Thursday, November 11, 2010

Childrens' Hospital - Season 2

I enjoyed the first season of this show, which crammed the ten original web episodes into five fifteen minute segments. But when they started actually making it for TV, it really came into its own. Malin Akerman and Henry Winkler are fine additions to the main cast, gelling well with the rest of the cast and the show's surreal sense of humor. Things like the six year old with advanced aging disease and a doctor discovering a cure for cancer in butterfly fluids are fun even when they aren't entirely clever, and luckily it is often pretty darn smart. It's a show that doesn't bother terribly with character development, and it really shouldn't, as it's the most fun when everyone's just bouncing off each other and the jokes are flying every five seconds. The guest actors are a lot of fun too, with Michael Cera returning to read the dispatches and the imminently recognizable Kurtwood Smith as the representative of a government agency that wants the cancer cure stopped at all costs.

Although it's not the most inspired subject matter, the show is actually often at its best when it acknowledges that it's a TV show, like the episode that's a cast reunion after the long running series is canceled and especially the completely amazing "live" season finale. It's funny that it aired so soon after 30 Rock's terrible live episode, but it's really a send up of all silly TV stunts, as everything that can go disastrously wrong does. Cameras get broken, actors quit or injure themselves in the middle of filming, and crew keep accidentally getting caught on screen. It's mostly a single take of absolute madcap brilliance, and just the epitome of what this show can do when it's on its game. It's a bit too silly and niche to be a comedy on a real network, but it embraces that and fits perfectly with the Adult Swim lineup despite the relative high profile of its cast. Season three is coming, and it should be fun.

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