Episode # 2 – If You’re Going to San Francisco
From the get go I must say that this episode was not as funny as the premiere, but it was just as entertaining. If you recall from the premiere review I stated that there were two different methods to keep the funny coming on GETTING ON. Built into the structure of each installment is witty wordplay and absurd situations to make viewers chuckle. In the show’s second episode I felt the dialogue kept up its pace but serious and real moments kind of took over the absurd bits. Luckily, it did not hurt the episode one bit. Just remember that due to the nature of the subject matter we are going to always see a balance of pathos and humor. If the viewer goes in expecting that blend then the viewer will not be disappointed.
Added to the mix this week is the character of Patricio “Patsy” De La Serda who is the new supervising nurse in the unit. Dawn (Alex Borstein) is expecting another lady on the floor but Patsy shows up personified by Mel Rodriguez (pictured) and he has a plan. Mr. R, by the way, appeared on BIG LOVE and might be most known for NBC’s Community. I think he just may be recognized for this show as well. Patsy has an idea of taking charge of the floor, especially since Dr. James (Laurie Metcalf) still seems obsessed with stool samples, and his plan follows a formula of sorts to meet the needs of the unit. Let me just say it backfires and you can watch the episode to find out exactly how.
The situation doesn’t just suck for Patsy but for the rest of our players as well. The ladies also tangle with a bit of trouble with a patient named Varla (June Squibb pictured with Nash). She is rough, tough and salty. Plenty of comedy focuses on her disruption of the ward. But, the one who deals with her best is Didi (Niecy Nash). In fact, I have noted, that Didi is the one person in the unit who consistently seems to deal with the patients best. There is a second woman who is tended to there that Didi helps named Donna. One key moment of the show, occurs with Donna. We know this because the episode’s title is a song from the 1960’s which we see Donna singing via a karaoke machine. This moment is one of the serious ones of the episode and Olsen & Scheffer must want us to remember it and we will for a bit as the scene and episode fades to black.
On a lighter note, Dr. James still stresses over her reputation now tarnished a bit further by the loss of her well placed parking space and Dawn stress eats and goes on a crying jag yet again, this time in front of Patsy. She also gets her flirt on and not just with Patsy but with Antoine as well. He is the orderly who shuttles the elderly in and out of the ward. Didn’t Dawn in the previous episode warn Didi against dating co-workers? What is going on there? As usual by episode’s end some awkward moments surface, some serious reality slaps us in the face and the hectic job in the Billy Barnes unit goes on.
Again, it is a good episode all in all but at a slightly different pace from the premiere. HBOWatch will continue its look at GETTING ON and pointing out the fine balance between the serious and the funny next week. Here is a sneak peek at Episode Three.
We throw a critics spot on the end as well. Enjoy!