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Fake Zeke Emanuel

His brothers get TV characters named Gold, so why shouldn’t he?

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Ezekiel Emanuel.(Wikipedia)

The youngest Emanuel brother, Hollywood superagent Ari, has been fictionalized on HBO’s Entourage as Jewish Hollywood superagent Ari Gold. The middle Emanuel brother, Chicago mayor and former political consultant Rahm, has been fictionalized on CBS’s The Good Wife as Jewish political consultant Eli Gold. There is little doubt that TNT is getting the following pitch based on the eldest Emanuel brother, oncologist and bioethicist Ezekiel, or “Zeke.”

This hour-long drama follows Amos Gold, 40ish, a quiet genius of a brain surgeon at Boston’s Charles University Hospital (essentially Mass General, with Charles being an MIT/Harvard amalgam), who is also a serious bioethicist: He has received both an M.D. and a philosophy Ph.D. (like Zeke!). In the E.R., he is known as Aim, a reference also to his brilliant precision with a scalpel; on the street, where he allows his fierce competitive streak to show itself in pick-up basketball games, he is known as “Mo;” only Priscilla Whartley, his bohemian-chic ex-girlfriend who is the daughter of a wealthy African-American Boston family but is now a philosophy professor at Charles, calls him “Amos.” She is always pulling for him to leave his surgical persona behind in favor of the eternal philosophy grad student she believes him to be—and which, just perhaps, he truly is. Get Ben Shenkman to play Amos; second choice, Zeljko Ivanek. Maya Rudolph for Priscilla.

The pilot finds Gold in great grief: His longtime best friend, Eric, has just died of a brain tumor. Though Gold wanted to save his friend, he ultimately knew the tumor to be inoperable, and, also a bioethicist, found himself bound by ethics from trying.

The episode opens on Gold in his office fumbling with Eric’s old Red Sox hat, before himself putting on the Cubs hat that he has specially sterilized so that he can wear it while in the O.R. It largely tells the story, in flashback, of the death of Eric (played by John Stamos, in a one-off geared toward the Guest Star Emmy category). The subplot finds Whartley threatened by a young, talented, tenure-track assistant philosophy professor.

Around minute 47, Gold thinks back to the time that, as a young man, he and Eric got the chance to meet Tony Conigliaro, the former Red Sox outfielder whose career went south after he was hit by a ball in the face, who told the two that life is to be treasured no matter what, and who died shortly thereafter in the very E.R. where Gold was then a resident. Eric had lived his life that way; Gold wonders if he has shunned Conigliaro’s advice.

The episode closes with Gold on a conference call with his two brothers, respectively the mayor of Chicago and a Hollywood superagent, who call him not Aim, not Mo, and not Amos, but rather “douchebag” and “numb-nuts” and far, far worse.

(Creator: M.T., E.P.: reader A.Z.)

Related: The Good Jew [Tablet Magazine]
The Brothers Emanuel [NYT Mag]

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Amy says:

Do No Harm should include the origin story, portrayed in black-and-white flashbacks set to klezmer music, where the Golds have dinner together every night, as the Emanuels are said to have done.

Eli says:

Let’s nor forget Josh Lyman from the West Wing also reportedly based on Rahm


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Fake Zeke Emanuel

His brothers get TV characters named Gold, so why shouldn’t he?

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