This Is Going To Hurt | A Gut Punch But A Great One (Season Review)

This medical comedy-drama, created by the real doctor Adam Kay, whose memoir it is based on, stars one of my favorite actors Ben Whishaw working alongside new-to-me actor Ambika Mod. Alex Jennings, Michele Austin, Kadiff Kirwan (The Stranger, Mary Queen of Scots), and Rory Fleck Byrne (Vampire Academy (2014), Harlots) round out the cast with Lucy Forbes (The End of the F***ing World) and Tom Kingsley (Ghosts (UK)) directing multiple episodes each.

Premise: Set on Labor Ward with all its hilarity and heart-lifting highs but also its gut-wrenching lows, it focuses on the lives of a group of junior doctors working on an obstetrics and gynecology ward in a National Health Service hospital. It profiles their professional and personal lives and explores the emotional effects of working in a stressful work environment. The show delivers a brutally honest depiction of life as a junior doctor on the wards, and the toll the job can take back home.

Review: This show hits the ground running with an unusual opening scene that already gives you a hint about Adam’s work-life balance. They do it in a raw and grounded way with little to no glamor but a great display of skills. Yes, Adam is a young OB-GYN who is good at his job but this is no idealized medical drama, within minutes it is clear that this is a no-hold-bar look at the working conditions of doctors in a public-health service.

This show was so impactful for me that I wanted to rewatch it before writing this review because the more I think about the more I like how it was crafted. There are highs and lows, lots of laughs, and quite a lot of tears. The show is not a put down of public-health services, since it makes a point of showing the grass isn’t always greener in the private sector, it’s more of a tribute to healthcare workers but does puts on display the inner workings of a short-staffed, underfunded Hospital.

We mostly follow dry and witty Adam – who sometimes breaks the fourth wall – dealing with the pressure from his job, and his familly. It’s an hightwire act that he’s on and it doesn’t allow for a large margin of errors. Like I mentionned in my pilot review, the show is set in 2006 – but that’s a detail that’s quickly forgotten – it allows for some distance and gives us an opportunity to see how and if things have changed.

I highly recommend this show because it’s very good, well acted, written, and grounded.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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