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Review: ‘The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy’ is a Wacky Sci-fi Adventure

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A new adult animated show has dropped on Prime Video! If you like medical procedurals à la Grey’s Anatomy with the zany atmosphere of shows like Inside Job or Rick and Morty, you’ll want to check out Prime’s The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy.

Based in an alien hospital, this show follows two genius surgeons as they work to make all the ground-breaking discoveries they can, using their extremely maladaptive tendencies. Best friends Sleech and Klak must solve a new medical mystery every episode as they fight to make the most life-changing discovery of all: a cure for anxiety.

[Warning: Spoilers below for this series]

The wacky world of The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy

The best thing about The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy is by far the quirky setting. This show delights in throwing oddities at you. From STIs that genetically turn people into their exes, to a snack restaurant that specializes in selling tiny sentient creatures that beg you not to eat them, there is no shortage of eccentricities. It feels like a successor to Rick and Morty in terms of sheer sci-fi ridiculousness fit into everyday mundanity. Time loops, other dimensions, and terrible bosses made out of water bags are just part of the character’s 9 to 5.

It’s a genius setting for a medical drama. Since it’s not even slightly tied to realism, the only limits to what insane surgeries the hospital must tackle are the bounds of the writers’ minds. It’s a bit like if Doctor Who was actually about people with medical licenses, or like if the characters of House M.D. had a few more beaks and tails. All the ridiculous medical emergencies that can happen will happen, to any creature you can think of. Wrapped up in some candy-colored animation, this world is full of humor and mayhem of the best variety.

A cast of entertaining characters

Inhabiting this world is a cast of characters that are just as eccentric as their setting. Stephanie Hsu and Keke Palmer make an excellent duo in the roles of protagonists Sleech and Klak. Sleech is a hyper-independent go-getter with a mysterious past, and Klak is a genius with severe anxiety and a complex relationship with her famous mother.

In a lot of ways, the two are opposites, which makes them a very fun pair of friends to watch navigate life. Just how many times can they commit medical malpractice in new and inventive ways? Will their contrasting views of love and life bring them closer together, or cause them to end up in jail due to the aforementioned medical malpractice? The path to answering these questions is full of laughs.

second best hospital in the galaxy
Image from The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy (Prime Video)

The rest of the cast is equally entertaining and well-acted. Every character has a fun concept. Kieran Culkin plays Dr. Plowp, who is kind of like if Big Bird was an empath going through psychic puberty. Maya Rudolph is excellent as Dr. Vlam, an immortal robot who, after a long life full of infinite careers, is now trying her hand at a medical internship. Natasha Lyonne voices Nurse Tup, who’s just tired and deserves a raise. But it’s Natasha Lyonne, so she’s the best.

Everyone is interesting, in both personality and design. There’s not a single character who I felt bored with. Watching each of these characters attempt to do their jobs amid ongoing mental breakdowns and complex workplace romance is incredibly fun, but also very touching at times.

The good and the ‘meh’ of The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy

Despite the laughs, there’s real heart at the core of this show. It takes real-world issues and uses the wild sci-fi at its disposal to expand upon them. The classic trope of an overbearing parent using their child for fame, morphs into that parent creating clones of her child at all her worst moments in life for sensationalized television. Fear of romantic commitment gets tripled when a workplace boyfriend can read all of Sleech’s emotions and feel them as his own.

And of course, the question of how much a person would be willing to risk, to fix their mental illness, becomes much more sinister when the possible cure for anxiety is a parasite that explodes people’s brains. Would you be willing to put a worm that wants to eat your frontal lobe if it meant there’s a chance it could fix you? Klak might be.

This show is all about heightened extremes of relatable concerns. From tackling corporate greed in a medical setting to questions of how to deal with rejection and loneliness, The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy has excellent emotional resonance.

That being said, it’s not without issues. Mostly, this show is a good time. It’s a bag of laughs that does what it set out to do. However, it’s constrained to eight twenty-minute episodes to tell a whole lot of story. The writers do a good job of this by incorporating background filler and enough wackiness that it doesn’t feel too rushed; however, it did impact my ability to truly care about the show. I’m left interested, but not incredibly invested in a season 2, which the show is clearly setting itself up for.

Hopefully, if the show gets a second season, they’ll have more time to build up the story. For now, I’m left feeling like season 1 was a fun enough time, but that’s about it. Nonetheless, it’s a very entertaining romp that I’d recommend checking out. If you like mayhem, surgery, and a fair amount of hooking up with coworkers, The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy is for you!

The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy is now streaming on Prime Video! Will you check it out? What are your thoughts? Let us know on social medai @mycosmiccircus or on The Cosmic Circus Discord!

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