“B Positive” is Morbid Humor but It Works

We will have to give CBS’s new sitcom “B Positive” credit for having an original premise. Our main character Drew played by Thomas Middleditch is a recently divorced man with a teenage daughter who discovers he’s in total renal failure and in need of a kidney transplant. While at a friend’s wedding he bumped into an old friend from high school Gina played by Annaleigh Ashford. She is a hard partying, hard drinking, drug addicted train wreck. When she’s sober, she works driving a shuttle bus full of elderly people from an assisted living home taking them to doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy etc. She decides to offer him a kidney and hilarity ensues.

Really?

Oh I forgot to mention she has a split personality. Her party persona is Rebecca and her responsible self is Gina.

Like I said… We’ve not seen this premise before. But can we really laugh at a man facing his own demise? He might never get to see his daughter get married, have kids etc. Is it really funny that his fate depends on such an irresponsible person who constantly cracks jokes about the mortality of the people that she drives around in her bus?

The answer is… we might be able to laugh at that. As I’ve said in this blog many times before – the ultimate test of a sitcom for me is “Does it make me laugh?” On numerous occasions this one did for some reason. But these are not very likable characters. Drew is an okay guy but given the enormity of what he’s facing along with regrets over his divorce and disappointing his daughter he’s not a very happy guy. Gina/Rebecca are not at all likable. And if she really does have dissociative personality disorder (formerly known as split personality) can we really make fun of her?

It had its funny moments. It made me laugh. I’ve got a very dark (sometimes sick) sense of humor. My guess is lots of people won’t find it funny and some might even be offended. I guess spending my whole life these past 65 years thinking that I didn’t have very long to live has given me the ability to laugh in the face of mortality.

We don’t know to what extent the old folks who ride Gina’s shuttlebus will play in the show but I did recognize one familiar face in the back of the bus. Veteran comic character actor Bernie Kopell who is most known as playing the Doc on the old 1970s romantic comedy series “Love Boat” makes an appearance on the bus.

The double entendre of the show’s title encourages us to “be positive” in the face of these tragedies and I suppose it partially succeeds. Even though I kind of liked it I’m not sure how many more episodes I will watch. I’m going to give this one a cautionary “Could be watchable” but this one is going to be an acquired taste that some people won’t acquire. Travel with caution.

In case you never noticed before, any actors names or TV or movie titles in these blogs will link you to the IMDb page so you can see what other roles they’ve had or who played in those programs or films. I don’t always list actor’s credits in the text so if you’re wondering who someone is just click on the links.

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