It's sublimely perfect, and I don't know how he manages it. Far too many actors would go over-the-top with the material, which is the exact opposite of what the part needs. No, Haq manages to get everything perfect and strike the right note every time.
That alone would be remarkable. But it's just the beginning. The writing is top-notch and the supporting cast is equally excellent. Which is a good thing because there are times that the story will push Dr. Hamed to the background despite him being the main character. It's a brilliant play, because he's all the more impactful when he's in the spotlight.
If Transplant doesn't top my favorite shows of 2020, I will be very surprised. It's so good that NBC started airing it here in the States. The first episode aired last night, so I'm guessing it is being shown Tuesdays on NBC. If you missed it, you can sign up for a free account at PeacockTV.com and watch the first episode at no charge!
If you're looking for a way to kill time during quarantine, this is well worth a look.