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Season 1

Aired On: AMC+
Release Date: 06/02/22
Comedy. Drama.


"Set on labour ward with all its hilarity and heart-lifting highs but also its gut-wrenching lows, 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."


Let me first be a little transparent; I. Cannot. Stand. Medical Shows. Your ERs, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, you name it. Always soaked in melodrama, characters who don’t talk how normal people talk, and somehow they stretch these shows to go on longer than they should be. Not only that, but some of these shows are scoffed at by how medically inaccurate they really are by medical professionals, and put the melodrama in the forefront more than anything else. So, with my background and distaste for medical shows, I was caught off guard by just how much This is Going to Hurt got to me. On the surface, it’s a dark comedy medical drama about a closeted gay man working in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, but it’s also a deeply human look at the chaos of the medical profession, how it makes it increesingly difficult  to ballance life and work, and just how much it damages your psyche.


This is Going to Hurt is written by Adam Kay, who adapted this from his memoir of the same name. Kay’s book was a collection of diary entries he kept while working for the National Health Service in the UK from 2004 to 2010. Kay is also our main character played by Ben Whishaw (Paddington, Cloud Atlas, Skyfall) who is already struggling to keep the life/work balance steady as the show begins. Adam comes across as a competent doctor, but one who wants to do things on his terms; however, he gets a wake up call in the first episode that sometimes the decisions he makes can have dire consequences for another person's life.


The show definitely has its darkly comedic tones with Kay’s cynicism and arrogance, but the show also has a deeply somber edge when discussing the psychological toll this job has, and just how lonely of a job it can be. Whishaw’s performance portrays this excellently, and it’s perhaps the best performance I’ve seen from him. Even surrounded by other people, he always seems lonely and unseen. From a certain point onward there’s a certain pain in his eyes like when you see someone who hasn’t slept in multiple days. Thankfully, he isn’t carrying the show on his back as the supporting cast holds their own spectacularly, with Ambika Mod and Rory Fleck Byrne being great standouts.


When a show has a title This is Going to Hurt, believe it. Though at times very funny, there is a deep sadness throughout the entire show that leads to an extremely cathartic and emotional ending that will stick with me for a while. Though I feel the show isn’t perfect, it’s use of licensed music can be especially awkward at times and the editing can be choppy, it does succeed well at showing the toll this kind of profession has; amidst of navigating all this chaos, our characters also have to navigate their own psyche and keep a grip on their personal lives. When at times it has levity in its situations and is able to make the best of them at times, it also doesn’t pull any punches in showing the real pain all of this can cause.

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