What is it?
Getting On (2009-2012) is a comedy hospital TV show written by and starring Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine, and Joanna Scanlan. It ran for three seasons, totaling fourteen episodes.
Where can I see it?
It was until recently available on Hulu but isn’t anymore. There is a region 2/PAL DVD if you have a region-free DVD player. Otherwise, there is an American remake from HBO, which is available in more American channels, like Amazon Instant.
Tell me more.
There’s poo on a chair, which apathetic nurse Kim Wilde (Brand) isn’t allowed to move because her supervisor needs it for her research, there’s one patient with no identification who only speaks a language no one recognizes, another patient threatening to sue for being dropped in the bath, and a co-worker going on dates with the boss who threatens actions against Wilde’s (mistakenly) homophobic comments. Welcome to the female geriatrics ward. They are understaffed and overrun with patients. Wilde can’t keep her incompetent underling Sister Flixter (Scanlan) in line, and she struggles to make decisions when her supervisor Dr. Moore (Pepperdine) and boss Matron Loftus (Ricky Grover) are shouting conflicting orders. Yes, sometimes the orders concern what to do with the poo on the chair. I say “struggles,” but Nurse Wilde is only ever one dirty bedpan away from quitting. If only her significant other can keep his job so that she doesn’t have to keep hers.
I’m not sure about Scanlan and Pepperdine, but I know that Jo Brand has some experience working in health care, so it’s the attention to detail (i.e. paperwork and newfangled software programs) that make you connect with the show. This is not a traditional turn-and-wink-at-the-live-audience sitcom. It goes for realism, with a dark mood, shaky camera, and cold hues of hospital decor. The show is expertly written, the acting as great as you’d expect from this roster of performers, and steams with Jo Brand’s dry humor. A definite recommend!