Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Childrens Hospital: “Just Like Cyrano de Bergerac”

Illustration for article titled Childrens Hospital: “Just Like Cyrano de Bergerac”

Love. In some ways, love is the key to Childrens Hospital. There was definitely a voiceover about it in the first season. Almost everyone on the show has slept with each other at least once at this point, and they will continue to sleep with each other again at some point. In fact, according to “The ‘70s Episode,” Glenn’s first day at Childrens ended in an orgy. Childrens Hospital (the place and the show) means love and then some. So that also means love for Blake Downs, who, if we’re keeping score, might actually be the most reprehensible character on this series (it’s a toss-up between himself, Chief, and Val, really).

Depending on the particular episode, it’s impossible to believe that Blake is a functional human being, let alone a functional doctor. In “Just Like Cyrando de Bergerac,” Blake can’t even come up with simple conversation to talk to Roxanne, a woman he likes (played by the always wonderful Lindsay Sloane, previously seen as Lola’s stereotypical best friend in season three’s “Home Is Where the Hospital Is”). With Glenn being Childrens Hospital’s resident poet (by virtue of being able to form words and sentences), Blake asks him to help him in this Cyrano de Bergerac situation, feeding him all the lines he needs to be the man of Roxanne’s dreams.

When Glenn bluntly states that “this is exactly like Cyrano de Bergerac,” it’s almost impossible to guess that things will get as complicated as they do. Sure, Childrens Hospital is often about a group of simpletons who make even simpler things the most complicated in the world, but this whole plotline takes on a life of its own as more and more characters get involved with the Cyrano de Bergerac racket.

As the promos for the episode showed, Owen becomes Glenn’s go-to guy. But then Owen goes to Chance Briggs, Chance Briggs then goes to Rabbi Jewy McJew Jew, who goes to James Adomian’s “reporter”/guy with a notepad character in this episode, who then goes to Dr. Brian, who then goes to Paul Scheer’s Sir Tinklebutton, and on and on and on. Even James Adomian’s Madonna makes her triumphant return, and the only disappointment is that she doesn’t sing something from the public domain.

It’s amazing to see that, after weeks of missing cast members—and jokes about the matter—“Just Like Cyrano de Bergerac” loads up on characters, big and small, for the ultimate game of Telephone. And they do it all to get Blake laid, which just might be the ultimate goal of the shows in some ways. Clowns are people too, you know?

The sight of all these characters and the complexity of this episode is what makes it work in the end. It’s not necessarily the funniest of the season or the series, but the more and more complex it gets, the more entertaining it gets. Straight up Cyrano de Bergerac stories are played out, and at this point, the only way to make them interesting is to poke fun at them. David Wain actually did just that on his web series Wainy Days, in an episode titled “Cyrano d’Bluetooth,” but where that just went right for the stupidity of the scenario, Childrens Hospital has to keep it going until it no longer makes any sense. The question eventually becomes one of how this will all end, and honestly, the ending is actually pretty sweet, considering how vile Childrens Hospital can be (in the best way, of course) at times.


It all ends with Roxanne having also made her friend (Christina Chang) be a part of a Cyrano de Bergerac situation (and their two buddies being right by their sides as they have some Cyrano de Bergerac-instructed sex) and the whole telephone conversation having been outsourced by a call center in India. That’s where it becomes a meet cute between “Bob fom Dallas” (aka Dev) and “Jenna from Houston” (aka Nidhi), and that’s the end. It’s an oddly sweet way to end an episode that’s all about Blake’s absolute ineptitude.

Stray observations:

  • There were no previouslies for this episode, and while that’s not the first time it’s happened, it just feels wrong.
  • Of course Blake and Glenn exchange a kiss on the cheek, as it is customary in Brazil, which is of course where they are.
  • Blake’s phone password is “5.”
  • The more I think about it, the more amused I am by the fact that Chief and Cat’s prank call plot went absolutely nowhere.
  • Glenn’s complete disinterest in food or drink at the restaurant because of his complete focus on the Cyrano de Bergerac situation (despite the fact that he also appears disinterested in it too) is a nice touch.
  • “I’d like to stop watching TV and start watching your lips” is not a good line. Sorry, guys.
  • Nidhi: “That is a typical food of India, which of course is where we both are right now.”
  • I must also praise Lake Bell’s directing in this episode, especially in the final scene. The woman knows what she’s doing, and it really is a pretty sweet (and emotionally compelling) ending for such a goofy show.