Must See TV: A Young Doctor's Notebook

What do you get when you bring John Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe together? Well first of all I would have never thought of putting these two actors together. But I must admit to see them acting in a period show called A Young Doctor's Notebook has been spellbinding.

Set in Russia with flashbacks to 1917 and flash forwards to 1934, we watch a young doctor who passed his exams with the highest marks struggle to run a small hospital. This is no ordinary hospital because it is located in the middle of nowhere with constant cold weather and snow and not to mention peasant patients who do not understand workings of medicine.

What sets this show apart is that Hamm and Radcliffe both play the doctor. Radcliffe is the younger doctor and Hamm the older version of himself. I know this won't make sense because it is pretty wild, but the older version of the doctor visits the younger version and helps him to adjust to being the head of this hospital as well as avoid pitfalls that the older doctor is suffering from still.

The cast is brilliant. They are quirky and unforgettable to say the least. We all know Hamm from Mad Men and Radcliffe from the Harry Potter series but they definitely do something unexpected and unique together.

The series is based on the autobiographical works of the Russian author and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov. Each episode is about 23 minutes long, they are short but so much happens in each that is is worth keeping your eyes peeled to the screen. I have already viewed series one which is available on Netflix and I am hoping to watch series two as soon as I find it. It aired during the fall 2013 and I am sure that is is as powerful and haunting as the first series was.

And haunting is a good word to use for this series. Warning-there are some sex scenes that may surprise you although there is no nudity, both Hamm and Radcliffe are seemingly hot messes to a degree, and there are unexpected slightly gory medical scenes as well.

I don't want to give too much away because there is an element that ties the two doctors together. Something they both struggle with and you get to watch how it happens and how it effects the doctors life as he gets older. Some scenes are dark and hard to watch but oh my-these are are phenomenal!

And although there is darkness in this series there are so many comical moments that it really just keeps you on your toes. Many refer to this as a dark comedy and I would agree.

I highly encourage you to try this series out. After the first episode you will want to see more which is fantastic to have happen. I wasn't sure I could endure some of the subject matter or way the young doctor (Radcliffe) responds to things that happen to him but again it is memorizing. Not a happy-go-lucky show with dancing and music and gaiety but rather serious subject matters with twists of comedy and reality.

I really do find it so alluring and memorizing-those are the best word to describe it.

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  1. oooh I have to watch this

    retro rover

  2. I used to watch this but it got so gory at times that I started to feel a bit faint! My husband though still watches it and loves it.

  3. You had me at John Hamm...and really had me at John Hamm in Edwardian clothes (I have always, always adored chaps sporting Victorian, Edwardian and mid-century fashions something fierce). :D This has just become a must see for me now, not simply because of Mr. Hamm, but for the plot, fact that it's set in Russian (I'm part Russian) and costuming in general. Thank you very much for the wonderful introduction!

    ♥ Jessica

    1. *Jon* Sorry, I was typing that on my phone and auto correct went to town on his name.

      ♥ Jessica

  4. How have I never heard of this before?! Weird, I'll try it out I'm super into this type of period piece right now that sort of Edwardian time it's got just enough steam punk elements to keep me interested and all the history I love.

  5. I have never heard of this, must go check it out asap!


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