Adam Kay's debut novel, This Is Going To Hurt, a comedic look at the dark side of the National Health Service focused on gynecology and obstetrics ward, was a national best-seller when it was released in the U.K. The TV adaptation, which premiered on the BBC earlier this year, snagged 6.1 million viewers for the premiere. The hit series now crosses the pond to arrive simultaneously on AMC+ and Sundance Now in June, and the first trailer for the series has major "laughing to keep from crying" energy.
Kay was already known in the entertainment world before spearheading the project based on his work, having written for Mitchell and Webb and Mrs. Brown's Boys. He was the lead member of the one-hit-wonder group Amateur Transplants, whose song "London Underground" was a parody hit in 2005. But he's most famous for This Is Going To Hurt, a collection of diary entries he kept as "reflective practice" during his NHS medical training. Kay quit the NHS in 2010 after a traumatizing stillborn experience was the last straw. He decided to publish his experiences after Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, made headlines for calling junior doctors "greedy" over their contract disputes with the NHS.
Sadly, Kay's book didn't arrive until after Hunt's victory, forcing junior doctors to accept the NHS contract. However, the protest impulse that led Kay to publish in the first place is present in the series and the first trailer. That's because Kay wrote and executive produced all seven episodes; Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal), who stars as Adam in the series, co-executive produced. Lucy Forbes (The End of the F***ing World) and Tom Kingsley (the U.K. version of Ghosts) split directing duties, with Forbes helming Episodes 1-4 and Kingsley helming the last three. The show is a co-production between the BBC and AMC Networks.
Here's the series synopsis:
The series follows Adam, a doctor who is finding his way through the ranks of hospital hierarchy; junior enough to suffer the crippling hours, but senior enough to face a constant barrage of terrifying responsibilities. Adam is clinging to his personal life as he is increasingly overwhelmed by stresses at work: the 97-hour weeks, the life-and-death decisions, and all the while knowing the hospital parking meter is earning more than him.
Whishaw co-stars in This Is Going To Hurt with newcomer Ambika Mod as trainee doctor Shruti Acharya. Dame Harriet Walter (Killing Eve), Alex Jennings (Unforgotten), and Michele Austin (The Casual Vacancy) also headline, with Kadiff Kirwan (Slow Horses), Ashley McGuire (It's A Sin), Rory Fleck Byrne (Harlots), and Tom Durant-Pritchard (The Crown). Also co-starring in the series: Josie Walker (Call The Midwife), Philippa Dunne (Derry Girls), Alice Orr-Ewing (Victoria), Hannah Onslow (Ridley Road), George Somner (Sex Education), and Michael Workeye (Big Age).
This Is Going To Hurt begins streaming on AMC+ and Sundance Now on Thursday, June 2, 2022. The series runs seven episodes and will follow a weekly release format.