Doctor Doctor–Season 2 Finale

To review this season’s finale, I read my review of last season’s finale to give me something to go off. For those that don’t remember, last season’s finale focused on Tugger’s investigation into Joey’s death, Penny leaving for a new job, Matt leaving Charlie, Meryl campaigning to become Whyhope’s mayor, Nora replacing Penny, and Hugh and Penny almost declaring they had feelings for each other in the final minutes. While all of this was addressed this season and isn’t entirely relevant to this finale, which aired last night, I felt it was good to reflect on and make a comparison.

This season’s finale was a much lighter one with Ajax and Hayley’s nuptials. Hugh and Charlie trying to convince Ajax and Hayley they were too young to get married and have children respectively frustrated me, as it was an obvious obstacle that the writers threw in to drag the story out. I understand the need to make the story and the episode as a whole interesting, but I personally didn’t enjoy that it was at Ajax and Hayley’s expense. That being said the payoff was beautiful, especially when Ajax and Hayley put the fate of their nuptials in their respective shooting abilities. Of course they were going to get their happily ever after, I would have liked to have seen an actual ceremony take place, but I appreciate the writers avoiding schmaltzy dialogue and scenes by not doing so, choosing to have them kiss at the start of their ceremony to applause and cheers was a better choice.

Meanwhile I didn’t really enjoy the Harriet and Hugh subplot as the outcome was obvious. While Harriet’s volatile personality was described by Hugh in the previous episode, in this one we saw it in action. Harriet’s order to Hugh to basically screw Penny over and kick her out of his life was a forced obstacle to their non-relationship, which made me appreciate his decision to end their marriage, as predictable as that outcome was. I felt for Harriet for a moment when she tearfully admitted she didn’t want their marriage to end, and I would have liked to have seen Hegney’s acting chops on display for a little while longer, however I appreciated that this story arc was short.

On smaller notes, I felt that Hugh and Penny’s stent being purchased wasn’t celebrated enough but perhaps there will be a focus on it next season. Also I felt the throwback to Charlie’s ectopic pregnancy and her fears about having and possibly not wanting children subconsciously being revealed in her writing, was a let down. I was hoping she was actually pregnant, but then again that would be a cliche.

Speaking of Hugh and Penny, once again they did not declare their feelings, or at least not overtly. Rather it was done with subtlety when Hugh held out his hand and simply asked “partners?” and she responded with “always”, they certainly are in more ways than one. While having a couple together and happy makes for a boring story, and I appreciate the writers keeping them apart to avoid the cliche for the most part, I do find myself wondering how long they’re going to keep them apart for. On a more positive note though, unlike the previous season, I felt that their relationship development was more realistic, which was proven when Hugh refused to end his partnership with her when Harriet ordered him to, and when he stated outright that Penny is his friend.

Overall this season’s finale was solid, doing its job by opening a few doors for next season with the stent purchase, Ajax and Hayley finally getting married, and Rod proposing something mysterious to Meryl. As for the season as a whole, there was an extensive amount of character development, and the show has a whole has settled and found itself. I’m looking forward to seeing what season three will throw at us and reviewing it next year.

 

Stray Observations:

Hospital Drama: The young boy whose brother hit him in the face with a cricket bat, resulting in Harriet pulling out his teeth.

Dora sighting: Ajax and Hayley’s wedding.

-Apparently Hugh has 88 days left of his probation, which means 11 days have passed since the events of the previous episode.

-In last year’s finale, Hugh had six months left of his probation, now he only has 88 days (about two-and-a-half months). Therefore this season spanned about three-and-a-half months.

-Hugh told Harriet about Ajax being his son.

-Harriet’s a dentist.

-Everyone but Floyd hated Harriet.

Best one liners:

  • “Other Dad time!” (Hugh at the family dinner celebrating Ajax and Hayley’s impending nuptials).
  • “He’s a clever man, but not a wise man” (Matt describing Hugh to Ajax).

 

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The Wrong Girl–Season 2, Episode 8

In all honesty this episode wasn’t particularly memorable, it was clearly a filler to lead into the upcoming penultimate and finale episodes.

In the opening seconds I thought that myself and the other viewers were experiencing something rare—-the episode picking up where it left off last week or starting in real time. However it was not meant to be, with it going forward instead of backward, two weeks in time, which in itself is rare, which I appreciated, rather than starting in the usual in media res manner.

While this episode does deal with the fallout of Lily being left at the altar, it felt like it was glossed over to focus on Lily finally realising her feelings towards Pete. Jack only makes two appearances in the entire episode and is completely unlikeable by avoiding Lily and sending Gillian in place to collect his belongings from the house. What I found interesting with Gillian’s role was the fact that she wasn’t being the snarky ex, she was actually trying to be helpful to both of them, I appreciated that the writers chose to avoid that cliche.

In life we usually realise how we really feel about situations or people when a loved one spells it out for us, in Lily’s case, Sim is that person. Sim offers unconditional support and comfort, yet she is completely and unapologetically honest to Lily, which makes her the type of friend that we all should aspire to have. She ultimately sets in motion Lily’s choice to finally, albeit sort of, tell Pete how she feels. Of course it’s only natural that the writers insert the cliche obstacle that just as Lily realises her feelings, apparently Pete has decided he’s over her. This obviously isn’t the case but I’m interested to see how long this obstacle lasts.

Meanwhile, The Breakfast Bar antics were only briefly shown with the reveal of Liam’s harsh treatment of the staff and trying to control Lily. I personally didn’t find Liam likeable at all, not to mention he was inconsistent. While he was professional on camera, off camera not so much, he berates and tries to control Lily, yet he tries to kiss her at the end of the episode. Who is the real Liam Johnson? While Liam is unlikable at the moment, Joel Jackson certainly isn’t with his on-point performances adding a breath of fresh air to the series and I certainly hope he sticks around if there is a third season. The building collapse segment was brilliant and well executed to the point that I felt chills during those few minutes.

On smaller notes, I appreciated the contrast between Mimi’s reaction to Simone telling her that she is dating Vincent, and Anthony’s support of Lily as she grieves over her broken engagement, as well as his honesty of his feelings of their relationship as a whole. Seeing Anthony living the tent in the front yard as Yvonne has thrown him out was a nice, humorous highlight of the episode.

Overall as I said earlier this episode wasn’t memorable, but it wasn’t terrible either. Hopefully the last two episodes will be more captivating.

 

Stray Observations:

-Close up head shots: Liam shooting down everyone’s ideas and Bernard getting “dumped” by Pete.

-Running gag: Pete’s jacket, and Ivan’s and Lily’s disdain for it.

-Sim’s effort to help Lily move on from Jack is to find someone to pash her in the guise of a “palate cleanser”.

-Bernard confusing the five stages of grief with the seven deadly sins was the best joke of the episode. His efforts to console Lily about the broken engagement by comparing it to Pete dumping him as a work colleague was another humorous highlight.

Best one liners (They were deep this week):

  • “Don’t come here and explode my life because yours is falling apart” (Pete to Lily).
  • “You’ve got to get lost to be found” (Anthony to Lily).
  • “Is it a sin to love Lily?” (Bernard after Lily points out to him he is mistaking the five stages of grief with the seven deadly sins).

 

Doctor Doctor–Season 2, Episode 9

Well this episode was a rollercoaster.

I found the A story of Hugh’s “Las Vegas” wife, Harriet (Genevieve Hegney), coming to Whyhope was a great distraction from the kidney transplant. However I also felt it was another forced spanner in the works for Hugh and Penny’s “non-relationship”. I felt absolutely frustrated when Hugh gave into temptation with Harriet, in fact I found him just plain unlikeable when he was around her. That being said, the most interesting part of her introduction was the development of her character throughout the episode. She wasn’t a stereotype or one dimensional, she had depth with the reveal of her recent sobriety after years of alcohol and drug addiction, which resulted in the breakdown of her marriage to Hugh.

I felt that her attempts to make amends and her amends themselves were sincere and I actually grew to like her. I also enjoyed the backstory into their marriage and her interactions with Betty at the A.A. meeting. However I felt that Hugh’s request to ask her to stay at the end of the episode was another forced obstacle to keep him and Penny apart, and due to its obvious nature, I frankly didn’t like it at all. However I’m looking forward to seeing it played out in next week’s finale, especially as her intentions and her true nature haven’t been made completely clear yet.

Meanwhile, I also enjoyed the balance of emotion and comedy with the transplant subplot being paralleled with Harriet’s return, however I felt Hugh’s heart attack was only added to fuel the Hugh-Penny-Harriet love triangle. I also found the dream sequence of Hugh’s love life flashing before his eyes to be cliche but humorous. I’m not sure how Dora fitted into the equation, nevertheless it was the most creative sighting of her ever.

The B story of Betty’s jealousy of Ken and Mia’s relationship was much more intriguing and well written than the A story. I loved the character development of Ken and Betty’s friendship with the reveals that they have their own book club and regularly play one-on-one netball games. I didn’t buy the possibility of Betty having feelings for Ken as the idea has never presented itself throughout the series, and the kiss between them felt cliche and forced, however it redeemed itself with its outcome. The outcome of both Ken and Betty feeling nothing and the latter realising that she just misses their friendship, was more realistic and true to their characters. The ending of this story with Ken and Betty expanding their friendship by inviting Mia and Darren to their netball game was very sweet and I hope we see more of this friendship group in the future.

I felt that the Ajax-Hayley C story was weak due to the fact that the outcome was predictable–they were always going to get back together. However I enjoyed the way in which Charlie taught Hayley a lesson in harmless desire.

Overall this episode was mostly solid, however its strength was undermined by its rollercoaster-like nature. While there were some fantastic one-liners, to me this didn’t feel like a penultimate episode, but I’ll see what happens and how I feel when I watch the finale next week.

I would also to congratulate the Doctor Doctor cast and crew on their renewal, I’m looking forward to seeing season 3 next year.

 

Stray Observations:

Hospital Drama: Jim’s kidney transplant and Hugh’s subsequent heart attack. For the first time, the hospital drama was outside of Whyhope.

Dora sighting: In front of Hugh’s car in his “love life flashing before his eyes” dream sequence as he was having a heart attack.

-Surprisingly Betty was once an alcoholic, but has managed to turn it around through 12 years of sobriety and leading the Whyhope A.A. meetings.

-Apparently Hugh has 99 days, 7 hours and 42 minutes left of his probation.

Best one liners:

  • “Can you castrate my husband?” (Nameless patient to Hugh after being diagnosed with Herpes).
  • “Did we just witness a murder-suicide pact?” (Not sure if this was Hugh or Matt, feel free to correct me).
  • “Will the transplant be as painful as this is for you?” (Jim to Hugh on Harriet bonding with the rest of the family, especially Charlie).
  • “He is handsome and very organised!” (Betty on Ken’s attractive qualities).
  • “Please ignore the burp and continue” (Dream Sequence Penny).

The Wrong Girl–Season 2, Episode 7

Well what we or I thought was inevitable finally happened…Lily and Jack’s relationship has ended.

While the writers have hinted at the incompatibility between Lily and Jack and the cracks in their relationship throughout the season, they have done this slowly and with subtlety, but in this episode they completely abandoned this writing technique, choosing to bring the relationship down on us like a tonne of bricks. While I don’t like when writers drag these story arcs out, I don’t think rushing the ending and hitting the viewers with a tonne of bricks and completely unravelling Jack’s character, with the climax of him breaking his four year sobriety, is the right way to go either. I felt overwhelmed by all of the drama to the point where I couldn’t keep up.

Despite the rapid speed of their relationship breakdown, I did enjoy the build up to the wedding and the little tidbits that came with it. I enjoyed the seemingly mundane reveal that Jack knows Lily’s lying tell which was crucial in his decision to ultimately leave her, as well as the reveal that Simone has gone back to uni, and the reveal that Jack’s family are apparently selfish and wouldn’t be coming to the wedding. I also enjoyed the interactions between Pete and Gillian interweaved throughout, especially with Gillian representing the audience by asking Pete whether he’s in love with Lily, and sharing his confirmation of this with Jack, shaking him up further.

I found the B story revolving around The Breakfast Bar far more interesting than the A story. I enjoyed Joel Jackson’s performance of disgraced journalist, Liam Johnson, as the reluctant replacement of Eric as host, especially with the idea of the pregnancy segment focusing on Erica’s baby. I could tell that Erica was pregnant but I didn’t see the twist of Dale being her sperm donor coming, which effectively explained his out of character behaviour. In fact as I was watching the emotional and touching segment unfold, I thought to myself that I would actually watch morning shows if the segments were of that calibre.

On smaller notes, Mimi and Anthony bonding like teenagers over Mimi’s text exchange with Ivan provided much needed comic relief. I was also surprised to see Jack at the AA meeting and the reveal that he is a former alcohol and drug addict, using his experiences to ease Sasha into seeking help for her hinted alcoholism. I was also satisfied that Sim and Vincent finally gave into their feelings and kissed, which provided a great contrast to the deterioration of Lily and Jack’s relationship.

Overall this was a strong episode with mostly solid writing, especially with the twist ending of Jack uncharacteristically leaving Lily at the altar, and the B story. However I have to deduct a few points for the rapid deterioration of Lily and Jack’s relationship completely undermining the slow pace of the breakdown in previous episodes.

 

Stray Observations:

-As I was watching Lily and Sim run to the wedding I couldn’t help but think that it would be much smarter and quicker to catch a cab.

-The crew are at it again with the extreme close-ups, this week on Mimi and Ivan during their awkward encounter, and on Bernard, Jeremy and Pete during their meeting at work.

-As pointed out by eagle-eyed viewers on Twitter, Lily and Jack’s wedding was set in the future, 22 October 2017 (the episode aired on 4 October).

-Sim, Vincent and Pete dressed up as hens and clucking and going to a Unibar is the kind of hens party I’d love to go to.

Best one liner:

  • “It’s winter wear socks!” (Lily to the young women at the Unibar)

Doctor Doctor–Season 2, Episode 8

This episode managed to contain a lot of drama and subtlety.

The A story was Jim’s dialysis and need for a new kidney. Jim has another collapse at the wheel and is taken to hospital where it is eventually revealed that he has been avoiding dialysis and now needs a new kidney fast. I liked the realistic moments of worry and love between Meryl and Jim, as well as Hugh’s attempts to avoid being tested. While Hugh gives valid medical reasons for his reluctance, his true reasons for his reluctance aren’t fully addressed, which I’m hoping will happen in next week’s episode.

The B story of thieves stealing Christmas trees from Matt and Charlie’s land was hilarious and provided necessary comic relief throughout the episode, especially from the serious and sometimes grim A story. The question of whether the thieves would be revealed or caught added some fun intrigue to the episode, with eventually Craig, a farmer from season one, being revealed as the culprit. I felt that the ending of this subplot was anti-climatic as Craig wasn’t properly punished or dealt with, despite the build up throughout the episode.

I felt the C story of Charlie being stalked by a fan, Frank, was minor but solid. I enjoyed Charlie’s book making another appearance, this time in a reading, showing the book’s success with subtlety. What I thought was brilliant about this subplot was being led to believe that Frank was a crazy fan only for her to encourage and help Charlie with the development of Love at Lightspeed‘s sequel, almost like an advisor. I also liked the contrast between Frank’s encouragement and honest advice with the trolling tweets as Charlie was trying to write, eventually switching to using the typewriter. I hope we see more of Frank in future episodes, or if not, at least hear about her.

On smaller notes, I enjoyed the scenes between Ken and Mia as they finally kissed and dealt with their feelings for each other. I especially enjoyed Hugh’s reaction to their kiss and Mia bossing Ken around. Although I felt that Ken’s declaration of love for Mia in front of the hospital was cringeworthy and cliche, as it was sweet and true to his character, I’ll give it a pass. There was also an excessive amount of scenery shots in this episode, I was wondering whether this was to stretch out the episode or if the crew were trying something new with their filming techniques.

Overall this was a solid episode, however there was a little too much going on to be able to follow everything with an equal amount of attention.

 

Stray Observations:

Hospital Drama: Jim’s car accident, dialysis and Hugh trying to avoid donating one of his kidneys.

Dora sighting: At Charlie’s house after her book reading. This is the first time that I have seen her in weeks and the writers’ certainly made up for this lost time, giving her a lengthy appearance by having Charlie happily talk to her.

-Every member of the Knight family, except for Hugh, offers to donate one of their kidneys to Jim.

-Hayley’s desire to donate herself lead to the revelation that she was born with only one kidney.

-Even Penny considered donating one of her kidneys.

-Ken throwing out Mia’s homemade lunch so he could ask her out on a date was both inconsiderate and genius.

-Meryl stated just after Jim collapsed but before she found out about it, that it felt like “someone walked over her grave”, clearly showing that her gut instincts are on point.

Best one liners:

  • “What, are you trying to stubborn yourself to death? (Hugh to Jim)
  • “I shouldn’t have glittered Millie” (Ajax)

The Wrong Girl–Season 2, Episode 6

So it turns out Jack and Lily are engaged.

This episode starts with its near ending and then goes back 30 hours. The gold Logie nominations have come through at the office—Erica and Jack were nominated, while Eric and Nikkii were not—which doesn’t surprise me, not to mention Erica’s nomination is a nice dose of karma for Eric and the studio for knifing her earlier in the series.

The episode then moves on to Jack and Lily announcing to their engagement to mostly Lily’s family and friends, plus Gillian. I felt that the reactions from everyone from surprise, to happiness, to awkwardness, and then confusion at Lily and Jack’s choice to buy an “engagement table” instead of a ring, were well played and realistic. I found it odd that Gillian was there and that Jack’s family wasn’t, not to mention the choice of an engagement table, which to me seems very hipster, a quality that hasn’t really been shown in either Jack or Lily. I felt that the “hurdle” that they were facing—being papped—was cheesy and cliche, and didn’t really add anything to the episode, drama or otherwise.

I felt the highlight of this episode was the reveal of Anthony on a dating site, despite his engagement to Yvonne, running parallel, and mirroring Jack and Lily’s engagement and Lily’s clear doubts. Marais’ performance of Lily’s confrontation was well done and realistic. What I appreciated was the fact that Anthony reassured Lily about her own doubts and in the process got rid of his own, by asking Lily to delete the app at the end of their conversation.

Another highlight of the episode was Pete and Lily’s feelings starting to come to the surface, but not exactly being fully addressed yet. The clear instances of this are the disappointment on Pete’s face when Jack and Lily announce their engagement, and Lily’s disappointment when she sees Pete and Gillian together. However it’s the subtle presence of Augie March’s “One Crowded Hour” as the episode’s soundtrack that brings this idea home. This is especially true as this song is playing while Lily sees a sign advertising Jack’s show, illustrating that she feels she’s at a crossroads of sorts. I’m looking forward to seeing how this is addressed in the remaining episodes, but hopefully it won’t be dragged out for too long.

On smaller notes, I was glad that the focus was taken away from The Breakfast Bar in this episode with the addressing of the gold Logie nominations and the brief scenes of Eric resigning. While Eric seemed genuine in his delivery of his reasons for resigning, considering how disingenuous his previous actions in the workplace have been, especially his previous threats to quit, I’m not holding my breath on the resignation sticking.

I also enjoyed the scenes between Ivan and Mimi as cringeworthy as they were, especially when they found common ground on their hatred of litter. I felt that the bonding between Simone and Alice through alcohol was cliche and their eventual drunken kiss was forced, however what I really appreciated was Vincent’s lecturing of her, pointing out that she’s driving a wedge. This made me question whether he’s aware of how Simone really feels about him. I’m hoping this will be addressed before the finale.

Overall an enjoyable episode showing a lot of potential for the impending finale, which is a few episodes away.

 

Stray Observations:

-I’m hoping engagement tables don’t become a thing.

-Ivan’s hobby is to collect rubbish or get rid of litter, something Mimi approves of and Pete goes along with, to the point of even joining him in doing so.

-Another flashback into Lily and Pete’s past, when Lily asks Pete for a cuddle years earlier when she is told by her parents that they are splitting up.

-Meredith, Mitchell and Manisha were absent from this episode.

 

Doctor Doctor–Season 2, Episode 7

This episode had a sweet vibe but ended in a sad way.

For once, Penny and Hugh didn’t dominate the episode, don’t get me wrong, I love them to pieces but it’s always refreshing to have the main players in the background every once in a while. With this episode, Hayley, Ajax and Meryl were front and centre with the Miss Whyhope competition kicking off the episode and continuing in the background throughout.

The Miss Whyhope competition provided some great scenery and interesting albeit unusual action, due to the changes in the competition made by Charlie, who was running it. The conflict between Meryl and Charlie on the changing of the competition format to mix modern and intelligent events, with the previous and slightly outdated events, was well played and riveting. The reveal that Meryl’s mother founded the competition and disappointment in her (Meryl’s) inability to win, was solid and unexpected character development. Due to Meryl’s manipulative nature, it is very rare that the viewers are given a real insight into who she really is. As I have stated in previous reviews, Meryl generally draws her morally questionable line at possibly hurting Hayley, and she does so again when she realises how harsh she is being on Hayley and stops herself from cheating for her.

While Hayley is feeling the pressure from Meryl to win Miss Whyhope, she is mostly oblivious to Ajax’s crush on her competitor, Millie. This subplot was the highlight of the episode, even though as a viewer I didn’t enjoy the outcome. The reason why it was the highlight was due to the fact that until now, the writers have never messed with Ajax and Hayley’s relationship.

I felt that Ajax asking for advice from Matt and Hugh, and eventually admitting his crush to Hayley rather than actually sleeping with Millie, was completely true to his character. It broke my heart as a viewer to see Hayley break off the engagement, however as a writer I’m interested in seeing what will happen next for them. I suspect they’ll eventually get their happily ever after, but the journey to it will hopefully be intriguing, but not drawn out like Hugh and Penny. I felt that Hayley’s well-deserved win and the revelation that Millie is a lesbian was a nice twist and a nice dose of karma for Ajax. I appreciated the ending of this subplot and the episode with Ajax going to Hugh for comfort, as it shows character development in both of them, as they are embracing their relationship as father and son.

Meanwhile, the Hugh and Penny subplot I felt was too hyped, considering how their almost hook-up fizzled out. I found their reason for their date–the stent prototype coming together–was true to their characters. I felt that the insertion of the positive drug test to add a conflict was a little too obvious, but it embedded well with the hospital drama. I also felt that Penny airing her anger via asking Hugh about whether he has cheated on previous girlfriends, was cliche and forced. As a writer, their almost hook-up fizzling out didn’t surprise me, but I’m wondering how long the writers are planning to drag this out as it is now feeling forced rather than natural.

Overall this episode was fantastic in regards to the Hayley/Ajax (or Hayjax, a portmanteau created by someone going by the name of Zulu, in their comment on one of Chloe Bayliss’ Instagram posts) and Miss Whyhope subplot, however it fell flat in regards to Penny and Hugh.

 

 

Stray Observations:

Hospital Drama: Hugh’s positive drug test result, and the little girl with severe asthma needing two procedures to clear her airways. The reveal of the house that she and her family lived in being a former meth lab, which affected Hugh’s drug test, was a nice touch.

Dora sighting: None. I couldn’t spot her, it’s likely that I missed her, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

-Hayley’s last name is revealed in this episode (Mills).

-Meryl states that her mother established the Miss Whyhope competition 30 years ago, yet in the tribute Charlie states the competition was established in 1961 (55+ years ago). This is the first noticeable continuity problem that I’ve come across in the series so far.

-Ken and Betty were picked as secret judges and their cute little arguments on doing the job was hilarious.

Best one liners:

  • “If I turn out to be pregnant I’ll be really pissed” (Mia after taking the drug test)
  • “I’m sure the corpse enjoyed it” (Hugh to Penny on a mishap Penny talks about that happened to her at uni)