Not sure why I hesitated to watch Cinemax's brilliant new TV series, The Knick. It is directed and edited by Stephen Soderbergh-who is one of my favorite contemporary American directors. Furthermore, it stars Clive Owen, one of my favorite actors as the flawed hero, Dr. John Thackery (partially based on historical figure, William Stewart Halstead). I suspect it had something to do with a backlog of other shows I was watching earlier this year-I usually can't budget time for more than two a week-combined with a mixed review from Slate's Culturefest podcast. However, the show boasts first-rate film-like cinematography, great ensemble acting, top rate production values, and historical-based writing that builds over the course of the 10 episode first season (luckily it has been renewed). Soderbergh has brought on several of his collaborators from his films, such as composer Cliff Martinez, who uses a modern score for the period drama. The writing is also top notch as is the ensemble acting. This was one of my favorite TV shows of the year, and has created great expectations for next year's season two.