Watch Five Days at Memorial
- 1 Season
Five Days at Memorial is a haunting, powerful and thought-provoking limited series that is exclusively available on Apple TV+. Based on Sheri Fink's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, the show transports viewers back to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As the city descended into chaos in August 2005, one of the most harrowing medical crises in American history unfolded within a hospital that was designed to protect and heal its patients.
At the center of the story is Memorial Medical Center, a hospital that is struggling to stay afloat amidst the disaster. With the building's generators failing and the temperatures soaring, doctors and nurses are forced to make impossible decisions as they try to save the lives of their critically ill patients. As the storm rages on outside, the hospital becomes a microcosm of a community that has been pushed to its limits.
The show follows a diverse cast of characters, played by talented actors such as Vera Farmiga, Cherry Jones, and Cornelius Smith Jr. There's Dr. Anna Pou (Farmiga), a head and neck surgeon who is tasked with leading the hospital's response to the storm. As the situation worsens, she is forced to make life and death decisions that will have far-reaching consequences. Meanwhile, Nurse Sheri Fink (Jones) is trying to keep her patients alive while also trying to stave off dehydration and exhaustion. She is a nurse who is dedicated to her patients, no matter the circumstances.
Elsewhere in the hospital, there's medical student Mike McQueen (Smith Jr.), who finds himself thrust into an unexpected leadership role as he tries to rally the hospital staff and keep morale up. As the days go on and the situation worsens, tensions within the hospital begin to rise. Doctors are forced to make impossible choices: who to save, who to let die, and how to prioritize limited resources.
Throughout the show, we see the human cost of the disaster as well. Family members are desperate for news of their loved ones, and simply trying to find their way through the flooded streets of New Orleans. It is a sobering reminder of the ways in which the most vulnerable members of society are often disproportionately affected by natural disasters.
The show is beautifully shot and eerily realistic, with the sets and costumes capturing the gritty, post-apocalyptic feel of a city that has been ravaged by a disaster. The performances are especially strong. Vera Farmiga is typically excellent as Dr. Pou, conveying both her no-nonsense determination and her moments of self-doubt. Cherry Jones, meanwhile, brings a sense of emotional richness to her role as Nurse Fink. And Cornelius Smith Jr. is a standout as Mike, deftly navigating the complex emotional terrain that comes with taking charge during a crisis.
What makes Five Days at Memorial so riveting is its unflinching depiction of the toll that a disaster of this magnitude can take on individuals and communities. It is not an easy show to watch; there are moments of heartbreak and tragedy that are almost unbearable. However, it is also a deeply human show, one that reminds us of the courage and resilience that we can find within ourselves during times of crisis.
Ultimately, Five Days at Memorial is a gripping work of historical fiction that sheds a stark light on one of the darkest moments in recent American history. It forces us to confront uncomfortable questions about ethics, morality, and the limits of human endurance. However, it is also a story of hope, of the power of the human spirit to overcome even the most unimaginable obstacles. It is a series that is not to be missed.
Five Days at Memorial is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (8 episodes). The series first aired on August 12, 2022.