“The Hippocratic Crush” Receives Plagiarism Accusations and Lukewarm Reception

Hong Kong TVB new drama, The Hippocratic Crush <On Call 36小時>, starring Tavia Yeung (楊怡) and Kenneth Ma (馬國明), aired this week in Hong Kong. It was unexpected that after the broadcast of only the fourth episode, netizens have already revealed the developing plot details. It turned out that The Hippocratic Crush may have plagiarized 2008 drama, Healing Souls <生命有明天> starring Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) and Jessica Hsuan (宣萱)! Asked to comment upon the plagiarism accusations, The Hippocratic Crush producer, Poon Ka Tak (潘嘉德), replied, “No comment!”

In recent years, TVB’s dramas were often accused of plagiarizing other productions and lacking creativity. After ATV secured the broadcast rights for Healing Souls, ATV aired the drama in 2008. Comparing The Hippocratic Crush with Healing Souls, numerous similarities exist. In the first episode, neurosurgeon intern, Kenneth Ma, rescued the life of a traffic accident victim.  This resembled a scene in Healing Souls where neurosurgeon, Francis Ng, rescued a victim in an automobile accident as well!

Same Characters and Background Just A Coincidence

The similarities in the background story between The Hippocratic Crush and Healing Souls may have been a “coincidence.” Both Tavia Yang and Jessica Hsuan portrayed “interns” and were bickering couples with Kenneth Ma and Francis Ng.

Worse still, Tavia grew up in a single-parent family as a child; while her mother was pregnant, her mother remarried. Years later, Tavia met her sister, Mandy Wong (黃智雯), for the first time [without recognizing their sister relationship] at the hospital that the both of them work at. In Healing Souls, after Jessica’s parents’ divorce, her father had another  daughter. Many years later, Jessica met her half-sister at the hospital that the pair worked at. The contents of both dramas were coincidentally the same!

Asked to comment regarding the plagiarism claims, Producer Poon Ka Tak, only said, “I have no response!

Source: Oriental Daily

Jayne: I thought TVB would replicate “Healing Hands” instead! I have a feeling that Tavia’s character will have a brain tumor….

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    1. Me too! I do hope they keep the focus on the realistic hospital cases rather than the romantic relationships. But so far so good! =D

    2. me too. i find it very enjoyable and i love kenneth. i was annoyed with him law at first but now that he is becoming more serious, i am starting to like him now. personally, i don’t see the whole plagiarism just because it is a medical drama and it is like ER and Grey’s Anatomy essentially. its similar to the cop or forensic type dramas. it just depends on the characters really.

  1. It is hard to come up with new idea. In general, when watching Asian series, I often feel “I saw it somewhere.” I can see sequence made more and more now: War of Beauty II, … to avoid new title being created.

    Even with American series, detective/investigation/crime shows are very similar. The common theme/patterns of series with many seasons:
    – Season 1 is good
    – Season 2/3 – There are involvement of main characters’ family member
    – Season 4+ – confusion
    A idea might not be new but it might still entertain

  2. I do believe Tavia’s character will undergo some sort of major surgery according to the sales presentation clip so Jayne, you are correct!

    1. According to the sales presentation clip I also believe Tavia will have a disease and will undergo surgery.

  3. it’s not new with TBB. That’s very bad of them. Healing Souls is better than on calll 36.

  4. This is very typical storyline? I mean the guy is usually introduced in a suave way and being a doctor he would typically be rescuing people and saving someone from a car crash seems typical too but in Hippocratic Crush the kid’s accident led to a delayed problem in his brain was that the same as healing soul? (i never watched it)

    And i quite like 36 hours on call :S
    Tavia bugs me tho… but i enjoy Benjamin, Kenneth, Derek and his son moments.
    And Mandy once again a solid actress.

  5. I was just talking about this in my blog. Didn;t know about the plagarism. Ok the half sister plot is plagarism but traffic accident is the easiest plot to do for interns. If gun fights, you believe? Terrorist plot? You believe? So far I like Kenneth Ma’s portrayal even if again he pouts too much. But I like how he shouted at Him Law, quite realistic actually. What is not realistic is the buddy buddy relationship between seniors and juniors or whatever they are called. And Tavia… hope she gets tumour but maybe it will be Kenneth? Oh yeah he will save her, she will end up in coma? Please don’t go to that nonsense!!

    This is even better than healing hands. More realistic in some ways, more case centred and the hospital looks good.

    1. And I rather watch Tavia than Jess. And though Francis Ng is a fantastic actor, he as doctor? No lar! Ken Ken more believable.

      1. Watched that show with Jess. and found it very boring and stopped after a few episodes.

        TBH I didn’t have high expectations for this one, however I found it rather interesting. I like the focus on the difficult choices doctors have to make, staff relationship issues etc.

        Yeah prefer Tavia over Jess. however she is very annoying maybe bc I focus too much on their nose, hehe. Natalie in this role would be much better. Kenneth is doing great so far a little overreacting sometimes though.

        Good themesong TVB shouldn’t let their artists that can’t sing do it. A good themesong is a big turn on.

      2. @exoidus

        Yes I find her nose very annoying and distracting too!! I used to be such a big fan of Tavia, (thought) she had natural beauty and acting skills. But now when I watch her act, all I can see is her nose swinging around and her extreme eye make up and fake eye lashes fluttering >.<

      3. Yeah, she didn’t need to have anything done since she was pretty enough and most importantly she has acting talent unlike many others in TVB these days. Now her nose is distracting, her eyes looks different somehow and a little thin.

      4. @Jadio
        I watched one episode of Hippocratic Crush, and it’s not so bad when Tavia is not moving, but whenever she moves her head to the left or right, her swinging nose just steals the scene.

      5. Tavia isn’t believable as a doctor. She lacks a doctor charisma. Not that Kenneth has that much charisma either but he’s doing much better than Tavia and yes The Nose is distracting.

        It’s ironic that the newbies are more likeable to watch than Tavia too in THC. I’m more interested and comfortable in Him , Mandy and Benjamin’s scenes compared to her because the nose takes away the focus.

      6. Actually Ken Ken is believable as a doctor. Right now I don’t think Mandy is believable as a trainee doctor but the girl can sulk! Tavia… I have no comment.

      7. You all already said what I wanted to say. By the way I would think Fala is suited for this role more than tavia in terms of looks, temperament, believability.

      8. Fala is pretty, but she doesn’t look like a doctor. She’s already look like little girl playing cops and robbers in LOO and she will look like another little girl playing doctor doctor. Tavia and Fala both will look more believable being a nurse 😛

      9. Why I said Fala is because a doctor has to look at least intelligent and Fala looks naturally graceful and she has an intelligent face. Little girl as doctors? Why not? Why can’t a doctor be girly? Moreover this character is supposed to be pretty, as in very pretty and graceful. Tavia is graceful when she wants to be but the pretty part is ruined by you know what. Fala is effortless in being graceful so I shall say Fala should be a perfect fit.

      10. Fala is pretty with a cute young face. She might make a believable intern or young nurse but a houseman doctor? Nope. That will be another LOO Superintendent Fala again. No I don’t mean girly but I mean look immature for the part.

      11. If you want to cast Fala, make her a pretty intern or make her a pretty nurse.

      12. Fala as a nurse? Kinda underrated don;t you think? She looks smarter than a nurse. Again a doctor is not expected to take a gun and shoot and act tough so I do think she can make a believable doctor. If Ada Choi or Kenix Kwok can why can’t her?

      13. I think Fala might suit this role. Maybe a pediatrician or internist. It’s not like Madam Jo where she lacks the authoritative feel. Doctors don’t emphasize on that.

    2. This series more focus on hospital management too. Well, may be script writer nicked the Healing Souls idea.

      Watch this series without comparing if that makes the mind more peaceful. Hard to see TVB getting officially acknowledging ‘remake’ status.

      Half sister plot are nothing new though.

    3. @Funn Lim: If gun fights, you believe? Terrorist plot? You believe?

      Lol! There is indeed a gun fight opening scene in HH1, with Steven Ma as the doctor sent in to treat one of the shot bank robbers and Nick Cheung is the officer in charge, and whathersname is the intern as one of the bank hostages. A pretty intense scene, that, and yes, quite believable to me. The first HH1 was excellent but did not enjoy its sequels as much. Incidentally, HH1 is my first Steven’s series.

      1. I thought HH was rather pretentious. Cue PUB scene! So far not yet in THC, but soon will. Got red wine scene! Yes now I remember HH1 got such a scene. Robbery or something.

      2. Funn,

        They wanted to continue the same feel f/ “files of justice” so they need the pub scenes.

        Even on “grey’s anatomy”, the doc’s get sloshed at the bar after their shifts.

  6. Kenneth is awesome. Him is funny. Mandy is great. Tavia ok better than the lawyer but her nose is distracting!

  7. Watched four esp so far and loving it! Better than the other ‘4 in Love’- no clue whatsoever lol… Tavia’s acting hasn’t improved much since she won the ‘most improved’ or something? Anyway I think she’s okay thou still. Better than Jess.

  8. Healing souls, is it a remake from a movie with the same name? The one with Tony Leung Chiu Wai. If it is then I rmb I quit it after 3 eps due to the boring dialogue. If this 36 is copying the plot of Healing souls then I have another reason to not feel regret for quitting it, other than the appearance of TY.

    Btw, Healing souls the movie is excellent. Guess tat the reason is its length and acting of Tony.

    For Healing hands, first part is the best. I like the chac Ching Chi Mei and Lawrence did it convincedly. But I dun like Lee Kwok Chou. From the second parts, Ching Chi Mei gets to the extreme nerdy and I started to be bored.

  9. I think Tavia has a back problem cause she like falls Dow. Holding her back in pain…and she’s all like “how can I be a doctor if I can’t heal myself” I got it from a promotional thing from TVBI.

  10. Asked to comment regarding the plagiarism claims, Producer Poon Ka Tak, only said, “I have no response!


  11. Who cares about plagiarism,go to live in Palestine,Bangladesh,Iran or Pakistan for those who complain ,as long people like this drama is ok ,if Jayne hates this drama is not ok lah ,i like Kenneth Ma as doctor more than the soft porn actor Lawrence Ng as doctor in Healing Hand and gangster Frances Ng as doctor ,Kenneth look more gentleman compare to the hamsab doctor Lawrence Ng .

    1. Francis Ng a doctor will be a joke! I prefer Kenneth more Kenneth has a more nice gentleman doctor face! Francis will look like he want to kill you LOL

      1. Francis did act many gentleman role, why can’t doctor? In an ATV series, he acted a serial killer with the nerdy harmless look and he did it convincingly.

    2. @Moses:

      Can u use periods instead of commas for once? Your run-on sentences are confusing.

      Anyway, did u actually watch HH? Lawrence ng was perfect as the dedicated neurosurgeon Paul ching. I can’t remember another doctor being portrayed so gentlemanly.

      1. I agree :). I dun plan to watch THC but I saw some previews and I think Lawrence’s look is better. No comment on the real series but just for the look and Paul Ching definitely can give me more gentleman feel.

  12. Love healing hands with Bowie!
    have yet to watch this but will….lol….

  13. This show is pretty unrealistic… Being a medical student myself I have difficulty believing some of the examination techniques and methods they use to reach their diagnoses in the show.

    While it’s good that they’re introducing how doctors diagnose and treat diseases, much of what they do is wrong or done in such a random sequence they would not pass even the most basic undergraduate exam. I was also appalled by how they diagnosed cardiac tamponade (the man who fainted on the street) without even taking a proper history or doing the bare minimum of a physical examination. If they were wrong (and there’s a good chance that they were, given the scanty findings they had to point towards such a diagnosis), they would have punctured the heart.

    What they have not managed to portray is how busy doctors are: most of the time, the doctors are seen sitting down, chatting, going to random wards to examine patients. This is a show that one should watch for the story, and not for a realistic portrayal of doctors’ lives.

    1. For dramatic pacing, can’t really expect them to show us drawn out examinations for diagnosis. I wonder if Marcus kwok (Dr. Indonesian prince f/ Mr. Hk) was their medical consultant. I think he worked in the ER before.

    2. Yer and the fact that such a big hospital has 5 housemen, 2 of whom were posted to neurosurgery? What a joke

  14. Even though Jessica and Francis acting are good, but “Healing Souls” is boring. Therefore, I stopped watching it after the first episode.

    I like 36 Hours On Call more than Healing Souls.

  15. hmm, one thing i don’t understand is why mandy hates tavia so much. i know that mandy found out tavia’s her half sister, but it’s not like tavia did anything. anyone got an explanation or a clue as to why? :p

    1. i figured that maybe mandy doesn’t hate tavia but she hates tavia’s dad for making her mom lose her daughter? she hates tavia’s dad but mandy can only express her hate through tavia.

    2. I think Mandy hates Tavia and her dad’s “wealth” so to say. Remember how her grandma put down Mandy’s dad for being poor and always praise Tavia’s dad instead. Yeah, if I grew up listening to all that crap I would hate privileged people like Tavia too 🙂

    3. Mandy is childish. She hates everything bout Tavia because Tavia has better life than her – a famous doctor daddy, rich family, good results, good performance in training, etc! Not to forget Him likes Tavia … haha ha ha…

      1. Agree I suppose. And I find it so rude that someone so jr can push around a sr like that. That is unrealistic. Hospitals are where hierarchy is very very strict. I love to see Tavia scolding Mandy because that would seem logical. But in TVB it won’t happen. And Mandy will forgive her once Tavia has a brain tumour, or the other way around.

      2. about the him liking tavia thing..i thought that it would be mandy/him pairing, but based on the opening song it seems that it’s mandy/benjamin instead~

  16. Too distracted by TYs nose to notice anything else. Srly, TY and her fans must be joking to say her nose is natural.

    1. I gotta agree with you that Ty’s nose is really distracting. I’m not a TY’s hater and I kinda like her old series infact but however her nose is getting longer and longer until her face’s proportion is so out of shape! Ty’s face is skinny to support that long nose of hers..she should really drop those injections and let her nose regained its shape to normal.. and also plz gain some weights…she looks like some dried stick

      1. Honestly, TY should really gain some weights. She’s too skinny just skin and bone on her.

      2. Ahem, most of the TVB actresses don’t know the beauty of being curvy. Stick-thin is sexy sexy sexy for them! Being thin is acceptable when you have a bit of flesh on your face. But some have bones jutting out on the faces … tht’s so yucky and old … and WITCHY!

  17. To give a fresh feeling to these doctor and hospital themes perhaps they could produce something on the lines of the “Doctor in the House” series. The story could be serious as well as witty and funny. Dirk Bogarde was excellent as the main fucus. I’m afraid it’s ancient and I don’t think you were anywhere around then! The stories were hilarious and it brings to mind Law Ba and the Ghetto Justice, fresh and funny and good entertainment.

  18. I feel like this is more a plagiarism of Grey’s Anatomy than anything else. The half sister as an intern thing is practical the same as Meredith’s situation. In fact, in one of the earlier episodes in the series, it shows a scene of the outside of the hospital with the hospital’s name on it. It clearly says Mercy Grace or something like that. The hospital in Grey’s is Grace Mercy West.

    1. Then we can say GA plagarized “healing hands” on the central character being a brilliant and handsome neurosurgeon whose wife cheated on him, thus allowing him to develop romance w/ another doctor at work.

      Or “crossing Jordan” was a rip-off of “untraceable evidence” where the female coroner aided the cop w/ his cases while becoming romanticly entangled w/ him.

      And not sure about the hospital’s name in “36 hrs on call” but I only remember the GA hospital referred to as Seattle grace. So I don’t think anybody would notice the mercy grace connection.

      1. ALL of them probably plagarised Chicago Hope since there was a brilliant but not so handsome neurosurgeon whose wife cheated on him, and also a brilliant and cranky cardio surgeon, who is the best doctor character ever created on TV. And all of them plagarised St Elsewhere perhaps??

      2. Sorry! Chicago Hope no wife cheating on doctor husband. Just a boring neurosurgeon anyway.

        Honestly there are similarities. The only time you can say downright plagarism is such as in MOL. Or maybe something else but doctor series, hard to tell. But hey, TVB writers are very “well read” eh? Would have loved Patricia Cornwell to sue TVB for using her books in Untraceable Evidence. But Patricia doesn’t watch TVB series.

    2. I didn’t notice the names! LOL. I tottaly agree with you. It’s trying to be too much like grey’s. Not liking it

  19. As an added note, I think the series is rather enjoyable. It’s got a nice, steady feel to it and is a throwback to some of TVB’s older hits and my childhood TV. I appreciate the focus on growth as a doctor/intern and hopefully it’ll stick to that instead of focusing as much on the personal dramas. I’m sick of Mandy’s behavior; she’s a brat.

  20. Lastly, people need to chill about Tavia’s nose. Yes, it’s more prominent than it used to be. Maybe she did do some sort of treatment to it (although I don’t think she did actual surgery), but whatever, it’s HER choice. I think all the weight she lost is making it stand out more. BUT I don’t think she’s stick thin on purpose. It seems more a combination of natural metabolism and the fact that she works a lot. I think that her work ethos and her dedication to working to support her family is admirable. But yes, the girl needs to eat more. Furthermore, the only reason her nose is a big deal is because you CHOOSE to pay attention to it. That is your own issue. Who cares what she looks like as long as she acts well? So, why don’t we all focus on that instead!

    1. I care and it seems she cares too, if not it wouldn’t have reached the “unavoidable” stage. Look, what we are saying is she was fine before. Why did she have to modify, to the point it became so obvious? She lost weight? She has always been that slim, she has I feel in fact looked fuller on her body but her face is skinnier because she did more than just to her nose. It is an issue, and it is her issue since she feels insecure enough to redo her nose. Yes everyone does surgery, but at some point one must stop. She probably stopped at a stage that is way too obvious. And she doesn’t act well because her face is distracting. How can you focus on A when B is staring you in the face begging to be noticed?

    2. “Furthermore, the only reason her nose is a big deal is because you CHOOSE to pay attention to it. That is your own issue. Who cares what she looks like as long as she acts well? So, why don’t we all focus on that instead!”

      This is untrue. I don’t choose to pay attention to her nose. Her nose is just so prominent now that even if I choose to not pay attention to it, I won’t be able too.

      And how can you not pay attention to the part of the anatomy that is right smack in the middle of her face? If I want to pay attention to her acting, I’ll have to look at her face and I will see her nose.

  21. I have a feeling that Kenneth’s character will die at the end..or he is going to donate his organs for his brother? No clue, something sad is going to happen! Love this drama btw!

  22. @Jayne

    Tavia won’t get a brain tumour, cuz she ends up getting some kind of cancer on her back or something. And then Kenneth has to save her!

  23. interesting comment by most about tavia’s nose.
    As her fan, i did have some unwanted starring at her nose at the beginning of the series but as the series progress, i found that Tavia’s acting has improved. Her acting cues in those scenes where she was left alone were really good. Slowly, i am paying more attention to her acting than her nose. Not sure if most feel so, now that we are going into episode 21 soon!!!

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