Drama review: The Hippocratic Crush II (2013)


The Hippocratic Crush II (On Call 36小時 II) is a 30-episodes medical-themed drama and is a sequel to the successful series of the same name last year. It is also one of the two anniversary series this year, the other being the Will Power of which I didn’t watch that. Its predecessor last year was an unexpectedly successful series that rejuvenates medical theme implementation in drama after Healing Hands many years ago and saw the series winning several number of awards. Hence, I’m looking forward to its sequel now, but in the end, I am quite disappointed.

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I’m happy that most of the original casts (Kenneth Ma, Tavia Yeung, Mandy Wong, Him Law, Benjamin Yuen, etc) returned to this sequel but the huge addition of new casts (Lawrence Ng, Koo Ming Wah, Sherna So, Eliza Sam, Tracy Chu, etc) made things worse. I don’t mind if you add only a few new characters for something refreshing but not this much which significantly reduced screen-time for the original casts that we had interest into. Now, it’s like mixing too much of things into one bowl and I couldn’t really taste well on each ingredients. The pointless cafe setting, excessive unnecessary scenes with annoying Yannis character, and several other stuff worsen the situation.

The story follows from the original series with now the favourite on-screen couple, Kenneth and Tavia now married. People wanted to see more from them and also from Benjamin and Mandy pairing, but what offered mostly now involves the new circle (pathology department, Lawrence and his gang) which is very non-engaging and boring. Their side story basically dragged the whole show and leaving it not as inspiring as its predecessor. I find it very hard to pay attention to the series when they appeared. Even now, the group of former housemen whom now promoted to junior trainees were all ignored and put aside, only appearing in few short meaningless scenes. Very disappointed. The production team made several wrong decisions that got this sequel failed in quite a number of aspects. And I can’t feel any tension in most of the operation scenes which are supposed to be heart-stopping moments.

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The series started off very dramatic and exciting with a brilliant and promising first episode. Then, it goes downhill as it develops with nothing meaningful, touching, nor that interesting going on compared to the first series. It’s like nothing is happening. Luckily, things turned better back when it reached episode 27 onwards, but that was almost reaching the finale already. Particularly, Episode 27 and 28 involving death of Che Che character are the most touching and saddest episodes not only of this series but also of all that I have seen in recent years. Honestly, it got my tears out. Very touching and heartbreaking. Awesome, but that is only for one or two episodes. The ending (two finale episodes) was just ordinary and nothing impressive or outstanding. Dr. Cheung’s accident was too fast. Nevertheless, the series still had a good and meaningful conclusion and a happy ending.

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The casts delivered strong performance including the newbies, particularly Tracy Chu and Eliza Sam. Him Law did a great job on his crying scenes and I think this is his breakthrough role to date as ‘Yeung Chung’. Kenneth’s role diminishes while Tavia maintains her form. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Hippocratic Crush II’ a total of 7.0 only, a mark much lower than expected, and much lower that its successful predecessor (I think I gave 8 points and above to the first one). This sequel just didn’t work out well. I felt boring in most episodes, and it is not that exciting, interesting, appealing nor inspiring like the first one. They are just not good in making sequels. Fortunately, it had a nice theme song named ‘Sequel’ and is also sang by Joey Yung.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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