Thank You, Doctor (2022) 谢谢你医生
Summary: The cool and mysterious Xiao Yan (肖砚) decides to join the EICU team, or Emergency Intensive Care Unit, at the Tong Shan (桐山) hospital. Bai Zhu (白术), a cardiothoracic surgeon, is also sent to the EICU after complaints from patients. Xiao Yan肖砚, Bai Zhu白术, and a few other doctors make up the EICU team, led under team lead Lu Ping An (陆平安). The team are faced with many ethical and medical quandaries on how best to serve their patients. As the drama progresses, Xiao Yan 肖砚 and Bai Zhu 白术 begin to see the similarities and bright spots within each other. The two begin to put away their prejudices and biases against each other. Individual stories, relationships, and trials are told through the patients and doctors of the EICU.
This drama is based off the book ICU48小时 or 48 Hours in the ICU
Total Episode Count: 40
Initial Airing Date: November 4, 2022
Platform: CCTV8, iQiYi, Tencent, Youku
Final Rating: 6.5/10
A serviceable medical drama that shines when it focuses on medical cases but squanders it’s two leads with meandering plot lines with loose ends and an annoying supporting cast of doctors.
The pacing of the drama moves at a brisk pace with its medical cases, sometimes too fast. For each case, the drama does raise some interesting ethical questions on how to treat the patients which does force the characters, patients, and us the audience to ponder the correct path forward. However, the majority of the cases move by so quickly that we barely get time to digest before we are whisked off to the next case.
The drama was at its best when it gave the cases more breathing room and showed the motivations for the different players involved.
The character that I felt had the biggest growth was actually the head nurse Jiang Shan. Her journey with her husband was a highlight of the drama. I think Yang Mi did a decent job as the outwardly guarded but inwardly altruistic Xiao Yan. I think the overall problem is the script in which it really didn’t give the doctors much depth. The paper-thin script for the characters really did hinder the back half of the drama.
Xiao Yan 肖砚– Yang Mi 杨幂
An emergency medicine doctor, she is a mysterious doctor who returns from abroad. She comes from a wealthy medical family that has led her to be very independent and practical. She pursued her studies abroad after high school and joined a Swiss hospital after completing her studies. The death of her fiancé Lin Zhi Yuan was a turning point in her life, leading her to resign from her position in Switzerland to come work at the Tong Shan hospital.
Bai Zhu 白术– Bai Yu 白宇
A very talented cardiothoracic surgeon, he is nevertheless stubborn and arrogant. He believes that only by taking chances, will there be miracles. He strongly believes in pursuing any path forward to save his patients which often puts him at odds against his coworkers. His teacher transfers him to the Emergency department in hopes of changing some of his perspectives
Jiang Shan 姜杉 – Wang Yi Nan 王一楠
The head nurse for the Emergency department. She is the organized and capable marshal of the department. All of her co-workers respect the warm-hearted and generous head nurse. Her husband suffered an accident right before their marriage, rendering him immobile. Despite all the odds, Jiang Shan, refuses to leave her husband and stays with him until the very end
Lu Ping An 陆平安 – Li Jie李解
The department lead of the Emergency department. Everyone calls him “Mama Lu”. To better serve their patients, he decides to lead the new EICU at Tong Shan Hospital while espousing Safety First. He oftentimes has differing perspectives from Bai Zhu and Xiao Yan but during times of crisis, he does not hesitate to take the mantle of leader to protect everyone in his department.
Xiao Yan (肖砚) is a doctor who’s spent years volunteering with aide organizations such as Doctors Without Borders abroad. On one trip, her fiancé dies while trying to save a patient. Xiao Yan (肖砚) decides to head to Shanghai to learn more about her fiancé’s past. There, she joins the EICU team, or Emergency Intensive Care Unit, at the 桐山 hospital. Bai Zhu (白术), a cardiothoracic surgeon, is a rising star at the 桐山 hospital. However, his arrogance puts him into some trouble, and he’s sent to the EICU instead. Xiao Yan (肖砚), Bai Zhu (白术), and a few other doctors make up the EICU team, led under team lead Lu Ping An (陆平安). The rest of the team comprises of Xu Yi Ran, Bai Zhu’s best friend, Tang Hua, and resident Chen Zhi. They are supported by the head nurse Jiang Shan and fellow nurse Lin Zhi.
The EICU team is surprised at Xiao Yan’s efficiency when she joins the team. Due her past experiences abroad, Xiao Yan spends a lot of time trying to get to know her patients and believing patients have the right to choose. This is very different from Bai Zhu’s approach, who believes that medical research should dictate his diagnoses. The two constantly butt heads on the past forward for patients including whether tell a young girl that she’s terminally ill. This becomes most evident when the two come across a deadly car crash and have to rush to save the victims. Xiao Yan prioritizes saving the greatest number of patients but Bai Zhu focuses on one patient.
The Head Nurse’s husband, Mr. Jiang蒋先云 , was involved in a car crash years ago that resulted in him being paralyzed from the waist down. Despite this, Jiang Shan, continues to be his primary caretaker and the breadwinner in the family. The two receive some devastating news when Mr. Jiang finds out that he has late-stage pancreatic cancer. Mr. Jiang doesn’t want to continue to burden his wife but he’s saved by the EICU team. Surprisingly, it is Bai Zhu who tells Mr. Jiang to not give up on life. Xiao Yan, on the other hand, believes that each patient has the choice to choose.
At the same time, Bai Zhu’s son Xiao Guang is rushed to the EICU. Everyone’s surprised to see that Bai Zhu has a son, but are even more shocked to see just how positive and sincere the boy is. He has the rare disease Thalassemia, and despite all odds, has lived to the age of 8. The rest of the team gradually change their attitudes towards Bai Zhu after understanding that it was his perseverance that resulted in Xiao Guang’s life.
In Shanghai, Xiao Yan tries to find the memories of her fiancé’s past but constantly comes up short. Bai Zhu is the one that helps Xiao Yan find her fiancé’s old home. As the drama progresses, Bai Zhu finds himself more and more attracted to the cold yet kind-hearted Xiao Yan. Unfortunately, Xiao Yan needs time to move past her previous relationship.
Throughout the drama, we also see snippets of the lives of the other doctors and nurses in the EICU.
Overall, I thought it was a serviceable medical drama that really shone on strength of its cases. The cases move at a brisk pace that gives us the viewers a lens on the difficult choices that patients, loved ones, and doctors need to make.
I don’t want to spoil too many of the cases, and I mentioned a couple during my plot review, but another one that sticks out to me is when a social influencer decides to head to the hospital to get “views”.
This is the second medical drama that I’ve seen this year and what’s interesting is that these dramas tend to put people in a better light than I expected. For example, during car crashes, there is rarely a hit and run, but at-fault party does his / her part to try and solve the problem. Maybe I’m cynical about these things but it is heartwarming to see people to take responsibility. When the drama does show some despicable characters, it just makes it more jarring.
The drama does its best when it does allow the cases shows the motivations of each character, whether it’s the patients or the doctors.
I thought the two main leads of Yang Mi and Bai Zhu did a serviceable job but unfortunately just don’t have much to work with. Yang Mi is this cool and calm motorcycle riding doctor that shows up to work but no one knows anything about her. Yang Mi plays the part well but the problem is that we really don’t get to see or learn anything else about Xiao Yan. Yes, she does find peace with regards to fiancé but her relationship with Bai Zhu was a big question mark to me.
Bai Yu I thought went a little overboard in the arrogant / haughty doctor vibe in the beginning. He does mellow out after the first couple episodes though, especially after we learn more about his personal life and relationship with his son.
The supporting cast of characters was…not great. There was like only 1.5 characters that I rooted for – the Head Nurse and the team lead Lu.
Which goes to my overall problem of this drama – it’s too sterile. It’s too clean. This is an EICU unit. It’s supposed to be intense; it’s supposed to be bloody and hectic. I don’t feel like I saw much of that. At the same time, it’s also way to sterile with the characters. No one is really fleshed out except for the Head Nurse and that was because we had to spend time with her and her husband.
I was particularly annoyed at 2 characters – Tang Hua and Chen Zhi.
Tang Hua is a young ICU doctor, who I literally never saw doing any work. All she did was just wander around with Xiao Yan and then loudly comment her disgust towards the actions and attitudes of the patients if they didn’t behave in the “righteous” manner such as paying for all operations or dropping everything to pay attention to a family member in the hospital. I thought it was very unprofessional. I was hoping for growth from this character, but no, she continues to loudly voice her opinions. Even though she apologizes when she realizes her prejudices were wrong, she nonetheless continues to make them.
The next character is Chen Zhi. He’s a MD / PhD who, I think is in residency with the team. He had zero confidence in anything that he was doing and was constantly looking around for approval. He thought he found it with Tang Hua and decided to pursue her. Tang Hua repeatedly tells him that they are not a good fit but he disregards all of her words and continues to barrel through and pursue her despite her protestations. He just came off as creepy the entire time. He always had a sad look on his face and always asking – how can I do better or how can I make her like me? I honestly wanted to punch him in the face towards the end. Dude – you’re a grown man. Own up professionally and take the hint from the girl. Once again, little to no character growth. Every chance he got was given to him by other people and he only stopped pursuing Tang Hua when she forcefully had to tell him.
I wish that the script was able to do service to the cast of doctors like they did with some of the patients. Otherwise, those scenes were a slog.
As for the ending, it just left me scratching my head because I had no idea what happened.
Overall, it’s fine as a medical drama and something to put on in the background but there are better medical dramas out there.
Let me know what you think!