Sanjivani 2 review: Hotstar please do us a favour, upload the original Sanjivani

The promos of Sanjivani 2 looked promising and the addition of some of the old cast members was like the icing on the cake.

Sanjivani 2 review: Hotstar please do us a favour, upload the original Sanjivani

Sanjivani was a cult show in its own right and one attempts to make a reboot of the same, one expects that to not just to be grander but better than the previous one in every way possible. The promos of Sanjivani 2 looked promising and the addition of some of the old cast members was like the icing on the cake.

Before we dive into Sanjivani 2 let’s look at why the first season was such a big rage back in the day. According to me, there were two main reasons for the same. It was a clutter breaker. I was in school when the first season aired and it was a rage. The tune, the casting and everything about the show was talk of the town. Even though, there were not many channels and TV programs, the makers were more open to experiments and not every weekend, one had to have a big twist!

Two, the show was relatable and the cast did a good job in terms of acting. Since the second season has some members of the old cast one was expecting that it would retain some of the old world charm.

It is indeed a pleasure to watch Mohnish Behl and Gurdeep Kohli reprise their roles as Dr Shashank and Dr Juhi but apart from the same, there is nothing that currently stands out in Sanjivani 2.

In the very first episode we get a glimpse of how grand they are going to keep the canvas of the show – the hospital in itself is a big affair and then there is chopper being deployed to save a kids life. Sure there is a build up for the same but this almost instantly reminded me of Gul Khan and the use of chopper in IPPKND and Ishqbaaaz.

There is also a great deal of effort and resources dedicated to styling. One sees a lot of pastels and blues in the outfits of the cast. What really did stand out was the pink and red stethoscopes. Yes! You are reading it right pink stethoscopes. Another point in styling, the main lead in the very first episode rips open his shirt to reveal his well-toned abs in order to save a kid from drowning.

While I have no issues with the makers of Sanjivani adding to the style quotient and the over the top scenes. Where things fall flat for me is the storyline. There were far too many things that felt borrowed from hit international series like ER and Grey’s Anatomy.

Believe it or not, I felt that the entire track of Dr. Shashank’s brain tumour feels very inspired from Dr Greene’s recovery from the very same disease. For people, who have not watched ER, Dr Greene in ER (played by Anthony Edward) was the Chief Resident of the Emergency Department. He was a great mentor for the residents and was seen more as a person one would go in the times of need than an authority figure.

From whatever fragments of earlier Sanjivani I remember, Dr Shashank was an authority figure and the interns were scared of him. The same was the case with Dil Mil Gaye. However, we don’t see traces of that here.

Another similarity, I found was that they both have an aggressive form of brain cancer, which according to experts is “inoperable”. However, in the case of Dr Greene, he seeks second opinion which proves positive but it takes him a while to return to his old self and get back to his full function as a physician. Almost a year later, his tumour returns, and he later succumbs to the disease.

As on now in Sanjivani 2, Dr Shashank feels that Dr Juhi is the one person that can treat him and he also tells her that he “wants to live”. Truly adding a lot of pressure on her. While Juhi is a little sceptic at first about how successfully she will be able to operate on this “advanced tumour” but then on persuasion of others, agrees to do the surgery. The whole build up is stretched and addition of sad Bollywood songs too are unable to get the desired impact that a scene of this nature would warrant. More drama? Yes please! So, in the entire Friday episode we see Dr Juhi open up Dr Shashank and keep thinking on how she will like to tackle the tumour. No preps, no practice, straight on the surgery table.

The only silver lining to this entire track is that, the makers have managed to capture the attention of all the loyalist of the show as they wait with baited breath to know whether Dr Shashank makes it or not?

Let’s talk Grey’s Anatomy

Now while we have an entire track dedicated to ER, how could the makers forget Grey’s Anatomy. Meet, Dr Ishani played by Surbhi Chandna is a righteous gifted doctor. She seems to have a past which she is trying to conceal and the key to the same lies in her surname. Someone casually mentions, are you connected to famous Dr Arora’s and you see the colour of her face change shades, confirming that it is indeed the case so. We are yet to know who these Dr Aroras are and why there is a need for Dr Ishani to hide her surname but even at this stage I feel that this character has borrowed a leaf or two or maybe the whole book from the Meredith Grey, the lead of Grey’s Anatomy.

People who have not been able to watch this show (which also is available on Hotstar thanks to their tie up with Hooq and on Amazon Prime), Meredith Grey is a daughter of a very well-known surgeon Ellis Grey and the show starts with her joining in as a surgical intern at Seattle Grace Hospital, the same hospital that her mother used to work in. She too is righteous and always wants to do the right thing, no matter what the cost of it. Do you think this is where the similarities will end or will be see more instances being picked from the show and the equation she shared with her co doctors and of course her love affair with her senior/ boss? Well, we shall know the answer to this very soon.

Over the top

While it is not the first time and Indian serial or Bollywood is getting “inspired” from the Hollywood counterparts, to add our touch, the makers have added the desi tadka. Have already shared how the sequence of Dr Shashank going in to the operation was made melodramatic.

Another major incidence is while we have no clue whether the new interns are going to be surgeons or not, the first year intern performs the surgery all by herself and requires no help from her seniors. No one seems to have any anxiety or any apprehensions.

Add to it that the acting of Namit Khanna is so over the top. Also in the very first episode we see him assure the patient that he will make sure that the patient will live as if he is Jesus reincarnate! All these made me want to hit that skip 10 seconds button and move to the parts of Dr Shashank instead.

Even Surbhi Chandna is unable to break out of her Anika mode and seems to be loud and annoying in some places.

Dr Asha Kanwar (played by Rashmi Singh) with her fake ascent and need to impress to us was another great example of how things are just too over the top.

The cliché

If this was not enough, there are typical clichés in the show that is stopping it to be clutter breaking show of today’s time. Rather than adding the layers of Grey, the show seems to be working on plain black and whites. Dr Shashank is man of principles and will go over and beyond to save a life. And then there is Dr. Vardhaan (played by Rohit Roy) who is the CFO of hospital and only interested in the business part of it.

Dr Ishani is the know it all. No matter what the case, on her very first day as an intern she is hitting six after six no matter what you throw at her. Why this is an issue? Well, thanks to this, all the characters look real vanilla to us with no depth or layers. At the end of the day, it makes the whole plot only look bland and flat.

Gurdeep Kohli has an amazing screen presence and the makers are using it well. We hope that going forward too they manage to capture that well and also maybe in case Dr Shahshank does not continue, we are likely to see Juhi take over from him. However, as a viewer, I would much rather want Dr Shashank to be there for a little longer and the storyline to develop more. But on the overall, Sanjivani 2 just makes me crave to watch the first season all over again. Also while we are still on this subject can someone tell me why this season is not called Sanjivani 3, after all there was Dill Mill Gayye, which was a sequel to Sanjivani.