Balancing a heavy workload with a developing morphine habit, the young doctor finds it increasingly difficult to conceal his burgeoning addiction from his colleagues. After one humiliation too many, ...
Blood and pus and pickled sprats—a horror show that's not always so хорошо
I read a few of these stories years ago, and I don't recall that they had much in common with the later work, full of outrageous black humor and demonic fantasy, for which Bulgakov's remembered today. In this 4-ep UK series, three comedy writers attempt a seriocomic mashup of the two, plus a back-from-the-future framing tale in which an older (and much taller!) version of the protagonist, now a cynical, drug-addicted burnout, turns up as a sort of shady mentor to his younger self. Daniel Radcliffe displays fine comic timing as the younger doc; Jon Hamm seems uncomfortable at times with the accent (British, not Russian) but gets off some great line readings as the older one. Series hits its stride in the second episode, but our interest started to wane as things get darker and more chaotic in the last two. Seems kind of pointless to be satirizing the monotony and bleakness of rural Russian life in 1917— Bulgakov and his compatriots were about to endure much worse than bad weather and a cigarette shortage. Good supporting cast, esp. Adam Godley as an overly friendly paramedic ("Feldsher" is the term; until I looked at the cast list I though they were saying "the felcher"). I understand why the Russian reviewer who weighed in below was unimpressed, but when the second series turns up on 'flix, we'll prob'ly give it another chance. FYI, snarky guy from the Netherlands, this series was an Anglo-Japanese co-production
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