Television Shows

March 24, 2015

Childrens Hospital Review: Season 6, Episode 1 “Five Years Later”

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Written by: Kurt Hall
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Childrens Hospital is a hard show to ignore if you are into the brand of comedy Adult Swim is generally known for. The smooth nature of ripping on Scrubs, ER, and Grey’s Anatomy is made to look almost too easy for show creator Rob Corddry. If there was always one issue with the show early on it was a clear lack of concise storytelling. There seemed to be a bit too much going on at the same time, making every character’s disappearance and re-entry hard to follow. Season six kicks off with a more concise story to enjoy, and is possibly the best season opener as a result.

The story is picked up after Dr. Owen Maestro (Rob Huebel) returns to his native hospital in Brazil after a five year sentence for colluding with a surgery fixing ring. It is quickly revealed that Owen is covering somehow for the Chief(Megan Mullally) and did the hard time to save her from punishment. Not all is well in his world after going to prison though. Cat (Lake Bell) is now pregnant at the 7 month mark despite him being gone for five years and his office has been turned into the hospital’s official fart room. To top everything off, he must perform his most challenging pacemaker surgery on his first day back. Chief and prison roommate Ron Pippen (Chris Parnell) are throwing mixed signals stating that he needs to throw the surgery, with Pippen feeling up Cat in the OR before the patient is prepped. This is where we see that people have been confusing Pippen for Owen in his lack of presence, and could be the father to Cat’s baby. Just as Owen is about to turn the pacemaker on, Chief and Pippen hilariously unplug the cords and try to stop the successful comeback surgery. He would prevail with saving the patient’s life and Pippen is caught in a trap and released to police for his role in the surgery fixing ring to end the episode.

Not only does the narrative structure of this opener improve upon the formula of early seasons, but the humor is spot on as well. The various gags throughout the eleven minute opener are razor sharp from beginning to end. References to Cat’s pregnancy are all head scratching but hilarious due to how Bell plays off blissful ignorance, while the pressure thrown on by Chief to throw the surgery is never in short supply to add some serious dark humor to the episode. The best part is clearly how effective the dangers seem for Owen’s return. Not being able to remember having sex with his significant other, struggling to remember how to perform surgery, and being in a general haze is directed beautifully by director Marco Fargnoli.

Overall, season six seems like it is on pace to the most interesting, dark, and well structured sequence of episodes in Childrens Hospital thus far. If the story structure is more built on one character’s perspective in each episode as opposed to multiple story lines, everything will connect better for fans of the oddity that is Childrens Hospital. Here’s to hoping for the best season yet, and another fun two hours of adult swim fans’ favorite hospital spoof show.

About the Author

Kurt Hall


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