Set in a women’s extended-care unit of a Long Beach, CA hospital, Getting On follows the daily lives of a ragtag staff assigned to care for elderly patients who are, well, getting on. Nurse DiDi (Niecy Nash) is the no-nonsense newbie who spends her first day on the job being reprimanded for cleaning up unidentified feces left in the lounge. Unit veteran Nurse Dawn (Alex Borstein) is tasked with training DiDi, but winds up obsessing over a budding relationship with male Supervising Nurse Patsy (Mel Rodriguez) – a new hire who tries to implement a Disney-inspired, customer-centric work culture, while fending off questions about his sexual orientation. Disgruntled Dr. Jenna James (Laurie Metcalf), appointed director of the ward thanks to a meltdown at the hospital proper, continues her above-it-all temper tantrums despite being given a fresh start. Dr. James and Patsy butt heads along the way, particularly when Patsy’s surveys reveal that the whole lot of them are underperforming in this rundown, red-tape-filled hospital off-shoot.


“Getting On” slipped onto HBO so quickly that I missed the first half of the season when it aired. Thankfully, I was able to catch up with this release before the second season started. While I had heard of the original BBC series in passing, that’s British and I don’t bother with that stuff unless it’s master class level comedy. What’s funny about this show is how depressing it can get, when you watch these women help women at the end of their lives. The brutality of long term healthcare can be a bit much at times, but the cast manages to work through it.

Dealing with the sick and infirmed is especially troublesome when they’re elderly. Corporate healthcare has this mentality to just keep the meat cold until it spoils. I loved seeing Mel Rodriguez come in as a supervising nurse that tries to force an upbeat attitude for all attending nurses. But, Laurie Metcalf’s character gets it. This is purgatory and everyone is stuck there until a proper death allows them to leave. It doesn’t mean that they can’t have, it’s just that they have to recognize the situation.

The DVD comes with deleted scenes and a gag reel as the special features. The A/V Quality is sharp enough for standard definition. The same goes for the Dolby 5.1 track. That being said, the HBO HD presentation blows it away. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to the curious.

RELEASE DATE: 11/11/2014

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