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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Childrens Hospital: “Wine Tasting”

Illustration for article titled Childrens Hospital: “Wine Tasting”
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Some of you out there might be complaining that this week Childrens Hospital spoofed Face/Off, a film that, by all accounts, came out 16 years ago. Well, I put it to you, straw man that I’ve just created to lead off this review, that it doesn’t matter one bit. Because “Wine Tasting” (I love the obliqueness of this show’s episode titles) was downright hilarious, and honestly, I don’t think Face/Off (a film I adore) got spoofed enough back in 1997 considering how ridiculous its premise was. It’s just as laughable today as it was then, and yet we the audience willingly accept the idea that one man can so easily wear another man’s face because of the great hijinks that will ensue.

Glenn needs Owen to cover for him because he has a day of golf and schvitzing planned with his unseen’s girlfriend’s father. Owen points out that he’s a cardiologist and Glenn’s a plastic surgeon (it’s just as funny when this show behaves logically as when it doesn’t) but they concoct a face-transplant scheme to make it happen anyway. Plus, it doesn’t take Owen much to slip into character. “I’m Doctor Glenn Ritchie! I’m Jewish! And…that’s the main thing about me.”

Owen stumbles when trying to maintain the illusion, forgetting that Glenn prefers mild cheddar, not sharp, but it doesn’t really matter because everyone else in the hospital is shitfaced. Val and Chief have gotten into wine tasting, much to Sy’s delight, although they keep accusing him of cramping their style as he does his best to not cramp their style in the slightest. This leads to surgery being performed during a wine tasting, which somehow impresses a visiting military hospital critic who notes that getting wasted is the best way to relax. “I’m drunk right now,” he notes.

This episode, scripted by David Wain and Laura Chinn, is a really funny, comparatively simple hospital tale (even though it involves face-switching) much like last week’s, and just loaded with excellent jokes. You know you’re in for a good Childrens Hospital when everything Sal Viscuso says is funny. It has a cliffhanger I’d love to see addressed, in which Owen goes to jail for impersonating a doctor (“ah, figures,” Glenn says) perhaps through use of the 3-D printer again. Hell, even though this is a pretty gentle episode on the crazypants Childrens Hospital scale, the 3-D face printer does give the show infinite opportunity to have pretty much any actor play any character from now on in perpetuity. That’s something that could prove useful given everyone’s busy schedules.

Stray observations:

  • Owen and Glenn are just as impressed with being flown coach as they are being flown business class. “Aaaah, middle seats! Surrounded by people!” “Ho ho ho ho!”
  • Owen’s excited by the 3-D printer. “Great idea! Then I can finally get the face of Tilda Swinton!”
  • “Attention staff: I don’t have a drinking problem. I drink, I fall down. Scratch that, I’m an alcoholic. That is all.”
  • Chief prepares for the wine tasting. “Get me tipsy and I might start giving out a different kind of sample.” Val makes a face at that. “Too soon?” “Just slightly unclear.”
  • Nurse Dori’s boob-out-of-the-scrubs routine almost works on the critic, but he valiantly overcomes his moral dilemma.
  • Owen defends Glenn’s switcheroo. “Glenn needed this day off for a reason I can’t remember right now.”