Medical series are always a sure-fire ratings winner for television, so is the new SBS series Dr Christian Will See You Now any different from all those who have gone before?
Actually, yes it is.
While many medical television series involving real-life doctors and patients can seem to be disease-of-the-week programs, this one has more depth and complexity.
For a start, Dr Christian Jessen’s premise is slightly different.
While he explains what many good GPs are aware of, that there are often complex emotional problems that accompany the presenting physical condition, he also wants to focus on the effect on the family.
“When our health falters the impact can be dramatic, but often our loved ones suffer just as much,” he says.
If the name and face of Dr Christian looks familiar, it’s because you have probably seen him in his role of kind medico in Supersize vs Superskinny or Embarrassing Bodies.
This is a doctor for whom the word empathy was invented—he is an everyday chap who understands the difficulties of ordinary people and genuinely wants to help.
In the first episode we meet newlyweds Ruby and Luke. Ruby’s problems with alopecia (dramatic hair loss) are interfering with her self-esteem and their marital happiness. They are a charming young couple, who are relieved to discover that a combination of medication and psychotherapy can treat the alopecia, and allow them to regain their happy lives.
Emma and Paul are an older married couple, but Emma is afflicted with polycystic ovaries, leading to weight gain and a severe impact on Emma’s psyche—she is terrified she will have a heart attack or stroke, and she sees herself as disgusting, which mystifies loving husband Paul. Dr Christian suggests appropriate drug therapy and counselling... It’s a winning combination that transforms Emma and gives them back their happy married life.
The most dramatic part of the program is when Emma fronts the camera after her emotional first visit to Dr Christian, and declares, “There’s actually hope!” This formerly miserable, self-loathing woman suddenly has light in her eyes and a spring in her step.
And that’s what Dr Christian offers—practical help and a new hope that the problems affecting the patients and their loved ones can be solved.
Hope is a such a vital element for happiness.
“So my heart is glad and joy is on my tongue. My whole body will be full of hope” (Acts chapter 2, verse 26).
The aptly-named Dr Christian provides plenty of hope for his patients in this appealing series.