You know, this writer could kick himself for not reviewing VEEP when it first started because it is my favorite comedy right now. I thought it was going to be too hard to review comedy because it is so subjective, but then I got into GETTING ON and ended up reviewing it and it proves to be my second favorite comedy on the channel (sorry GIRLS). So now we come around to Season Two of our visit with the denizens of the Billy Barnes Unit to see what hi-jinks they can get into. Had I seen Season One of THE COMEBACK I might have reviewed both comedies in their sophomore year but, like I said I love DiDi, Dawn, Jenna and Patsy, so they win out. Here we go. Let’s start off with a preview of the six episode season.
Episode # 01 – No Such Thing as Idealized Genitalia
Obviously the first purpose with the first episode is to get everyone reacquainted with our cast of characters and the show. Those who have seen the show before see that everyone and everything is the same. They didn’t even revamp the set for this season; it is still a filled to capacity medical unit with Nurse De La Serda’s touches intact. The piano and water fountain are still there. The structure and tone of the show still hold true as well. It slips in moments of pathos and sensitivity in the middle of inane banter.
Our characters are all true to form also. Dawn is still her pathetic self, DiDi is still hard working and Patsy and Jenna are still focused on their diverse agendas. Since this show is a small cast of leads they all get featured in the episodes but, true to the show’s structure one character gets a slightly larger focus each time. I could tell just by the title of the episode alone that Dr. Jenna Jameson was going to get the added attention. But, before she does we have to look at the opening scene. It sets the tone of this show right at the start. As the season opens a woman is dying in the unit. Dawn is there to monitor the machines and Didi is consoling the woman (pictured), holding her hand and listening to her last words. Didi is talking to the woman and after she dies Dawn reminds Didi that there is a delicate “art to dying” that Didi interrupted and shame on her. However, as the grieving family is told by Didi to take their time in mourning Dawn reminds Didi that that bed is “needed by 11:00.” And with that exchange we are off and running.
Dr. Jamison is running also, running her own agenda that is. Last year it was fecal studies and now she is onto something different. She is conducting a study to find the average length of the human perineum (look it up) and extrapolate the significance. It all leads to a discussion with a patient, Mrs. Carmaglia, about ‘idealized genitalia’ which is where the title fits in. However, due to these passing comments from Jenna it seems the lady is out to sue for malpractice because she states she was promised rejuvenated parts and is not leaving until she gets them. It is a typical GETTING ON scenario and a funny one.
Another common plot line is what is up with Patsy. He is still up to his usual crazy initiatives and this time it is running a lean, green and clean environment at the Billy Barnes unit. Man, this guy can lay on the drivel thick. What is more important with Nurse De La Serda is his relationship with Dawn. It seems they are still hitting it off and there is proof of that when she basically says there will be room for him in the new apartment she is shopping for. As you will see this relationship will get more complicated as time goes on. Here is a brief look at the odd pairing:
Patsy’s relationship with Didi is just about the same as before as well. She is out for a raise and the proper channel is to go through the nursing supervisor. As usual he brushes it off with the usual fluff and poor Didi is left to get approving testimony from patients, including the returning Miss Birdy, to help her cause. Unfortunately she ends up doing small things to irritate the patients lately.
So things aren’t going well for Nurse Ortley, but by episode’s end neither are they going well for Dr. Jamison or Nurse Forchette either. First, tension grows when Dawn overhears the flighty doctor Jenna badmouth the nurses in a phone conversation which leads to the incident being brought up at one of Patsy’s staff meetings. The real problems lie elsewhere however when Jenna learns that due to staff changes higher up her research has been mothballed and Dawn, who has complained of being sick all episode long, discovers she is pregnant. Those plot lines are what will drive this season. To recap –
Dr. Jenna Jamison is being sued and is forced to look into doing hospice care in her facility to generate money to fund her nixed research. Nurse Dawn is with child and not sure who the father is. Is it Patsy? Well, as for him, he is oblivious to what is going on around him. As for Didi she is caught in the middle again as she is there for Dawn, but she is also out for that raise. Is she going to get it?
There are plenty of nuances and moments in the episode I didn’t mention here. There is still the odd scene with old Mrs. Roth, the whole concept of turning the whole geriatric unit into hospice care and the antics of taking pictures of perinea (did you look it up yet?). In order to find out all about this you got to watch the season premiere of GETTING ON.
This writer hopes you do watch this show. It is one of the little gems of HBO. It is the perfect example of the kind of show that I stated a few years ago as the kind of show I would write about for this site. It is one of the under-rated “little shows” that deserves to be seen.
We close with a peek at episode two entitled “Is Soap A Hazardous Substance?” with guest star Jean Smart. Uh, Nurse Patsy doesn’t look like he fares too well in this one. Does he get attacked, does Dawn drop the news on him or do both things happen at once?