France also has its medical series, Hippocrates is undoubtedly the best example of this. Broadcast on (my) Canal, the program denotes and bears little resemblance to other flagship incarnations of the genre, often American moreover.
This is also why we wanted to talk about it today. Not glamorous, but damn realistic, Hippocrates is a series that really made an impression on us. Its two seasons are excellent and here is why we recommend them tonight.
At Poincaré hospital, the situation is far from ideal. While a patient died of a mysterious virus, all the doctors holding the department of internal medicine are placed in quarantine.
To ensure continuity of care, three young interns and a forensic doctor are put on the bridge and manage the situation as best they can. But for these inexperienced trainee doctors, everyday life quickly becomes exhausting.
The patients are numerous, the caregivers quickly overwhelmed and the threat of a medical error lurks. To make matters worse, everyone has their little secrets and if the truth comes to light, the consequences could be disastrous.
Our opinion on the series
Hippocrates is an excellent program, a French medical series which takes a very current look at the daily life of caregivers in hospitals. It surprises from the start, already because it looks very little like other references of the genre.
At the Poincaré hospital, no glamor, steamy romances central to the plot or sanitized realities. Hippocrates chronicle the daily functioning of a public hospital in crisis, without sufficient resources or staff.
The failings of the system become glaring when three young interns, supported by another colleague, find themselves at the head of an entire department. With a lot of humanity, the series tells about their daily life, the trials and doubts they must face in order not to sink.
Realism is its primary strength. Immersion in the service, alongside caregivers, but also their patients, is a success. Doctors, like patients, are well-trained and quickly engaging. However, they are not idealized.
All have flaws and Hippocrates does not fail to underline them. The atmosphere, gray, dreary and often depressing, fits well with the storyline of the series. At the Poincaré hospital, there is a lack of resources. There is not enough space, too few caregivers and the premises sometimes even seem downright dilapidated.
Between two exhausting guards, we eat snacks, “triangle” sandwiches or scallops in the canteen. The worst part is that no one complains too loudly about it, the reality seems to be accepted even by newcomers who know they will not be able to make a difference.
In summary, Thomas Lilti does not show us much fun, apart from the camaraderie, the rescues and the beautiful relationships forged between the protagonists.
As for the scenario, it holds up well, despite a few inconsistencies and strings sometimes a little obvious. Hippocrates manages to captivate thanks to its authenticity, its realization and the richness of its intrigue. The pace is good, often sustained and the series does not exaggerate its dramatic side.
The cast, carried by Louise Bourgoin (Chloé Antovska), Zacharie Chasseriaud (Hugo Wagner), Alice Belaïdi (Alyson Lévêque) and Karim Leklou (Arben Bascha), makes an excellent copy. The different characters are accurately embodied and it is a real pleasure to see Hippocrates, from beginning to end.
- Here is the trailer for the first season. The second has been online since April 05.