‘New Amsterdam’ EP On Max & Sharpe’s Future & Season 3’s Complicated ‘New Reality’

'New Amsterdam' won't be the same when it returns for season 3. HL spoke with creator David Schulner about the season 2 finale and how the current season 3 plans have been 'thrown out the window.'

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The characters of New Amsterdam will be facing a “new reality” when the show picks back up for season 3. The NBC medical drama’s second season ended a few episodes early due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but the finale set quite the stage for the third season. However, life will have changed drastically for the New Amsterdam docs. The state of the real world will be reflected in the show.

HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVE with showrunner David Schulner and he confirmed that New Amsterdam will address the pandemic next season. The initial plans the writers had for season 3 will be changing because of the current health crisis and “devastation of the hospital system” in New York City. This will impact all of the characters and their storylines. David also discussed Daniel Dae Kim’s character, Max’s breakup, whether Reynolds will be coming back, and more.

First and foremost, are you planning to have Daniel Dae Kim back next season?
David Schulner: All the plans are kind of in flux right now. We had him for 5 or 6episodes this year. Hopefully, he’ll be back.

At the end of the episode, we see Shin and Sharpe going out. Were we going to see a relationship blossom in the final episodes?
David Schulner: I think so. I think that was the plan. I think it’s safe to say that they’re there on a road somewhere.

Why did you want to bring Shin into the mix and shake things up a bit?
David Schulner: We wanted to give Sharpe a challenge. We wanted her to have to deal with someone who was the opposite of Max, who had boundaries, who takes care of themselves before he takes care of his patients, which is the opposite of Max. We wanted Sharpe to see that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. She has been around Max so long that she began to sound like Max, so we wanted to remind her that
there was life before Max and there’s a life after Max.

Speaking of Max and Sharpe, I’m still not over that moment between them where they nearly kissed. Where do you see their dynamic going from here?
David Schulner: I know that we had plans for them. But I also know that we can’t follow those plans like nothing has changed in the world. Because we’re a hospital show in New York City, I think we have to acknowledge the devastation of the hospital system in New York City during this pandemic in some way.

New Amsterdam has never been shy about touching on very important topics in the medical community. Are you going to tackle the coronavirus pandemic next season?
David Schulner: I think we have to in some way because we are firmly in the real world. Like you said, we’re dealing with real-world health issues. How can we ignore the biggest one in our lifetime? I think all our current plans are thrown out the window.

Before the episode, Ryan Eggold explains the situation around the flu pandemic episode and why you chose not to show it at this point. Was there talk about shelving that episode completely given the circumstances?
David Schulner: No. I think we talked every single scenario from the airing the episode with news specials surrounding it, having one of our cast members or one of our writers talk about the episode. The writer who wrote the pandemic episode, David Foster, is a medically trained physician. We could have put him on camera to speak about the flu and the virus and really built up the episode and promoted it as such to pulling it until later on. We talked about everything in between as well.

Reynolds is now in San Francisco. In the original final episodes, were there plans to bring him back at all? Will we see him again next season?
David Schulner: I don’t know. I know we were going to have a big wedding with him and Evie. That was the plan, but I think everyone’s plans have to change. They all are going to have a new normal when we come back. Iggy will still be dealing with his eating disorder, Max will be dealing with Georgia. Everything is going to be complicated by this new reality.

Are you planning on picking up after the pandemic or wherever we are in the situation in regards to the timeline? 
David Schulner: It’s a great question, and I don’t have an answer right now. We were going to set the room June 1. That obviously be the first time we all talk about it. I would want to hear everyone’s perspective on where we should pick back up. But I think we’d have to find a way to address what happened, whether it’s in flashbacks or whether it’s an opening montage. There are endless possibilities right now.

It certainly opens up a whole new world for this show at this point because it is set in the belly of the beast at this moment. It’s never going to be the same from this point.
David Schulner: If we thought New Amsterdam was underfunded and stretched to the limit when we began, what is it going to do to the hospital?

At the end of the episode, Max and Alice go their separate ways. Where do you think Max is at emotionally at this point? 
David Schulner: I think that moment is very much like the moment he had with Sharpe in perspective, where they came close to something but Max stopped. I think Max is realizing that he’s just not ready. I think his grief has pushed him to places he never thought he would go. Some of them healthy, some of them not healthy. Some of them too soon, like his relationship with Alice. Just because Max wanted to be ready doesn’t mean he is.

What about Bloom? Where do you foresee her journey going next season?
David Schulner: I think Bloom is like a phoenix. She has really risen from the ashes in such a great, healthy way. My only worry for her character is that she has let down her guard and brought her mom back in which, if history tells us anything, is trouble.

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