Binge Watchin' TV Review: Childrens Hospital
Welcome to Binge Watchin,’ where we take a look at some of the best TV shows available on streaming or disc that have a great catalogue of seasons to jump into and get sucked into the beautiful bliss of binge watching! From crime, action, comedy, drama, animation, etc., we’ll be evaluating an assortment of shows that will hopefully serve as a gateway to your next binge experience.
Series: Childrens Hospital
Number of Seasons: 7 (86 episodes)
What’s the show about?
Childrens Hospital follows the working lives of the doctors and nurses who work at the titular medical center. Named after Arthur Childrens, the Brazilian hospital is home to doctors of varied backgrounds who work together to heal the sick and wounded. They also investigate murders, manufacture drugs from humpbacks, have sex with each other, and commit the worst crimes against humanity. You know, just like every other television series set in a hospital.
Why should I watch it?
Childrens Hospital is absolutely batshit crazy. Originally developed as a web series by star Rob Corddry, the show was quickly picked up by Cartoon Network's late night block of programming aimed at mature audiences, Adult Swim. Once airing on cable, the show was able to grab countless guest stars while maintaining a cast of famous faces including Lake Bell, Malin Akerman, Henry Winkler, and many more. Most of the show is off the wall and nonsensical which would definitely wear thin if it were not for the compact running time. Each episode of Childrens Hospital clocks in at a lean 15 minutes (11 without commercials) which makes it perfect for rapid viewing. The short running time also means you can binge watch the entire series run in just a couple of viewing sessions.
You might be asking yourself how a fifteen minute sitcom airing on late night basic cable could be worth your time and it is because there are literally no lines this show will not cross. Like a live action Simpsons or Family Guy, Childrens Hospital tackles risque subjects like abortion, rape, and child murder as if it were run of the mill television fodder. It also helps that famous faces drop in all the time. Whether it be Nick Offerman, Jon Hamm, Michael Cera, Lizzy Caplan, Jason Sudeikis, Tony Hale, William Atherton, Matthew Perry, Stephen Root, Sarah Hyland, and many more, there are so many recognizable faces doing insane things that you will sometimes forget this isn't a serious show.
But what makes Childrens Hospital work so well is that it never stopped reinventing itself. What started as a spoof of E.R. and even Scrubs turned into a very meta-comedy about the cast of the show within a show. Special, bizarre episodes and plot elements that never went anywhere made it easy for the writers to break every rule of logic just to tell funny stories which in turn makes for this show to be easy viewing that you can just laugh your ass off at without worrying about understanding what happened three seasons prior. The series also feels as if it is was just a bunch of famous friends who got together to goof off and film it. It feels like the best combination of Parks and Recreation, Party Down, Arrested Development, Saturday Night Live, and WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER.
The middle episodes of the series run may be the funniest since they had the majority of the main cast together whereas later seasons had more independent plotlines as the actors had movies and other projects taking up their time. The third season may be the best of the bunch with episodes featuring Jordan Peele and David Wain as Rabbi McJewjew. There is also a direct reference to Party Down with several actors in character from that beloved Starz series.
Childrens Hospital could have easily felt like an SNL sketch that went on way too long but instead it works brilliantly as a send-up of all sorts of network television series. It is amazing to think how many actors dropped by this series to look like fools but we should be thankful they did. Without Childrens Hospital, we may not have gotten some of the truly bizarre specials that have come out of Adult Swim over the last decade. Plus, with short run times, this is one of the most ideal series to binge watch.