For those wondering what ever happened to Jada Pinkett, now Jada Pinkett Smith, well, she’s alive and well, but not on the big screen. She’s on TNT. She’s the star and executive producer of “HawthoRNe” a hospital series, in its second season, which focuses on the nurses. If you can’t get producers to cast you, then produce your own. That is what she’s doing.

HAWTHORNE CAST OF NURSES—From left: David Julian Hirsh, Christina Moore, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Vartan, Hannah Hodson, and Suleka Mathew.

TNT is making a strong bid for Black viewers with programs like Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” along with several programs featuring Blacks as stars and co-stars. Blacks who are hungry to see Black faces on the tube helped make “HawthoRNe” a solid success in its first season which has led to the premier of the second season June 22.

The doors of Richmond Trinity have closed, permanently. That’s the dramatic reality that opens the second season of the powerful medical drama. Jada plays Christina Hawthorne, a Chief Nursing Officer ready for battle on the front lines of a war against declining patient services and hospital budget cuts.

The story is told from the point of view of nurses as they struggle against the odds to deliver the best care possible. The series also stars Michael Vartan who has a very hot ongoing romance with Christina; Suleka Mathew, as a fellow nurse and one of her best friends; David Julian Hirsh as a nurse struggling with being accepted in a female-dominated profession; Christina Moore, plays a nurse with a patriotic sense of duty; Vanessa Lengies, who continues to find her footing as a nurse; and Hannah Hodson, plays Christina’s daughter, Camille.

But what really makes the series sizzle is the battle between Christina and the new hospital’s ER’s head nurse played by Vanessa Bell Calloway.

As the second season opens, several Richmond Trinity doctors and nurses have been transferred to James River, a failing urban hospital in terrible shape. There, Christina butts heads with Gail Summer, played by Calloway, who is hard core and extremely set in her ways. Christina, however, is impressed by the charming Dr. Steve Shaw, who hails from England, and the hard-working young ER clerk Marcus Deeds played by Collins Curtis, the only Black male in the cast, who has his eye on Camille.

The first episode deals with the closing of Richmond Trinity and the disbursement of the doctors and nurses from that hospital. All the good-byes. Then comes the second episode in which many are reunited at the new hospital, James Rivers, which is in far worse shape than their old hospital and if something is not done soon to remedy the problems it too will be shut down. The hospital is based in a low to moderate income urban community where there isn’t a lot of money or health care insurance but more than enough patients. They are practically stacked on top of each other, with dead patients being kept in rooms until there was space for them in the morgue.

The first two episodes were very exciting and with the quality of actors they have in the cast it should remain so, especially with the two veteran actresses Jada Pinkett Smith and Vanessa Bell Calloway leading the way.

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