Medically Yours, the latest series to release on AltBalaji is a desperate equivalent of 'Kota Factory' for medical college students. Except that it ends up being a pale imitation of a heartfelt story. For the uninitiated, Kota Factory is a web series with a plea directed at the academic community and parents (dealing with engineering aspirants) to let a student decide their true calling. Medically Yours tries to drive home this very message, besides squeezing in a complicated love story and providing a raunchy twist to it. Meanwhile, Kota Factory isn't the only similar link you'd find with Medically Yours, the latter also shares an uncanny similarity with the Rajkumar Hirani-directorial 3 Idiots in terms of the issues it tackles- academic pressures, paper leakage, pursuing one's passion among many. Regardless of the popular reference points, the three-and-a-half-hour narrative spanning across ten episodes doesn't rise above a raunchy cocktail where storytelling doesn't appear to be the major focus. The makers try to blend many issues into one series and none of it gets the seriousness it deserves. Everything happens in a matter-of-factly fashion and there's no conviction in what the director wants to say. The series is narrated through the eyes of two childhood buddies Abir Basu and Nibedita Sarkar, who under the guidance of Abir's dad (a medico) make it to Kolkata's most popular medical college KIMS. While Abir considers himself a misfit to be a doctor, Nibedita has her aspirations firmly set to establish herself in the profession and match her mentor's expectations. Both have a group of friends who are dealing with their own set of complications, from dealing with an over-possessive girlfriend to the desperation of finding a girl to lose their virginity to besides academic pressures. Medically Yours tries to show how the pressure of subscribing to a popular diktat gets the better of students. Despite the familiar college-drama setup, Medically Yours could have something more powerful had the writing been stronger and less-distracted about its subplots. The characterisation is loose and too many creative liberties don't provide the sense of realism it may have needed. The complicated equation between Abir and Nibedita toying around friendship and romance isn't presented well. Most of the dialogues are an excuse to present gyaan and generalise problems pertaining to both genders. Though there are occasional discussions surrounding the pressures that bother a medical student, the story is more involved around their hookups, messed up sex lives. The student-teacher relationship is overly sexualised. Dialogues that translate to “not all doctors chase money, we have a social purpose” and “we try to cure heart diseases through our course, but the people here don't have a heart at all” add to the irony. Too many expletives are ranted after every alternate line in the series, some feel necessary, the others, indulgent. Medically Yours has the same issue that most of the series produced by AltBalaji has; the perversion of the characters dominate the content. However, one advantage that it has is its fast-paced narrative, that keeps you engaged with the proceedings despite its banality. The best performance in Medically Yours comes from its female lead Nityaami Shirke, who's effortlessly natural in her portrayal as Nibedita. She has a next-door-girl charm that she infuses into the role and helps a viewer relate to her confusions and conflicts. The lead actor Shantanu Maheshwari's television to digital-transition is middling, to say the least. Shantanu's personality fits his role as the supposedly macho-Abir but his desperate efforts to behave like a stud are far from convincing. The issues with his role, i.e. the strained equation with his father and the disinterest to pursue MBBS needed a stronger context. The cast has actors who look their part, but it is obvious that they don't have the range to really create an impact.
The commentary on student suicides, about following the call of the heart, doesn't strike a chord. The reason behind exploring the Kolkata backdrop isn't justified well either. Medically Yours is intermittently impressive, but there's every chance that things could take a turn for the better in the second season they hint at. More time invested in the writing, avoiding the hurriedness and the artificiality of season one, the makers may have a neat foundation to count on, the second time at least.