Green Wing

greenwingGreen Wing (2004-2006) is a surreal British sitcom. There are 2 seasons and a long Christmas special. The show is scripted, but the actors are encouraged to adlib and are given workshops to help improvise the scenes. Although the show was intended to show all aspects of hospital life from groundlings on up, it’s mainly just about the doctors and management. They are also on Hulu for free. The DVDs are available from, but they are region 2 PAL, so you’ll need a region-free DVD player or set your DVD player to region 0 to watch it.


In normal sitcoms, you get love triangles. In Green Wing, a surreal sitcom with nearly twenty main characters, you get dodecahedrons with extra appendages sticking out. Dr. Caroline Todd (Tamsin Greig) is in love with both Dr. “Mack” Macartney, a gorgeous surgeon with commitment issues played by Julian Rhind-Tutt, and anesthesiologist Guy Secretan, a womanizer proud of being half Swiss played by Tamsin Greig’s Episodes co-star Stephen Mangan. But Dr. Martin Dear (Karl Theobold) also loves Caroline, and Karen Ball (Lucinda Raikes) dotes on Martin. Then there’s the radiology consultant Dr. Alan Statham (Mark Heap) who’s chasing after HR manager Joanna (Pippa Haywood), who is in turn lusting over the hot I.T. guy Lyndon (Paterson Joseph), who has an affair with HR underling Harriet (Olivia Colman), but lest you feel bad for Dr. Statham, he does wind up sleeping with one of his students. I mean, this is worse than a soap opera!

But wait, there’s more. Two of the characters turn out to be brothers and one of them unknowingly sleeps with his mom in a pairing that would be ookey even if you didn’t know they were related. There’s also a stabbing, a couple literal cliff-hangers, a coma, a wedding, a funeral, and a murder. The best part, especially for you whovians, is Michelle Gomez as Sue White. She is the hospital staff liaison who’s in love with Mack and has more surreal tricks up her sleeve than anyone else in the hospital. Perhaps that’s because she has extendable arms. She does everything she can to win Mack over, including impregnating herself with what she hopes will be Mack’s son but turns out to be a lion cub. Yeah. Don’t try to make sense of it. Just sit back and enjoy. And don’t worry if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea. I don’t usually like low brow comedy, but I found this show thoroughly enjoyable. Green Wing is a terrifically fun ride.



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