TheWB.com is trying a new tactic in web series releasing, opting for an all-at-once premiere of their new irreverent medical parody web series Childrens’ Hospital today. Instead of stringing viewers along for ten weeks, we’re given one giant helping of Rob Corddry‘s comedic bounty all in one sitting.
With buzz growing for the series since the trailer hit the scene back in October, this is a bit of a early holiday gift for intellectual comedy fans. Rob Cordrry produced the series along with friends David Wain (star and creator of the Webby Award-winning series Wainy Days) and Jonathan Stern (producer of Horrible People, and Wainy Days).
And as expected of the threesome, they have assembled a powerhouse cast, headed up by Corddry (who also directed) that is essentially a who’s who of the NY comedy scene. There’s Wain along with Jason Sudeikis (SNL), Lake Bell (Boston Legal) Ken Marino (The State, Veronica Mars), Erinn Hayes (Worst Week), Rob Huebel (Human Giant, The Awful Truth), Rob’s brother Nathan Corddry (The Daily Show), Ed Helms (The Office), Nick Kroll (Cavemen) and two-time Emmy winner Megan Mullally (Will & Grace).
The story tracks the typical multi-narrative plotlines well traversed by shows like Grey’s Anatomy and ER, taking us in and out of the personal lives of this rag-tag cadre of doctors at CH. Dr. Blake Downs (Corddry) is an obvious nod to Robin Williams’ Patch Adams, though now years after the healing power of humor actually cuts it any more. Depressed but unremitting, he trods on with his clowning antics and face paint trying to make sense of a career in demise.
The humor hits all the necessary bells for edge-pushing comedy—religion, disabilities, race, anatomy, and of course, sex. There’s the will-they-or-won’t-they lesbian tension between Cat (Bell) and Lola (Hayes) to steam things up right alongside the male staff’s infatuation with the Chief Resident (Mullally).
The series is distributed by Warner Bros. Television Group’s digital arm Studio 2.0, naturally making the digital-only portal TheWB.com its home base. For bonus web features, there’s even an online take on the old game “Operation,” narrated by Corddry, where you can practice your mouse-eye coordination skills.
The all-at-once maneuver is straight out of IFC‘s playbook, which rolled out viral spoofer Get Hit with all six episodes at once back in August. It’s not clear if this actually nets more viewers or not, but it can’t hurt to try. The idea is here that the more episodes you get all at once the more invested in the characters and the more likely you are to share with friends. Now, it’s worth noting that the release of Childrens Hospital will be “a limited engagement run” meaning that it’s only available through December 31. So that means you better unwrap this holiday present while you still can.
[What are your thoughts on this release strategy? Smart move or squandered opportunity? Did you like the series?]