Hard Rock Medical is the ultimate under-the-radar show. Ask folks if they’ve heard of it and I’m betting the majority will say no. Out of the minority that have heard of the series, I’m betting they’d say Hard Rock Medical was about rock ‘n’ roll. I certainly did. This was back during Season 2, and when I finally tuned in I was stunned. Hard Rock Medical is a damn fine medical drama that mixes in very funny moments set against the rugged backdrop of Sudbury, Ontario, a.k.a. The Canadian Shield, a.k.a. the hard rock in Hard Rock Medical. Inspired by the world-renowned Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the program spotlights and celebrates the distinct challenges of delivering quality healthcare in Northern Ontario.
Co-created by Smith Corindia and Derek Diorio, the last season of Hard Rock Medical returns for its final nine episodes on Tuesday at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET on TVO. Thankfully, TVO has put the past three seasons on their website, so folks can not only catch up but those outside of Ontario can tune in to Season 4 episodes after each broadcast.
What amazed me about the show back in Season 2 is the high-profile Canadian talent in the cast. Andrea Menard (Blackstone), Tamara Duarte (Wynonna Earp), Angela Asher (Bad Blood), Jamie Spilchuk, Stephane Paquette and Pat McKenna (Traders) are just a sampling of the actors who’ve been part of Hard Rock Medical from the beginning. Throw in guest gigs from Jennifer Podemski, Marc Bendavid, Ron Lea, Michelle Thrush—and Corner Gas‘ Eric Peterson this year—and you’ve got one hell of a fine stable of talent participating in Corindia and Diorio’s taut, half-hour scripts.
When we pick up Tuesday’s return, “Dreaming the Life,” Eva is in the midst of an odd dream that reflects her First Nations heritage and ties to Nancy and Gary while under anaesthetic to donate bone marrow. Meanwhile, Louise and Fraser are facing the media over Sergio’s suicide and request that his brain be used for concussion research, and Tara and Charlie are juggling life with her chemotherapy schedule. Charlie’s considering quitting med school to be available to Tara full-time but she’s having none of it. This is his last year of school before becoming a doctor and she won’t let him give up now. As for Farida, a patient with a fishhook lodged in her cheek leads to a custody battle between a husband and wife. And Cameron? His day is an awful one.
Episode 2, “Quo Vadis,” follows Gary into reconciliation classes with the racist cop he punched and Cameron meets up with Gina, who is suffering from amnesia following her assault.
I’m going to miss following the medical students and their adventures; the last four seasons of Hard Rock Medical have been a joy to watch and cover for TV, Eh? I can only hope that, perhaps, Diorio and Corindia can create a new series about the lives of these newly-graduated doctors working in the community they were educated in.
Hard Rock Medical airs Tuesdays with back-to-back episodes at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET on TVO. Episodes are available for streaming at tvo.org the day after each new broadcast.
Images courtesy of TVO.