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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Childrens Hospital: “Free Day”

Illustration for article titled Childrens Hospital: “Free Day”
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The longer I watch Childrens Hospital, the more I appreciate the differences between the show’s writers. Jason Mantzoukas’ dark, alternate-reality stuff is an obvious standout; Jonathan Stern often scripts the wacky, uber-meta affairs; and the husband-wife team of Ken Marino and Erica Oyama (who also wrote this year’s “The Boy With The Pancakes Tattoo”) often end up writing the most fun episodes. Balancing the large ensemble of stars in a show that lasts 11 minutes is essentially impossible, but the team does a good job finding something for almost everyone to do, and “Free Day” was no exception.

Ordered to clean up the hospital while Sy and Val go to the DMV, the staff instead end up goofing off and having a pool party, being dumb while Glenn wrings his hands because he’s in charge. Meanwhile, Blake has dinner with a cleaning lady named Rosa, who actually has a background in hospital administration, and a family who are a curious mix of South American, Eastern European, and whatever else you can think of. Also, Chief briefly cures her many ailments with an injection of stem cells, although that seems to go away just as quickly, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much from a plot point of view.


There’s not much to say; this episode was just a hell of a lot of fun. Cat, whom we haven’t seen enough of this year, had some choice airhead moments, my favorite being her explanation for building a fire out of medical records. “Why are you throwing them in the fire!?” Glenn asks. “Don’t you get it? I don’t know!” Her mishap leads the staff to pull together to try and save the day by canvassing the entire world for everyone’s medical records, which, of course, yields next to no result. But as long as we got a montage out of it, who cares?

Owen had a great running gag about how similar the Chief is to poo (“she’s so ugly, monkeys take HER out of their butts, and throw her at each other”). Chet got to scream like a maniac from the sidelines. Blake’s encounter with Rosa is another in a long line of him picking up on non-existent romantic signals. But this time, he also misreads the movie Good Will Hunting. “I’m Robin Williams; you’re Matt Damon. Let’s make love like they did in the movie!”

There’s not much else to say about this one. Just a lot of great jokes in a short period of time—exactly what you should expect from a typical Childrens Hospital episode. We haven’t really had a mold-breaking, crazy episode yet, but from the previews, it looks like next week will be that. I'm looking forward to it (and Ken Marino wearing his Joaquin Phoenix beard again).

Stray observations:

  • Lola doesn’t have cancer, Cat just put Nair in the shampoo. “The bad news is, she also put a chemical in your iced tea that turns your nose into a tennis ball.”
  • Chief gets in the way of Owen ogling himself. “Sometimes, I wish I was a mirror.”
  • Blake will clean the organ supply room. “Wear gloves this time,” Sy cautions. “I’ll do it my own way.”
  • Some classic Sal Viscuso lines in this one. “Attention, staff. My dick. That is all.”
  • “We have another lady here named Chief, but she’s ugly. She’s about as ugly as a big pile of poo. She’s so ugly, a poo takes a her.”
  • “Crazy people smear HER on the walls.”

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