Episode # 6 – The Concert (Season One Finale)
This final episode of Season One is not really about the Caregiver’s Concert, in which Patsy, Dawn and Didi perform “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” accompanied by Jenna on the piano. But, if you have been watching the series you should have known that those types of moments are not really the focus.
The concert of the title for me, because I don’t really know the creator’s intent, is not about the coupling of sweet harmonies in the last minutes of the show, but the off-pitch clattering of those in the care unit throughout the majority of the half hour. Man, are they discordant. Three different characters in this episode are carrying their own tune the hardest; they are Jenna James, Phyllis Sullivan and Cleo.
Dr. James is over the top here; especially when her chance of relocating to Cleveland dries up. Phyllis, the Molly Shannon character, is once again the example of the dramatic tone of the story but offers pretty funny rants and chatter about her mother’s care and the health system. It is a great comment on the state of health care and adds nicely to the symphony of voices in this episode. Also adding her voice to the choir (tired of the music analogies yet?) is the patient of the week, Cleo. She is another bitter, grumpy woman around the ward and she booms in with her voice as well. Poor Didi has a great accident with her in the geriatric bath contraption. You’ll laugh all during that bit.
Less effective, but nevertheless, a voice heard is Dawn. She is still going on about intimate sex with Patsy. She is also at the heart of the Dr. James meltdown when she took action regarding Phyllis’s mother without consulting Jenna. Again, the Jenna melody played strong on that one. I’ll admit the cacophony of sound had my laughter adding to its crescendo. It was a great episode in which a bit more happened than quickly teased at here. But, hey, take in the show for yourselves if you want to share in the fun.
As the season concludes, with no word as of yet of its continuation, I have a few thoughts to ponder about this episode and the series as a whole.
The Dawn & Didi Relationship – There were a couple of moments in this last episode that sort of reaffirm the type of relationship these two women have. They get along most of the time, but they are not quite mutual friends. Dawn is always quick to tell Didi everything, especially when it comes to intimacies. Dawn shares the first time she engaged in oral sex with Patsy before and now she is quick to tell of a round of “most intimate sex” which Didi figures out to be anal sex. Though Dawn feels the need to share this Didi just rolls her eyes and mumbles blasé whatevers. She doesn’t care, but Dawn thinks she does. It is a typical moment for these two. Also not uncommon is Dawn’s consistent need to throw the blame on poor Didi. This sort of thing has happened a number of times but in this last episode she fights back and claims as Dawn’s her superior it reflects on her abilities. Dawn already having been reamed by Jenna by this point passes the blame onto her superior, Patsy and that is a whole other messed up relationship.
The Dawn & Patsy Relationship – if you can call it that. A rather odd moment occurs in this episode that made me just scratch my head. As usual Dawn hopes and perceives the relationship with Patsy is going well; after all they have had sex. To move their situation forward she gives him gifts and talks about the night they just shared. Nurse De La Serda is okay with it all to a point. He remembers cuddling but totally denies having anal sex with Dawn and how could she possibly think they did anyway. Well, she has an anal fissure to prove it! He is in total denial until he talks himself through the evening and finally he remembers and seems repulsed. What? Do you remember doing it consensually or not? Do you like this woman or not? Are you gay or not? We still don’t know and if there is no second season we will never know. That relationship is odd, vague and needs explored, minus the fissures.
Dr. Jenna James – This broad is all about herself yet she clearly doesn’t think she comes across to others as being so narcissistic. Stool studies and lectures are all for self promotion. She hates being in the geriatric ward of a Palms Spring hospital; she’d rather move to Cleveland. As noted she is quite devastated when all those dreams fade away. Even when she is with the paitents of the ward she rings shallow. She feels power when walking the interns through rounds and she speaks with volume so all can hear when she makes a diagnosis or decision because it makes her look good. Is she cut out for the job really? I wonder.
Nurse Didi Ortley – I like this gal and I like Niecy Nash for playing her. She is grounded, hard working and truly represents “getting on” with both her job and her life. She works best with her colleagues when taking her punches and truly connects with the paitents or at least tries her best. Without her anchoring the experience of dealing with the health system and the various types of patients this comedy would be a mess. She is the glue.
My final thought ponders the reason for only six episodes for the premiere season. Was HBO unsure this show had what it takes to belong on the network? Come on, even HUNG and ten-episode seasons, for crying out loud. Did show-runners Sheffer and Olsen want to stay true to the original show? The U. K. version survivied three seasons and the second and third ones had six episodes apiece. The U. S. has pulled plots from the original but nothing is shot scene for scene and, of course, it is Americanized. Are there more stories to tell or was the season short because there are only some many types of elderly paitents to be displayed?
I guess we will never know unless there is a Season Two. There are clearly further developments to be fleshed out. There are the relationships between our staff and the social comment on our health care system yet to explore. I hope there is more of GETTING ON whether they come six episodes at a time or more.