Director: Amrit Raj Gupta
Writers: Dr. Pravin Yadav, Puneet Batra, Ayesha Nair
Forged: Anshul Chauhan, Ayush Mehra, Sarah Hashmi, Pratiek Pachori, Gitanjali Kulkarni
Streaming On: YouTube
What do we would like from a ‘pandemic present’? Will we need to see the turmoil of the final yr recreated in an in any other case feel-good net sequence? Will we need to bear the emotional influence of the Coronavirus in actual life and on-screen? These are however a number of the issues that watching season 2 of Cube Media’s Operation MBBS left me questioning.
The favored YouTube sequence follows three college students, Sakshi (Anshul Chauhan), Nishant (Ayush Mehra) and Huma (Sarah Hashmi) navigating medical school and the entire connections, competitors and crippling stress that comes with it. The primary season was a well-acted, feel-good consolation watch, brimming with the distinct Cube DNA – a reliable mix of comedy, drama, heat and life classes. (As we’ve seen of their different reveals like What The People and Little Issues).
Whereas season one got here out virtually a yr in the past, in the course of the early days of the pandemic, season two is definitely in regards to the pandemic and the sacrifices of the medical neighborhood. It’s an formidable endeavor, because of which the episodes are longer and the stakes increased. Nevertheless it additionally signifies that the present will get misplaced between specializing in Covid and its characters.
The (far stronger) first three episodes covers the months main as much as the pandemic and focuses on Nishant, Sakshi and Huma navigating their second yr and going through new challenges. This time round, Sakshi is coping with medical negligence of a senior physician and should come to phrases with the concept that docs can, in actual fact, make errors. Huma, the resident geek and class-topper, has crippling anxiousness about now not being the very best, and Nishant struggles to carve out an id for himself.
For probably the most half, this primary leg of the season offers us extra of what made the primary season so profitable, taking us deeper into the journey of those characters. Writers Dr. Pravin Yadav, Puneet Batra, Ayesha Nair additionally do nicely to stability all three arcs and preserve us equally invested in all of them. Season 2 additionally offers extra consideration to the supporting characters, such because the lovably wacky KC Bhai (Pratiek Pachori), liable for quite a lot of snicker out loud scenes, and the strict but supportive school dean performed by Gitanjali Kulkarni.
Episodes four and 5 are when the main focus shifts away from the folks and the pandemic takes centre stage. (It’s additionally arduous to not see the irony within the fourth episode opening with the Prime Minister’s announcement in regards to the (first) lockdown, simply as we’re getting into a second quasi-lockdown). This final leg can also be the place issues get inconsistent and bumpy. The least you’d hope for from any sequence tackling the Coronavirus could be the promise of a brand new perspective or angle. One thing that goes past the information. (Memorable examples from the final yr embody The Gone Sport’s thriller method, the migrant disaster as explored within the Vishaanu phase of Amazon Prime Video’s Unpaused or the endearing Delivering Smiles phase of Netflix’s Dwelling Tales).
However Operation MBBS’ method to the pandemic doesn’t transcend the extensively identified level that docs have had it very powerful and have made giant sacrifices to avoid wasting lives. The present doesn’t do a lot with that assertion apart from underline it and repeatedly remind us of it. A lot in order that characters continuously break into monologues about bravery and hardship, similar to in a single scene a tough affected person is lectured by a health care provider about their sacrifices. (Which begs the query, after the heroics-of-the-armed-forces style, is superhero-doctors the following massive pattern we’ll see a manufacturing unit line of initiatives about?).
These sequences are honest of their intent and really feel genuine of their portrayal as we see docs grapple with the overflow of sufferers, the dearth of beds and PPE, and so forth. However hardly ever do they show to be greater than visuals we’ve seen on the information again and again. There are, nevertheless, stray moments that are genuinely affecting, similar to one sequence the place we see a younger resident break down below the load of getting to ship information to relations that their family members have handed away.
However amongst all of the pandemic proceedings, the sequence appears to lose sight of its important characters who really feel virtually like a footnote of the ultimate two episodes. I don’t see why the makers felt that that they had to select between the 2 relatively see them as one. I’d’ve favored some perspective on what it’s prefer to be a medical pupil within the final yr and discover the helplessness of having the intention to avoid wasting folks with out but having the potential. An features the sequence doesn’t appear thinking about.
After which, there’s the matter of the jarring product placement. It’s one thing that most YouTube sequence from the TVF and Cube Media steady are inclined to wrestle with. And I get it. That’s the place the cash comes from and sitting by way of these compelled sequences is the price of us getting a well-produced present without spending a dime.
What I do take concern with, nevertheless, is how painfully clunky the model integrations are this season. The title sponsor is instructional platform Unacademy, so it’s talked about at the very least 2-Three instances in every episode. Episode 2 even has a personality give one other a whole stroll by way of of the Unacademy app. It’s a one-minute scene that drags on for a lifetime. However my private favourites are the opposite merchandise that are randomly marketed by way of the season. This features a shaving package and its advantages mentioned intimately, in addition to a personality giving one other a head therapeutic massage while the digicam zooms in and stays mounted on the model of hair oil.
Nonetheless, regardless of the pandemic bumps and types bruises, season two makes for a principally satisfying watch and proves to be what we’ve come to count on from season twos – greater, extra formidable and much more scattered. Whereas I care about these characters and stay invested of their journeys, I simply hope that season Three aspires to greater than recreating the present lockdown 2.