TV Review: CBS’ Code Black remembers when medical dramas weren’t all tarted up

In emergency room lingo, “code black” means all hell has broken loose. The phrase is used to jolt med-school students out of their rotation stupor when there’s a massive influx of critical patients and insufficient resources to care for them. Most emergency rooms have the good fortune to find themselves in code black situations no more than a handful of times each year. But Angels Memorial, the hospital at the center of CBS’ Code Black, declares such a state of emergency 300 times a year, according to a couple of helpful title cards. Sure enough, by the end of the pilot, the ER at Los Angeles’ Angels Memorial has plummeted into pandemonium, and Dr. Leanne Rorish (Marcia Gay Harden) is treating two patients at the hospital while talking an absent colleague through a procedure over the phone.

Code Black is nothing new. In fact, it’s as by-the-book as …

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