A show set in a small Russian village in the middle of nowhere, around about the time of the Russian civil war, about a doctor who sees flashes of his older self who is back in Moscow in the future reading his journal after having been disgraced for a morphine addiction.
It all sounds rather heavy; however A Young Doctor’s Notebook is more or less a comedy. It isn’t an all-out comedy however as the show jumps into many different aspects, whether it be through the grotesqueness of surgery in the early twentieth century or more importantly the lows that an addict can reach.
The best part of A Young Doctor’s Notebook is of course the screen time shared by Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm, who play the same character at different points in his life. They have great chemistry together and every scene was a delight, as we saw the older Nika look on in dismay as his younger self took part in some less than desirable antics due to his addiction to morphine, which would later lead to his downfall which was portrayed in season one.
There are spoilers after this.
What I really loved about the series’ portrayal of addiction is that it is pretty damn accurate. From the way that Nika uses Pelageya to help maintain his addiction, to how he doesn’t care if others are suffering from having water used as a pain number; it showed the selfishness of an addict perfectly. It only got better when Nika was at fault for Pelageya’s death because he saw her as a pest and was infatuated with Natasha, and finally we got the coup de grace where Nika chose a box of morphine over saving Natasha (the woman he had chased all season) as she burned in a train crash. Hearing her screams was haunting, however that is exactly what an addict would do, and too often in TV the junkie turns his back on his addiction to do the noble thing, by doing the opposite they got a much great impact to the final scene.
I wouldn’t say that A Young Doctor’s Notebook is a great show; however it is a solid show which can be very interesting. It has a good cast, two great main characters, can be very funny but then incredibly dark within the same scene, it is generally quite a surreal series and more importantly A Young Doctor’s Notebook does something different, and we don’t see enough of that currently in the world of comedy.
So what did you think of season 2 of A Young Doctor’s Notebook? Are you wondering what Leopold Leopoldovich would think about all the events? Are you a white or red army sort of person? Or are you just wondering why Jon Hamm is so god damn handsome? Well leave a comment and share those thoughts!