Cinemax quietly showed it was ready to start competing with sister channel HBO’s high-quality fare when it debuted Banshee several years ago. But it really stepped up its game another notch with the premiere of The Knick last fall. Written and created by Jack Ariel and Michael Begler, and stunningly filmed by Steven Soderbergh, The Knick is a grim, occasionally nihilistic portrait of surgery and medicine in the early 20th century. Its millieu means as much as its main narrative, and while Clive Owen’s role of Dr. John Thackery is more rote than one would hope (falling into the “brilliant asshole” category of TV doctors), the show also features a fantastic cast, and manages to portray an amalgam of mesmerizingly grisly medical scenes, gallows humor, and truly tender relationships that have made it one of the best shows on TV.
The first trailer for Season 2 shows more of the same, from Soderbergh’s gorgeous shot composition to Cliff Martinez’s haunting, insistent score. Thack is back in action, and possibly still addicted (to something, anyway), but the rest of the trailer is a whirlwind that suggests another season filled with thrilling drama and unimaginable horrors (I’m still haunted by that shot of Eleanor’s teeth … or lack thereof).
The Knick Season 2 will return to Cinemax October 16, 2015, and also stars an impeccable cast including Andre Holland, Jeremy Bobb, Juliet Rylance, Eve Hewson, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour, and Eric Johnson.