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'Childrens Hospital'

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

By

Childrens Hospital
Photo courtesy of Adult Swim

The Bottom Line

Childrens Hospital is a funny, clever parody of overly serious medical dramas, featuring a cast full of comedy all-stars.

Pros

  • Wide range of talented and hilarious regulars and guest stars
  • Very effective parody of self-important medical dramas
  • Absurd but cohesive sense of humor

Cons

  • Sometimes a little one-note

Description

  • Premieres July 11, 2010, at 10:30 p.m. EST on Adult Swim
  • Stars Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Corddry, Ken Marino, Rob Huebel, Megan Mullally, Malin Akerman, Henry Winkler
  • Created by Rob Corddry

Guide Review - 'Childrens Hospital'

Not a whole lot of people watched Childrens Hospital when it premiered online at TheWB.com in 2008, but former Daily Show correspondent Rob Corddry put together an impressive and very funny show with a simple premise and limited resources. Now that show is finally reaching a wider audience on Adult Swim, which will air the original 10 webisodes (about 4-5 minutes each) plus a second season of slightly longer episodes, produced directly for TV. And it’s a very deserving second chance for a show that mercilessly skewers the self-importance of modern medical dramas, and is cast with pretty much every funny person working in Hollywood.

Corddry himself plays only about the fifth most important character, after the duo of Meredith Grey-esque Cat Black (Lake Bell) and her best friend Lola Spratt (Erinn Hayes). These overly emotional doctors spend far more time worrying about their romantic issues than bothering with actual sick people, and of course everyone who works in the hospital is pretty much incompetent. Corddry (who plays a Patch Adams-style clown doctor) does a great job of balancing straight-up parody with comedic randomness, while also keeping the characters consistent and recognizable.

Unlike most of Adult Swim’s animated output, Childrens Hospital pays attention to things like narrative and continuity, which fits with the show’s send-up of the soap-operatic nature of shows like ER and Grey’s Anatomy. Bell and Hayes, who’ve done both dramatic and comedic work, bring a bit of grounding to the absurdity, while co-stars like Corddry, Ken Marino and Megan Mullally just go for full-on ridiculousness.

The episodes produced specifically for Adult Swim are a little longer but still brief enough not to wear out their welcome, and they add Malin Akerman and Henry Winkler to the regular cast. With the endless iterations of medical dramas that networks continue to churn out, Corddry should have material for Childrens Hospital for years to come, and the show deserves to go on as long as he does.

Disclosure: A review screener was provided by the network. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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