Dr Death Season 2 Review: Edgar Ramirez's Terrifying Anthology Drama Series Shifts Focus Too Often

Based on the true-crime podcast, Che actor Edgar Ramirez plays Dr Paolo Macchiarini, a brilliant surgeon who does experimental trials on his terminal patients. Read our review of the eight-part series premiering on Lionsgate Play from July 12.

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Dr Death Season 2

Critic's Ratings

starstarstarstarstar

3

Crime,Drama,Thriller

Release Date

Jul 12, 2024
Dr Death Season 2 Review Edgar Ramirezs Terrifying Anthology Drama Series Shifts Focus Too Often
Dr Death Season 2 Review: Edgar Ramirez's Terrifying Anthology Drama Series Shifts Focus Too Often

About Dr Death Season 2

More and more series are being adapted from detailed podcasts; the second season of Dr Death follows Dr Paolo Macchiarini (Edgar Ramirez), the surgeon who pushed the boundaries of experimentation and research too far. The new season, created by Ashley Michel Hoban, also examines the 'good' doctor's personal deceits as he went from country to country, using his fame to get away with murder quite literally. Besides Dr Macchiarini's malpractice, Dr Death also looks at the patients who he has affected and those brave whistleblowers who dared to speak up against him.

Dr Death Season 2: Plot

After Joshua Jackson in Season 1, Ramirez is well-cast as the charming European doctor who promises terminally ill patients a new lease on life with cutting-edge technology using stem cell research. However, under the guise of compassionate care and elective use, Dr Macchiarini was using his human patients to experiment the new regenerative medicine and gain funding for more research. He even fools journalist Benita Alexander (Mandy Moore), starting a romantic relationship with her. Despite his supposed success, some doctors and researchers notice that his patients suffer a horrible death after his surgeries, leading them to start their own investigation.

Dr Death Season 2: Writing and Direction

The directing duties for season 2 have been divided between actress Jennifer Morrison and Laura Belsey. There is a noticeable shift from the first half to the second when Ramirez's Macchiarini basically takes a second seat to the other characters. More focus is given to the patients and the doctor who turn whistleblowers. Mandy Moore's Benita is also present, but one can see that the narrative perspective has been altered. The writing team focuses on all the medical details and the legal loopholes that allow Macchiarini to get away with punishment until his crimes were exposed. However, the story jumps around a lot between the years of 2012 to 2014 across countries, leaving one a bit confused about the timeline.

Dr Death Season 2: Performances

Ramirez's Macchiarini is the typical charmer who fools most people around him with his authority. His disappearance during the second half of the show may be deliberate, but it feels like we see two different sides to the character. Moore's Benita becomes one part of the emotional angle of the show as the woman who was wronged. After she discovers their whole life was a lie, she begins to investigate his hidden criminal past. She and the actress Celestina Harris who plays her young daughter Lizzi form a nice bond.
The actors who essay the roles of the doctors at the Swedish hospital Karolinska Institute Ashley Madekwe as Dr Lasbrey, Gustaf Hammarsten as Dr Svensson and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel's Luke Kirby as Dr Gamelli have a more compelling arc in the final half of the season, and it is their portrayals that leave a more lasting impact. If it were not for them speaking up, Macchiarini would have continued his fatal experimentations. Actress Alisha Erozer as one of the unfortunate patients Yesim Cetir in episode five will break your heart.

Dr Death Season 2: Critique

As a series, Dr Death is a frighteningly look into the medical profession where doctors who patients and their families trust in implicitly, take advantage of their faith. Some scenes in which senior medical advisors are willing to overlook Macchiarini's negligence because his patients were already terminal are more terrifying. Creator Hoban and the rest of her team present the disturbing material in a manner that should and will raise your shackles. But the tonal shift between the characters and their ongoing narratives muddles up the otherwise dramatic tale. The series premieres on Lionsgate Play from July 12.
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