Sunday, July 31, 2011

Childrens Hospital presents "Children's Hospital: A Play in Three Acts"

     On this week's Childrens Hospital, the regular story is abandoned in favor of an old-style play, evoking Thornton Wilder or Tennessee Williams. While the episode title is "Children's Hospital: A Play in Three Acts," it is not divided into acts, though it is a narrated play. The plot follows Owen (Rob Huebel) as he leaves his friends and fiance to take a hospital job in the big city. Owen soon realizes that the city hospital is cold and heartless, as does the audience, because of lighting and music. Our hero returns in time to save Sy (Henry Winkler), who has taken ill quite rapidly.

     This episode of Childrens Hospital is special because it is a departure from the normal scenario. While the series has done this before, including going back to the 1970s a few weeks ago, it never gets old. The point of Childrens Hospital is not to tell a narrative, but to deliver pure, belly-aching comedy. Allowing an entry to take place in a different universe, with odd clothes and dialogue patterns, only let the cast stretch, expanding their source material to draw upon. As such, "Children's Hospital: A Play in Three Acts" is yet another great episode in the series.

     Interesting, Ken Marino plays two roles this week. Not only does he tackle his usual main character, but he is the seducer from the city who lures Owen away from his home. Is this done because Marino plays a close friend of Owen's character, and the familiar visage better tempts Owen than a total stranger would? Not likely. Though that could be a possible explanation for anyone who would likely to deeply analyze the situation, Childrens Hospital defies critical thinking. Looking for explanations only prevents total enjoyment, and should be avoided. Normally, that would be a negative mark against a show, but in this case, Childrens Hospital works so well that it would be folly to question their techniques.

     Do not miss Childrens Hospital, Thursdays at midnight on Cartoon Network.

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     Please click here to buy the first two seasons of Childrens' Hospital on DVD.

Article first published as TV Review: Childrens Hospital - "Children's Hospital: A Play in Three Acts" on Blogcritics.

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