“Ladies’ Night” was in comedic territory Childrens Hospital has been in before, but it’s been quite a long time, and the last time it visited this arena, Cat was trying to make out with Lola, not the Chief. In its first season, when Childrens was more of a direct Grey’s Anatomy spoof that took aim at network TV’s fascination with female lead characters suddenly making out with ladies, Cat and Lola had an extended pillow-fight sequence that has to be seen to be believed. Chief’s fish taco move on Cat was sadly not at the same level, but this was a largely enjoyable episode that didn’t go crazy enough to really be a Childrens classic.
The concept is perhaps a little too low-key, although there were some nicely nutty divergences sprinkled throughout. It’s ladies’ night at Childrens, which seems to involve a lot of single mothers bringing their kids around for cheap treatment, but is nonetheless treated by Owen, Glenn, and Blake as a perfect opportunity to troll for sex (and, especially in Glenn and Blake’s cases, long-term meaningful relationships). Lola and Cat, disgusted with the testosterone on display, go in search of “fish tacos” and end up finding much more. Well, a lesbian bar. That serves fish tacos.
The funniest storyline of the night bar none was Glenn delivering his mother’s (Christina Pickles) new baby, in what turns out to be a surrogate pregnancy. Husband-wife team Ken Marino and Erica Oyama wrote this one and loaded Pickles’ character with Jewish mom stereotypes that I couldn’t help but enjoy. When she reveals that she had the surrogate baby because she needs to pay off Glenn’s student loans, he protests that he can do that, since he makes six figures. “Why couldn’t you be a doctor like your brother?”
Honestly, the only problem with the mom-birth plot was that it wasn’t gross enough, although I appreciate the fine line between over-the-top comedy and visceral horror. But the funniest line of the episode was Glenn screaming “THIS IS A LIVING NIGHTMARE!” as his mom pushes a baby into his arms, so more of that would have been more than welcome.
Owen’s dalliance with a single mom played by Janet Varney was fine, and Blake’s pathetic attempts to woo her were even funnier (“Let me give you my Internet name. I’m all set up on e-mail”). But the characters didn’t really go anywhere in an episode that was fairly light on plot to begin with. Cat and Lola’s trip to the gay bar ends with a case of food poisoning and everyone returning to the hospital, but otherwise, this was a series of mildly funny vignettes that never knitted into the insane whole of a classic Childrens episode.
By the end I was just trying to remember if the show had made the joke about Chief being gay before. Her being in leather and sitting at the fish taco bar was natural, and I’m not surprised the series went for it, but in the end, the whole thing felt like a bit of an afterthought. Not a terrible episode, but not worth a repeat viewing either.
- The “previously on” segment, with the peanut brittle can that’s just full of peanut brittle, was a fine piece of anti-comedy.
- Lola is disgusted by the flirty men. “All the guys turn into walking, talking guys with penises.”
- Glenn’s mom complains that he doesn’t want to hang out with her. “So your mother’s not a lady now? I have an engorged vagina, but that’s not enough to convince my son.”
- Chief has a convoluted way of explaining her daily life. “I think the question is, what are you gals not doing here every night, like I am doing here!”
- She’s also surprised Cat isn’t gay. “But you’re wearing a belt!”