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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Childrens Hospital: “Five Years Later”

Illustration for article titled iChildrens Hospital/i: “Five Years Later”
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Last season on Childrens Hospital, the old crew took some time off and away from their home at Childrens in Brazil in order to work on an army base in Japan. These are both places that the cast and characters were in. It was supposed to be the M*A*S*H-style season in a way, finally allowing the show to embrace such ridiculous comparisons outside the requisite Sal Viscuso presence. Unfortunately, the change of scenery also coincided with what was perhaps the series’ weakest season. It wasn’t necessarily the concept’s fault but instead that the episodes felt “off” (for lack of a better word) with the new location and the standard fact that the show, as usual, had to battle with actors’ schedules. Plus, “weak” for Childrens Hospital doesn’t exactly translate to bad, and there were truly some classics in the season (“Country Weekend” and “My Friend Falcon,” for example).

But now for season six, the experiment is over, and the show can return to the things that truly matter: namely, the show’s insane existence outside of space and time. As the episode title states, the season six premieres five years after the Childrens doctors leave Japan. The previouslies catch us up to what happened on that final day: As Trigger (Keegan-Michael Key) sends them off, Owen (who is currently in a relationship with Cat) is arrested and sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison for “colluding with a criminal surgery fixing ring.” Chief is actually the one who has been—yes, in true Childrens Hospital insane fashion—betting on surgeries, and she makes Owen the fall guy for her crimes.


By the way, if there’s anyone who has decided to just hop into Childrens Hospital this season, it would be interesting to have a long conversation with you about what you think this show is.

Five years later, and Owen has a Just Falcon beard and wants to get his life back together with his lady. He’s immediately hit with the bombs that Cat is seven months pregnant (with his child?), Sy will fire him if his performance has decreased by four percent, his office has been turned into a “public fart room,” and Chief is still betting on surgeries—in fact, she wants Owen to “take a dive” on his welcome back surgery. In true Childrens Hospital, no one really learns anything and everything ends up “well” (even for Chief), even the surprise baby plot (by doing the smart thing of ignoring it), and that’s really all you need to know. Welcome back, Childrens Hospital. You’ve been missed.


Again, if this is your first episode of this series, you are the most fascinating person in the world to me.

The show doesn’t really miss a beat when it comes to getting back into the swing of things with regards to being back in Childrens Hospital in Brazil (which, as we know, is where they are), but it’s not the best of the best. “Five Years Later” is a nice re-introduction to the show and the status quo, and that’s its goal. It’s not really looking to be the best episode of the series, but as far as getting back into the groove, it definitely does the job.


Also, as far as the standard random guest star of the episode goes, Chris Parnell shows up, fresh off his Brooklyn Nine-Nine appearances, and he is… very much what you would expect of Chris Parnell in Childrens Hospital. The runner of no one being able to tell the difference between Doctor Ron Pippin (Parnell/Owen’s “old cell mate”/Cat’s actual baby daddy) is classic Childrens Hospital, in that it’s so absurd it almost makes sense—in a lot of ways, physically, Chris Parnell might just be the polar opposite of Rob Huebel. That’s part of what makes Childrens Hospital so good: The longer you think about it, it almost makes sense, even if that’s not Rob Corddry’s intent at all.

That makes it even funnier when you think about it.

Stray observations:

  • I love that Rob Corddry’s Daily Show appearance last week had him warning the world that Childrens Hospital is NOT a show about farts. It’s too late, Rob—everyone thinks your show is about farts now.
  • Cat: “THAT ONE HAD A BABY IN IT.” Sometimes I forget how much I love Cat Black. And then Lake Bell delivers lines like that.
  • Thank goodness for Chekhov’s doctor award, am I right? Speaking of…
  • Owen: “Okay, so… now I have this.”
  • It honestly doesn’t go on that long, considering the length of the show, but the Pippin/Maestro “doppelganger” situation is fun for the brief time it happens onscreen.
  • Glenn: “This is Japan.”
  • Glenn: “It’s so good to be back in the old United States of America.”
    Chief: “Yeah, we’re in Brazil.”

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