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Holby City on acid,
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This review is from: Green Wing Definitive Edition [DVD] (DVD)
Green Wing is a "quirky" comedy series that ran on Channel 4 between 2004 and 2006, consisting of two series of 9 and 8 episodes respectively and a one-off special. The episodes each run for just under an hour and the special 90 minutes.
The series is set in a hospital and follows the fraught and often tortuous relationships of the various employees and their fractured character traits. The series covers a lot of ground and a brief synopsis is almost impossible, but the two highlight plot arcs are:
= An "on-off" love triangle between the three surgeons, Caroline Todd, Guy Secretan and Mac MacCartney, (Greig, Manganand Rhind-Tutt) and the attempts of the monumentally wet student doctor Martin ("Fartin") Dear (Karl Theobald) to break into the triangle and win Todd's affections.
= A rather unconventional love interest between the pompous, stuttering and deeply disturbed radiologist Dr Alan Statham (Mark Heap) and the aging, insecure but sexually aggressive administrator Joanna Clore (Pippa Haywood).
The series relies for its humour on peurile, eccentric, extreme or even surreal behaviour of the protagonists and for the most part it works with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments interspersed with fair doses of "cringe comedy" and less extreme forms of amusement.
If I'm honest, though, the concept is sarting to wear by the second series and while the humour remains it seems to be taking second place to the somewhat soapy relationships themselves and by the special, I became a little tired of the whole thing. Some of the surreality goes a little too far and Sue White, the Scottish staff liaison officer played by Michelle Gomez failed to raise a single laugh. Overall, however, this is a great example of good Channel 4 comedy (a genre in itself, I think) and well worth the expense and effort.
I have to say, though, that the one shining star throughout is of course Mark Heap's wonderful performance as Alan Statham and, if other story arcs or characters are losing a little of their comic gloss, you can be sure that Heap will get you rolling on the floor, breathless with laughter. You can hardly call such a parodical character "well observed"; I think that "fine tuned" is probably a better description. Credits also go to Olivia Colman who plays the disorganised and absent minded admin office worker - a far gentler comic performance.
Series 1 *****
Series 2 ***