After partaking in the Conjuring franchise and stepping into TV territory with Bates Motel, Vera Farmiga is ready to take on a new role in the limited series Five Days at Memorial. The show is based on the true events that took place at the Memorial Hospital, following the chaotic turnaround of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Throughout its eight episodes, Carlton Cuse and John Ridley‘s latest project doesn’t shy away from displaying the tragedy and despair that victims of the hurricane and medical practitioners at the Memorial Medical Centre underwent in real life.
Here is the breakdown of where to stream the true story series and what to watch next.
Where Can You Watch Five Days At Memorial?
If you don’t have an Apple TV+ subscription yet, now would be the best time to look into it if you are dying to watch Five Days At Memorial. The series arrived on the platform on August 12 and much like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show (and other Apple TV+ originals), the first three episodes were available to binge when it was released. The following ones are added every Friday up until September 16. Each episode takes place on a specific day after the natural disaster occurred, starting with “Day One”.
Here is a sneak peek into the nerve-wracking state of the hospital once the hurricane victims begin to flood into Memorial Hospital.
Can You Watch Five Days At Memorial Without Apple TV +?
Unfortunately, the series isn’t available on other streaming platforms so the only way to watch it would be through Apple TV +. You are granted a 7-day free trial when subscribing to the service without a recently purchased Apple device, or a free run that could last anywhere from 3 months to a year after paying for a new Apple product. After this, you will be charged $4.99 a month or $49.99 for an annual payment plan.
What Happened at Memorial Hospital IRL?
Once the hurricane hit, the medical team and their patients were left in a tight spot without a concrete evacuation plan for flooding. It was only on Day 3 that helicopters and boats came to rescue anyone that was alive ever since the incident. On Day 5, the police visited the place only to discover that there were over 45 dead bodies. Although it would be common to believe that these deaths were a consequence of the hurricane itself, the more the police officers investigated what happened, the more they suspected that the medical practitioners were responsible for performing unlawful euthanasia. The series breaks down what happened in the first five days and the criminal case that took place after the 45 bodies were found.
Basing themselves off a best-selling book by journalist Dr. Sheri Fink, the showrunners were meticulous about capturing the full scope of what happened at that time. Here is what Cuse told Collider’s Christina Radish about portraying Hurricane Katrina in the Apple TV + original:
“Well, I thought I knew about Hurricane Katrina, and then I read Sheri Fink’s book and I realized I really didn’t. It was so eye-opening. I realized there was so much more that happened in New Orleans, that I was not aware of. She spent six years working on this book. She interviewed over 500 people. It was this incredible story that focused on these 2,000 people who were trapped in this hospital, but it was really a metaphor and a way of explicating what happened to the city at large. I thought that was just an incredible story, and it stuck in my brain.”
More True Story Shows Like Five Days at Memorial to Watch Next
Although the following recommendations aren’t about natural disasters like the one portrayed in Five Days at Memorial, they are still based upon real-life events that shook the United States. From an epidemic to a serial rapist on the loose, these shows have what it takes when it comes to keeping viewers intrigued. These are all limited series, meaning that after you watch the Apple TV+ original, you could easily binge these other options too.
Dopesick: This Hulu installment takes place during the opioid crisis that affected multiple families and individuals across America. The origin of the epidemic was credited to Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin, a medicine that is highly addictive and was prescribed by many doctors for the treatment of moderate and severe pain. The series shows how the drug was wrongfully marketed as a less addictive option for patients in comparison to other opioids, as well as the life-threatening effects that it had on a small mining community in Virginia. If you are looking to catch up on Emmy nominees before the ceremony takes place in September, then go ahead and add Dopesick to your watch list. The show, starring Michael Keaton and Kaitlyn Dever, received 14 nominations this year.
Unbelievable: Another prestigious limited series, Unbelievable shows Detective Grace Rasmussen (Toni Collette) and Detective Karen Duvall (Merritt Wever) joining forces to uncover the identity of a serial rapist. After his first victim, Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever), files a report and is then accused of lying, the investigation leads her to reclaim her credibility once other voices join hers. Also based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning story, this Netflix original draws viewers in with its shocking turn of events and stellar performances.
The Staircase: Last but not least, The Staircase is another limited series that garnered Emmy attention this year. Although it isn’t nearly as nominated as Dopesick, it was recognized for the outstanding performance of lead actor Colin Firth as Michael Peterson. After writing multiple crime novels, Peterson never imagined he would be under suspicion for a murder case. Accused of pushing his wife Kathleen (Toni Collete) down the stairs, the series captures their family dynamic as a married couple holding secrets from one another, and the 16-year battle in court that took place after Kathleen’s death. Always leaving the story ambiguous, viewers are constantly unsure whether the novelist commits the crime or whether he is innocent, and fans get to see both the scene taking place as if the fall were an accident and how it would’ve happened if Peterson were the true perpetrator.