Australia is a big place, and Whyhope is a little town in the middle of nowhere. It also happens to be the humble hometown of Sidney’s top cardiac surgeon, doctor Hugh Knight. He certainly enjoys and takes advantage of his position in life. He’s arrogant, likes to party, and has one too many strikes on his record. Due to his “work hard, play harder” mantra, his new challenge is to wait out a probationary year in his hometown with his family. During this time, he’ll be working as a general practitioner in a rural, under-funded hospital. There he isn’t allowed to cut anyone open: Boo-hoo. In The Heart Guy Series 2, the drama escalates with an evil boss, a new rival, and a lost love.
This Australian show features a cast of quirky, heartening characters. It’s more serialized than episodic. Hugh’s mother, Meryl, is a charming, conniving politician and his father, Jim, is a hard worker who’s seen better days. His brother, Matt, and his sister-in-law run a brewery on the family farm. Everyone is connected. For example, Matt’s wife used to be Hugh’s girlfriend, and now she’s venturing into becoming a part-time writer while she works at the local school. They have a kid brother, Ajax, young and in love, whose parentage comes into question in series 1. In The Heart Guy Series 2, his relationship with his girlfriend Haley is on the rocks.
Hugh is also in complicated relationships. In series 1, his boss Penny was a source of contention. However, just as their relationship develops, things get thorny and she takes a job elsewhere. Hugh and his co-workers have to tackle another boss who is even worse than Penny. This new boss is refreshingly evil, not only because she is rude and incompetent, but because she is sexually aggressive, a trait generally associated with male authority figures on television. An old flame comes back into Hugh’s life and he struggles with knowing where his heart lies.
The Heart Guy Series 2, like series 1, does not skip a beat (Pun very much intended). It’s well paced and the characters continue to be quirky, charming, and entertaining. Although The Hart Guy can seem a little exaggerated for comedic effect, all of the characters sound like someone I know and their struggles are relatable. They all have specific quirks that help them come to life. Their distinct work, hobbies, and gifts give them a depth which is rare in similar programs. The drama of small-town life is unmistakable to anyone who has lived in a small town. Everyone knows each other in Whyhope and gossip flourishes.
The characters, more than anything, make the show great. “People are complicated, messy individuals. Especially the interesting ones,” Hugh’s mother says. She’s right. This show is full of characters who fit that description. Even the medical situations all revolve around who the person is and who they know. It’s funny, heartwarming, and full of surprises.
Rodger Corser, playing Hugh Knight, executes the perfect blend of arrogance, conviction, and mischievousness, like a specific sarcastic doctor we are used to (Dr. Greg House), but he is far more charming and personable.
Some of the situations are far-fetched and exaggerated, but they usually do this for comedic effect. The farfetched circumstances allow the show to seem a bit too much like a “feel good” Hallmark flick, but it usually redeems itself with sharp humor and sarcasm.
Unfortunately, The Heart Guy Series 2 DVD does not have any special features. There are merely three DVDs hosting ten episodes. The DVD menu is a static promotional picture.
The Heart Guy Series 2 Closing Comments:
Overall, this is one of my favorite Aussie shows I have seen. It’s a witty comedy with realistic, affecting characters who touch your heart. They can get on your nerves, but some characters are supposed to. It’s a realistic experience with plenty of humor and a little exaggeration thrown in. The characters are rich and full of life. The setting perfectly resembles a small town, and the Knight family farm is a beautiful patch of land. The story lines can feel a little soapy, but the sarcastic humor redeems it. Fans of House M.D., 800 Words, and The Good Karma Hospital may enjoy. Side note: Australian fans know this show by the title Doctor, Doctor.