I have been obsessively watching and re-watching this BBC tv show entitled Green Wing, which I stumbled across on hulu.com.Vodpod videos no longer available.
It is an absurdest send up of hospital-based soap operas. Kind of like a British version of Scrubs, covering much of the same ground, except without the Scrubs signature “fantasy sequences.” Green Wing’s absurd element are played off as real, which in some ways makes them even funnier. Both shows are adept at mixing affecting (or is it effecting?) drama with hilarious and often over-the-top humor. Scrubs has more pop-culture references but Green Wing clearly had more leeway with language — the F-bomb gets dropped regularly, plus words like cock and cunt and all those cool Brit curses, like bloody and bollocks etc. In any case, if you’re a fan of Scrubs you may enjoy Green Wing as well.
Green Wing ran for only two seasons, like The Office, with 9 episodes each season, the very last episode running and hour and half. And it was an award winning show apparently, that was much praised. Of course, had it been an American TV show it would have been extended several more season, probably until it got old and stale, even though actors would be making obscene amounts of money per episode. I kind of like this form of programing. It allows for more ideas to get developed, and keeps shows from getting stale and turning into little more than advertising delivery devices. Although, I can’t but wish that there was more to Green Wing. But then you know you’ve done some right when viewers want more. Good fiction is the same way.
Also like Scrubs, Green Wing is definitely a GenX show. I don’t know if the whole GenX thing is even a topic of interest over there in Britian, but just watch on episode and you’ll see what I mean.
The story-line follows Dr. Caroline Todd (the female, British version of the bumbling but lovable J.D from Scrubs) as she begins her new post at the hospital in question. But this show is rarely if ever about medicine or hospital work, unlike Scrubs, which actually strives to get the medical aspects correct. And Caroline quickly finds her affections toggling between Mac, the young talented surgeon with the a lion’s main of blonde hair, and Guy, the brash anesthestist, who can be equally charming and repuslive. The love story is credible if predictable. But what really makes the show is the cast of supporting characters, whose story lines are no less interesting, and often even more hilarious, especially the spastic Senior Cunsultant Radiologits, Dr. Alan Staythem. Mark Heap who plays the stuttering, sputtering, spastic Alan is incredible. And some of the sex scene played between him and the Joanna Claw character or some of the funniest I ever seen portrayed anywhere.
Much of my argument for Green Wing being a GenX show is instinctive. It just feels like one. It has an Xer sensibility. Particularly in that it is mainly about a group of friends, and not a family as most tradition sitcoms are. The humor is often of the caustic, sarcastig insulting variety, and contains an inherent underlying sense of affection for the object of the jibes.
I could not ascertain the creator Victoria Pile’s age but I’d be willing to guess that she falls within or very near the GenX age range. The actress who plays the main character, Dr. Caroline Todd, certainly is. Tamsin Greig is 42, born in 1967, same as me. Also:
Julian-Rhind Tutt (great name btw) who plays Mac, was born in 1966
Stephan Mangan, who plays Guy, was born in 1972
Michelle Gomez, who plays Sue White, one of the most insanely hilarious portrayals of a clearly unstable person, was born in 1968
If I could buy this show on DVD I would, but it isn’t availble (yet only I hope) on region 1 format, which the U.S. falls into. I’m hoping in the near future it will be.