The second season of Dice Media's YouTube show Operation MBBS has already raked in a total of over 50 million views and counting, and we are only three episodes in. Not surprising considering the first season, which released last year during lockdown, clocked in almost 80 million views across its five episodes.
The series follows three friends as they try and navigate the turbulent world of medical college, with plenty of life lessons, crippling pressures and heartfelt friendships along the way. Ahead of the release of Season 2, stars Anshul Chauhan, Ayush Mehra and Sarah Hashmi spoke to us about the pressures of a second season and tackling the pandemic on the show.
What would you say is the challenge of going into a second season? Is there a pressure to live up to the first season, or is it easier now because you guys know what the show is so you can get straight into it?
Ayush Mehra: It's a bit of both. Obviously, there is always a challenge to make it bigger and better. You don't know what to expect with the first season, but with the second season you already have a built-in fanbase. But I think we have managed to do it really comfortably this time because there are so many things that happened last year which made us value doctors so much more.
Anshul Chauhan: For me, there was pressure because this is the first 'season 2' that I am doing of the shows that I have done. After the first season, audiences naturally now have expectations, and ultimately they'll be the judge. So, until it comes out and people watch it, I honestly can't say how it'll turn out. But obviously we have given it our best and we believe in it.
On the show you guys play medical students for which you need to learn a lot of complicated medical terms. What's the most complicated thing you've had to memorize?
Sarah Hashmi: Yeah, I bore the brunt of that for sure because my character is the most studious and has to remember all the different experiments and words. Which is funny because I'm the worst with remembering lines (laughs). Anything I have to memorize is erased the second after we shoot a scene. The second our director Amrit says 'okay got it', I just forget the words that very second.
Ayush Mehra: My character's very nalayak in life so he doesn't need to remember stuff, so I was fine with that.
Apart from shooting during the pandemic, this season you guys also tackled the pandemic as part of the story. Was it weird navigating that on the show while it's still happening in real life, and still make it a light entertaining series?
Anshul Chauhan: It wasn't a good feeling going back to that. It's been almost a year now since the COVID lockdown and going back to that and reliving it wasn't pleasant.
Sarah Hashmi: But I think because we faced the pandemic in real life it was sort of easier to tap into those energies and emotions when it came to showing something about it.
Ayush Mehra: It was also easier for us to depict the pandemic on the show. At least logistically it was easier because otherwise getting access to empty places to shoot is usually pretty difficult usually, but because we shot it at the start of this year we managed it, so it all worked out.