“The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy” Season 1 Review

The hospital in a time loop.
Stephanie Hsu (Dr. Sleech), Keke Palmer (Dr. Klak), Natasha Lyonne (Nurse Tup). Image courtesy Amazon.

The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy is a sci-fi hospital procedural that delivers exactly what you’d expect.

In the eight episodes of The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy season one, we follow Dr. Sleech (Stephanie Hsu) and Dr. Klak (Keke Palmer) as they go about their work. Like with any hospital procedural, each episode focuses on a different problem that the two come across and try to solve. The thing is, this is not someone with lupus: rather, it’s things like being stuck in a time loop, an STI that turns you into the last person you had sex with, teleportation accidents, and more.

The show starts out mid-event, with our two doctors trying to save the life of a patient. It sets up their characters. “If you’re going to break the rules, might as well make it count,” says Dr. Klak. It’s a fast pace as we learn of our main two characters and their supporting cast, as well as getting a feel for the world it takes place in.

There’s an ongoing subplot. In the first episode, the two run across a worm that embeds itself in your brain and eats anxiety. Dr. Klak has had anxiety all her life. In fact, her mother wrote the definitive book on the subject, which of course brings Dr. Klak even more anxiety. Throughout the first season, the two study the worm to try and make it not deadly – all while dealing with the illness of the week. (Read our interview with creator Cirocco Dunlap where she talks about how the show’s creation was partially due to her own dealings with anxiety.)

Each episode is a little under 30 minutes, and the animation style is similar to Big Mouth. Dunlap does a good job of making sure each episode is unique while still having the ongoing plotline connecting the chapters. The humor is more chuckle-worthy instead of laugh out loud, with the comedy being found in the absurdity of the situations.

multiple versions of Dr. Klak
Keke Palmer (Dr. Klak). Image courtesy Amazon Studios.

Hsu and Palmer do an impressive job of showing the two friends dealing with their lives. The duo is surrounded by a great supporting cast that includes Kieran Culkin as Dr. Plowp, Maya Rudolph as Dr. Vlam, and co-executive producer Natasha Lyonne as Nurse Tup. We’ve got robots, bird men, and other aliens, all with different body types. We also have Dr. Azel (Sam Smith), a spider-like alien that goes by they/them.

The characters all have distinct personalities, and it’s nice to see a female-fronted comedy. But the show also follows its procedural roots a little too closely. It’s a bit formulaic, and the episodes are a bit predictable as a result. You know the characters are going to come across an issue, and you know they are going to figure out a solution in the nick of time. (Whether it’s the right solution is up in the air sometimes, thankfully.)

My diagnosis of The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy season one?

Take the episodes with a grain of salt, and don’t expect too much. Side effects may include: running gags, sexual dysfunctional humor, romance, and a humorous exploration of found family and female friendships.

The first season of The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy will premiere all eight episodes on February 23, 2024, on Prime Video.

More information can be found on the Amazon website.

Author: Angie Fiedler Sutton

Angie Fiedler Sutton is a writer, podcaster, and all-round fangirl geek. She has been published in Den of Geek, Stage Directions, LA Weekly, The Mary Sue, and others.

She also produces her own podcast, Contents May Vary, where she interviews geeky people about geeky things. You can see all her work (and social media channels) at angiefsutton.com.

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