When one thinks of comedy, sickness and death aren’t typically topics that would come to mind. Yet, for fans of the hit HBO series, “Getting On”, it’s the first thing that comes to mind. The second season of this dark comedy debuted earlier this month and is based off of the British series of the same name. Set in a California hospital, the show features the inner workings of a medical ward through the lives of overworked doctors and nurses as well as elderly patients who are receiving long-term care.
It’s instantly noticeable when watching “Getting On” the lack of bells, whistles and glamour that one may expect in a standard medical-esque show. The show is generally quiet. There aren’t big, flashy and noisy emergency room moments. All actors do not wear make up. Their wardrobe is as average and bland as one would expect hospital scrubs and gowns to be. Plus, florescent bulbs make the lighting extremely poor. All of these elements reinforce the gloominess of the subject, making one feel awkward or wrong for laughing at first.
To take on morbid topics and translate them into humorous lines, it takes a talented group of writers and an intelligent cast. The show is written by Mark V. Olsen along with Will Scheffer and stars Niecy Nash, Alex Borstein and Laurie Metcalf, among others.
Besides drawing humor from depressing topics, the show manages to input strong takeaways that are inspirational and relatable to viewers. In the premiere episode, Nurse DiDi, played by Niecy Nash, has a talk with a patient who continuously faked a coma. She notes, “You can’t fake a coma every time you don’t want to do something. You can’t ignore the things that scare you. Believe me, I tried and it don’t work.” From personal struggles to the state of health care to challenges in the workplace or insensitivity to patient visitors, “Getting On” includes messages that are important to be addressed and discussed.
Consider this a prescription to “Getting On”. This is a show that will have viewers not only laughing, but thinking about critical issues, appreciating the roles of doctors and nurses and feeling more comfortable on the inevitable transition of life.
Getting On airs on HBO, Sunday nights at 10:30 p.m.
Montclair State | New Jersey