Episode # 3 – Make Someone Happy
The only ones happy around the Billy Barnes Ward seems to be Birdie and her gentleman caller Mr. Butler. Everyone else is just agitated and awkward. But, at least, they are not so to the point of annoyance for the viewer as GETTING ON arrives at the halfway point in its premiere season.
In this episode everyone seems to start off well as if they are all going to have a happy day. Nurses Dawn & Didi are bouncing around with a spring in their step; Dr. James is content with her stool samples and selling raffle tickets and Nurse Patsy is busy with his “Make Someone Happy” agenda with the patients or, as he calls them, the customers. Dawn is particularly beaming because of a successful date the night prior and we know with whom. But, all that does not last long at all. What causes it all to go haywire yet again at work?
First off, there is Patsy filing a grievance against Didi for calling him a “fat fairy” and the raising of the question if that declaration is based on fact? How about Jenna James going on the warpath against Patsy’s service oriented initiative? How about Didi dealing with Social Services? All that should explain the agitation that arises. As for the awkward part of the episode it can be explained in one word – sex. It seems that Birdy and Leonard Butler are quite happy at going at it. Whoops….stop right there!
Are we talking geriatric sex? Yes we are. Talk about awkward. Being HBO who knows what soft-core porn will play out there. I won’t spoil anything more on the matter if you haven’t seen the episode. But, I will say that poor Didi has to physically stop some oral action. Plus, we also learn in the half hour that Dawn engaged in the same type of behavior on her date the night prior. Needless to say the delicate situation generates more agitation.
Though I like the core players it is nice to feature others as they interact with the leads. We have a mediator at the grievance session that adds great facial twitches that helps shape a great scene. Also we travel out of the unit briefly and into another area of the hospital as Jenna runs into Dr. Paul (Mark Harelik). Even those two scenes end in agitation & awkwardness.
At least, the awkwardness of this show rises from the situations and the odd wordplay that results as the characters fumble through them. That, I think, is a better approach than what Stephen Merchant does in HELLO LADIES. The awkwardness there is not situation based but totally arises from the persona of Stuart Prichard. Again, I just think it works better in GETTING ON. However, having said that, I think that the pace and style of this show is just right for six episodes (though it could have pushed for eight) because the agita abounding in this show might start to wear thin if the show stretches out longer.
A few more remaining thoughts are in order in the hope of garnering your comments. Is Patsy gay? Is Dr. James going to gain notoriety with her stool study? Just what are Didi’s troubles and WHY does Dawn keep throwing her under the bus? And just what is Dawn’s agenda? Does she seriously want to date Patsy or is it all a ploy to improve her evaluation? So there we go with my thoughts? How about yours?
There are only three more episodes to go as I leave you a sneak peek at the next episode of GETTING ON.