News Local

VGH-set doc returns for Season 2

By Eric MacKenzie

The second season of Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH premieres on Knowledge Network on April 12. 
KNOWLEDGE NETWORK

The second season of Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH premieres on Knowledge Network on April 12. KNOWLEDGE NETWORK

An award-winning series that provides viewers a glimpse of real-life, high-stress situations at Vancouver General Hospital is returning for a second season.

Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH is back for a six-episode run on Knowledge Network starting next month after cameras spent 80 days following medical professionals in B.C.’s only Level 1 Trauma Centre.

Make no mistake — this is not a reality show, but a documentary series.

“There’s nothing scripted. The only difference for me when I went to work is that I was approached by the crew and I wore a mic,” said Dr. Brianne Budlovsky, a fourth-year resident at VGH. “Otherwise, what you’d see in the show would be me doing my job — helping patients how I normally would, at the pace that I normally would.

“The cameras were really like a fly on the wall.”

The show’s first season, which aired in 2014, was seen by more than 1.2 million viewers on TV or online. It won Best Television Show and Best Documentary at that year’s Leo Awards — which honour B.C.’s film industry — and was nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards.

Budlovsky said she was working at VGH when camera crews captured the first season, but became more heavily involved for the filming of Season 2. Although she’s not sure how much she’ll be featured in upcoming episodes until they air, Budlovsky said the positive reception around the show’s inaugural season made it exciting to take a more prominent role this time.

She added that she thinks Emergency Room leads viewers to gain a better appreciation of the day-to-day work she and her colleagues do at VGH.

“Any of the staff that were in the documentary that I talked to about it, after the fact, they felt it was a very positive thing, a realistic portrayal of all the hard work we do ... but also the challenges that we face,” said Budlovsky.

The new season premieres April 12, but dozens of web shorts have been posted at www.knowledge.ca/er as a sneak peak.