Oct 15, 2019

"Carol's Second Act": Frankie from "The Middle" Goes to Medical School

Remember Scrubs (2001-2010), about some new doctors or interns or something who clash with the medical hierarchy?  I don't remember much about it, except for the jerk doctor who disapproved of exercise.    Say what?

But the premise has been reprised a decade later in Carol's Second Act (2019), starring Patricia Heaton of The Middle as a middle-aged woman -- actually a senior citizen -- who decides to go to medical school.

It beats eating cheesecake and hooking up.  (Depressing fact -- The Golden Girls has been off the air for almost 30 years).

According to the Medical School Central website, the average age of new medical students is 24, but every year 10-12 people over the age of 50 are admitted.  Hey, 10 years at your dream job is better than no years.

Carol is now in her internship year, clashing with the medical hiearchy and den-mothering the usual brood of interns:

Lucas Neff of Raising Hope and American Princess as Caleb (top photo), who got into medical school only because his family is rich, and therefore has an inferiority complex.  He gives his pronouns ("he, him"), which causes a burst of laugh track laughter.  Being sensitive to gender diversity is humorous?

Jean-Luc Bilodeaux of Baby Daddy as the overachieving Daniel (the one having his butt checked out), who graduated at the top of his class and has already been published in medical journals, but knows nothing about practicing medicine.

I love the name Jean-Luc Bilodeaux.  For some reason it reminds me of Bluto from the Popeye cartoons.

Sabina Jalees as Lexie, a first-generation college student, and a gay Muslim.  At least, the actress is a gay Muslim.   Her character self-identifies as "queer."

Wait -- I thought Patricia Heaton was homophobic.  The Middle had a gay recurring character, but they never actually said the word.

The medical hiearchy includes:

1.  Dr. Frost, the dorky chief of staff, played by a shockingly old Kyle McLaughlin (depressing fact: Twin Peaks has been off the air for nearly 30 years).

2. Dr. Jacobs, the tough, no-nonsense head resident, played by Ito Aghayere, a first-generation Nigerian-Canadian actress.

3. Nurse Dennis, played by Cedric Yarbrough of Speechless.  I hope they're not planning any "male nurse" jokes.

I saw the first episode, because it was free on Amazon Prime.  Carol chirps, Dr. Jacobs glares at her and gives her a humiliating assignment, she breaks the rules and saves the day, Dr. Jacobs admits that she might be a good doctor after all.

Yawn.  I've only seen this a thousand times before, with doctors, reporters, teachers -- you name it.

According to the IMDB, the second episode is more of the same: chirp, humiliating assignment, break rules, save the day, "you might be a good doctor after all."

Third episode.  More of the same.

I'd give it a miss, but I want to hear more about the gay Muslim character.  And I know it's a long shot, but I'm hoping that Daniel or Caleb turn out to be gay.

Or take their shirts off, now that we can't see Axl in his underwear anymore.  Depressing fact: The Middle has ended.
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