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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Childrens Hospital: “Blaken”

Illustration for article titled iChildrens Hospital/i: “Blaken”
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Man, Childrens Hospital is just taking it to legendary action movies, huh? First Face/Off, now Taken. It’s like a television version of Hot Fuzz up in here! I’d like to make it clear that nothing that I’m saying right now should be taken sarcastically: I want Childrens Hospital to keep spoofing movies as long as it always does it as originally and ridiculously as it did here. “Blaken” reminded me of The Simpsons (the highest praise I can deliver) in the way it begins looking like it’s going to be about one thing (Owen’s TV talk show, where people just ask him about their lumps) and then turns into another thing (a Taken spoof with Blake in the Maggie Grace role).

I didn’t immediately pick up on it, either, which makes the reveal all the funnier. The regular bullshit is going on: Owen has a TV show, Glenn is annoying everyone with a helicopter, Chief has no friends and reads everyone else’s mail. Then Blake (wearing a bathrobe still featuring his traditional chest bloodstains) gets nabbed by some people and tries calling all his friends—who all ignore him, of course. The best rejection comes from Cat, who specifically notes in her answering machine message that she will throw away her phone is Blake calls (she does).


The episode is more than half-over by the time Blake gets on the phone with Owen, who is in the middle of hosting Paging Doctor Maestro! That’s when it finally dawned on me. Owen didn’t even need to say Blake was going to get taken, although he does bust out “particular set of skills” (Blake also tries to describe his captors, but focuses on the color of their shirts).

The climax to “Blaken” isn’t as ingenious as that little twist, but this episode, scripted by Rob Huebel, is generally a terrific time—for instance, there’s that take on the scene where Maggie Grace dances around on drugs for everyone. (Man, Taken is a fucked-up movie). Bringing back the fartcopter to wrap it all up and put Owen out of a job is genius, and again reminded me of The Simpsons (although the copter is no inanimate carbon rod). My only complaint is the lack of a B-plot, outside of Glenn’s antics and Chief’s loneliness. I guess Owen’s TV show is the B-plot? The episode nicely conveys the unpopularity of Owen’s Dr. Oz rip-off in a few short scenes: Even a high-speed chase on live TV can’t save him.


Stray observations:

  • Later on Owen’s show: “Funnyman Howie Mandel talks about what it’s like to lose your mind.”
  • Blake first thinks he’s being pranked. “Starting to think this is a real kidnapping, which makes it a lot less funny. To me.”
  • Chief is lonely in Japan. “I’m so homesick I could eat a house!”
  • Blake tries his best to describe his kidnapper’s shirts. “They’re pastels! THEY’RE PASTELS!”
  • Sy initially mishears a call he gets re: Blake, and replies with “No shit, Sherlock.” It’s Chief. “You sound like my best friend, Sherlock.”

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