Globo's 'Under Pressure' portrays docs' dilemma, premieres with 44 mn Brazilian viewers

MUMBAI: A genuinely Brazilian and fast-paced medical drama series portraying patient-doctor dramas in a substandard hospital in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, ‘Under Pressure’ premiered on Globo’s late prime time on Tuesday, 25 July, reaching the impressive mark of 44 million viewers. Five out of every 10 Brazilian households watching TV were tuned in to Globo. A co-production between Globo and Conspiração, the drama series uncovers the mishaps and intimate conflicts experienced by a medical staff facing the harsh reality of a chaotic environment, struggling to overcome adversity and the lack of resources to keep patients alive.

With around 75% of the scenes shot at a deactivated ward of a public hospital, the production takes on even greater depth. Series creator Jorge Furtado and his team of writers dove into Rio de Janeiro’s public health system to learn about real-life stories that inspired the episodes. In addition to this extensive on-site research, there were also meetings and talks with physician Marcio Maranhão, author of the book “Sob Pressão – A rotina de guerra de um médico brasileiro” (Under Pressure – a Brazilian doctor’s war routine, in a loose translation), which inspired the plot. Maranhão worked as an adviser in the production, ensuring a perfect match between the technical medical aspects and the actual drama.

“We gathered real stories that happen every day in Brazilian public hospitals and whose debate is extremely relevant for society. We talk about abuse, suicide, AIDS, disrespect, and neglect, among others,” said Andrucha Waddington, artistic director of ‘Under Pressure’ and of the film with the same name that originated the drama series.

“One of the strongest aspects of ‘Under Pressure’ is the drama lived by patients. Every day arrive in the hospital ambulances where impressive stories emerge. These people’s personal lives combined with the doctors’ personal issues and their commitment to the patients is what fills the series with its strong dramatic content,” said Jorge Furtado.

In the drama series, an unlikely relationship between two doctors arises in the midst of this stressful environment: on the one hand, the skeptic Dr. Evandro (Julio Andrade, ‘Above Justice’), chief surgeon of the hospital’s medical team. A professional of incomparable talent, but addicted to work and medications. Depressed, he has not overcome the loss of his wife yet, who died on his shift at the hospital during an emergency surgery. On the other side there is the religious and efficient Dr. Carolina (Marjorie Estiano, ‘Dangerous Liaisons’), a vascular surgeon who resorts to faith seeking the antidote against all the misery she faces every day. As work colleagues, the two of them share a common urge to save lives. And they must find the balance between the hardships of the profession and their personal conflicts to face the reality of an extremely chaotic environment, under constant pressure.

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