Cinemax is ready to shift the original cable drama paradigm with a new series that rolls out tonight on the pay-cable channel and HBO sibling. The show is “The Knick,” from director Steven Soderbergh, which stars Clive Owen as a drug-addled surgeon operating in turn-of-the-century New York City — not that recent turn of the century, but the one of a little more than a hundred years ago.
The times, the drugs and the drama of a more primitive — and often more brutal — era of medicine all play a part in making “The Knick,” which has already been renewed for a second season, compelling TV. Why, then, is it on Cinemax and not HBO? TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin has the answer, part of her preview of a series that may make you want to look away during its more graphic moments, but is likely to keep you coming back for more.