Medical Police: Netflix’s Most Recent Medical-Action Parody

Anne Rogers, Photographer

Medical Police, a Netflix original that premiered on January 10th of this year, is an ironic parody of the highly popular, over-dramatized shows that portray life as a doctor or police officer. Shows like Greys Anatomy, Bones, The Good Doctor, Law and Order, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Chicago P.D. have become increasingly popular, and as a result, shows like Medical Police have spawned a new genre of intentionally exaggerated plotlines and acting. 

The series follows the life of Dr. Lola Spratt (Erinn Hayes) and her partner, Dr. Owen Maestro (Rob Huebel), two pediatric doctors from São Paulo, Brazil, trying to stop the spread of a deadly virus. The pair travel across the world to various locations like Berlin, Italy, Florida, Latvia, Shanghai, and Bhutan where they meet several interesting people played by popular actors and personalities such as Michael Cera, Randall Park, Jon Hamm, Tom Wright, Craig Robinson, and YouTube personality and late-night show host Lilly Singh. 

The plot begins when Lola Spratt sees two patients with similar rashes on their necks. After making the connection to a possible unknown disease, CDC secret agent, Sloan McIntire, leads Spratt and her partner, Owen Maestro, to a secret CDC lab and tasks them with finding the origin of the virus and a way to cure it. The first episode came off as almost stilted, with unnatural dialogue and attempted irony that didn’t come through as intended. 

After that, Spratt and Maestro’s journey takes many unexpected turns involving identical twins, plaster face masks to hack facial recognition, dramatic poker games, and Chinese prisons. The pair also (as expected) gets together in episode eight, after an incredibly awkward encounter where they realized their hotel room had only one bed. 

Towards the end of the series, Lola reunites with her college virology professor, who work together to recover Spratt’s thesis which may contain a way to develop a cure for the virus. The search for the laptop containing the copy of her thesis involves a bidding war over a desk with a wealthy baroness and running from bioterrorists who have overtaken the São Paulo Childrens Hospital. When the thesis is finally found, the laptop is shot and destroyed, requiring another way to recover her thesis. 

Luckily, Owen Maestro has been working on an experimental procedure to recover lost memories. He operates on Spratt in a hidden room in the hospital. Lola has a vivid hallucination of her virology professor and remembers that she had the cure to the virus tattooed on her arm the whole time. 

The style is very reminiscent of shows like The Santa Clarita Diet, with its sarcastic tone and deadpan humor. Several small stylistic elements, such as slightly repetitive dialogue and timing help the irony land more soundly. However, there were many instances where the attempted style of humor didn’t come through, and it came off as poorly scripted with unnatural acting. 

Although I don’t expect any upcoming Emmy nominations, Medical Police is a quippy and amusing show that is short enough to finish in a weekend with only ten twenty-minute episodes, and it isn’t too complex to watch while texting or working on something else. The humor can occasionally come across as forced and contrived, but just a few of the show’s redeeming qualities are the brief appearances by popular actors and the deadpan ironic style that we don’t usually see in medical/police dramas. Unless the show gains unexpected popularity, I don’t believe Medical Police will be renewed for a second season, but I would recommend it as a casual show to watch if you need ideas.