Ben Whishaw plays the exhausted obstetrician in this gritty, intelligent, and darkly humorous drama.
Since the launch ofEmergencies in 1994, we saw a slew of medical series on our screens. Few have been as powerful and realistic as This Is Going to Hurt. In the vein of what Hippocratese successful in France, this adaptation of the logbook of a real English doctor on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Adam Kay, is particularly fascinating. At the beginning of the century, this former doctor – who has since resigned – chronicled his crazy days in the hospital. He compiled his thoughts into a book, which was released in 2017 and sold over a million copies.
The BBC series version – screened for the first time in France at Séries Mania yesterday in a special session – takes us into the corridors of an NHS establishment (the English health services) where this young doctor, inexperienced but sent to front line, running out shift after shift in an obstetrics and gynecology department. The kind of specialty with overwhelming responsibility, which also requires an unfailing heart…
This Is Going To Hurt manages to balance the horrors of the craft with a form of human warmth, despite the characters being quite scathing and not very likable. Clearly, we are not in a medical series that makes heroes of its doctors. Corn Ben Whishaw – Daniel Craig’s former James Bond Q – is impressively sincere and excels at showing how young NHS doctors are overworked and pressured, poorly paid and depressed by a private life they struggle to live up to to exist.
Darkly funny, sometimes gore, even heartbreaking, This Is Going To Hurt remains no less tender and above all very instructive. Not to say necessary.
This Is Going To Hurt will be broadcast in France on Canal + from March 31.