A Bit Less Alton Towers
Episode 1 of This is Going to Hurt begins with junior doctor Adam waking up in his car and realizing he’s late for his shift.
Adam is actually out in the parking lot, and we soon learn that he’s working the labour ward. Before he can even get inside, he’s stopped by a heavily pregnant woman outside. In fact, the arm is out already.
As Adam begins talking to the camera, breaking the fourth wall, he finds himself in the maintenance lift and facing a real crisis – a cord prolapse.
With Adam holding it in for now, there’s an amusing undercurrent of humour as he’s grilled by his boss, Mr Lockhart for turning up late and taking shortcuts with his work, even if it is through the maintenance lift.
Tracy is head midwife here and she oversees Adam’s work as he heads in to see his next patient. She’s six Centimeters dilated but an undercurrent of racism sees Adam jump in as a shining knight and hit back against her, threatening to kick them out if they continue.
As Adam continues on through the day, he finds himself torn between his personal and professional life. Between text messages from Greg about a stag do and a wedding (which he’s the best man for) and drama involving his partner Harry and keeping their relationship from Adam’s mum, Adam finds himself pushed from pillar to post round the hospital.
One of the trainee doctors, Shruti, is a bit of a wallflower but Adam promises to help teach her. He does just that, and she delivers her first baby – although also with a bit of a tear too.
Adam isn’t exactly happy but Shruti is quick to apologize. Only, the irony here is that Adam is forced to apologize to the woman he called a racist earlier, before working overtime to do Lockhart’s bidding and “send some people home.”
There’s a really nice vibe between Shruti and Adam, typified when the former is given her first Cesarean to work on. It’s a beautiful moment and one spoilt by our earlier racist patient calling Shruti “a paki”.
After another exhausting day Adam nearly falls asleep at the wheel before eventually showing up at Greg’s stag do. Unfortunately, Mr Lockhart rings and confirms he needs to be on the night shift as there’s been a cancellation.
Adam promises Harry that it’ll only be a couple of years until they move out and progress, it’s clear this is taking its toll on his work.
When Adam arrives, he’s forced into emergency surgery with a patient he earlier sent home called Erika. It turns out her symptoms weren’t nothing after all and he’s worried.
Adam is forced into performing an emergency Cesarean. Adam has never done a 25 week one and this is a really risky procedure. Adam passes over the tiny baby but the patient is losing a lot of blood.
Adam is worried and it soon sees Lockhart arrive to take over, a puddle of blood on the the floor around them.
Adam made a bad call earlier on but Lockhart encourages him to let it go. He’s going to take the blame for this. News of the incident spreads across the hospital though, with Adam noticing that Erika is recovering, despite a lot of blood loss, and the baby is okay as well. Adam heads in and apologizes to the babe in secret.
With a helacious shift over, Adam catches up with the stag party long into the early hours, where he finds the group still drinking and at a strip club. As he collapses from exhaustion, sleeping on the sofa there, memories of the night flash back like a bad dream.
The Episode Review
This is Going to Hurt delivers a really powerful opening episode, on that manages to pack in an equal amount of comedy alongside its drama.
The heartbreaking conclusion to Adam’s mistake at work is certainly a stand-out moment, while the fourth-wall breaking and little comedic quips work well to stop this slipping into the realm of melodrama.
There’s some slick cinematography in this too and it’s helped by a socially relevant theme surrounding how overworked and understaffed the NHS actually are.
Of course, this is only going to get worse over time, but this show does a brilliant job capturing the chaotic feeling of this and adding it into a captivating drama. The episodes ahead certainly look promising, especially if we see more of the conflicting way Adam has to juggle his personal and professional life.