Whenever I feel down or overwhelmed and want to fall into TV Time, my first instinct is not to turn to comedy. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, because comedy can really take your mind off of the bad for a while, but that’s just how this nutty girl rolls. For example, this past Friday night, I spent the evening watching AMC’s remake of The Little Drummer Girl. Nothing like revisiting the Palestine-Israel nightmare while trying to take your mind off of the damage Putin-Appointed Trump is doing to the United States.
It’s not like I couldn’t have caught up on some of the comedy shows I watch that were on my DVR: blackish, The Good Place, Single Parents, The Goldbergs, or Fresh Off The Boat. I love all these shows, but when I’ve finished a Monday-through-Friday week, and it’s all I can do not to make voodoo dolls of too many people with whom I’ve interacted, and I think I won’t be able to breathe another minute because I’m still not over the 2016 Presidential election having been stolen from Hillary Clinton, I don’t think, “Girl, you really need to laugh. Go watch something funny.”
Nope. I go look for the darkest (yet, not bloody) show I can find. Must be all the Scorpio planets I have in my chart. So, after I watched the documentary, The Panama Papers, on Saturday night, I did not search for something light and funny as a follow-up watch. Instead, I tried to find a mind-bending thriller. However, since I’d binged most of the psychological thrillers and espionage movies and shows on both cable and Netflix, and I couldn’t bear the thought of a Christmas movie or any kind of romance, I told myself that I should watch something funny, especially if I could find something British. I’m not quite sure how I missed Sick Note when it came out in 2017, but I blame Trump and the GOP.
The storyline for Sick Note didn’t sound terribly intriguing – a young man gets diagnosed with cancer, but after an incompetent oncologist lets him know he really doesn’t have cancer, the young man can’t quite find the nerve to update everyone with the good news. Why? Because all of his friends, family, and co-workers now treat him with love and kindness, versus how they used to treat him – like the useless log he was. I passed over this show multiple times, but when I couldn’t find anything else, I soothed myself with the thought that, “Since it’s British, it might be better than it sounds,” and I selected Sick Note.
I spent the first few minutes of the first episode trying to figure out why the guy playing the lead role of Daniel Glass looked so familiar. After I realized it was Ron Weasley all grown up, I was able to concentrate on the story. Before Daniel gets diagnosed with esophageal cancer, he’s just your average guy who loves to play video games while his attractive girlfriend, Becca, pays the rent on their cute apartment. And while Daniel is a layabout, his best friend, Ash, has his life together with a job, a wife, and a new baby.
Daniel doesn’t mind Becca’s late nights at work because he doesn’t know she uses this time to bone his bestie. He’s just grateful for the extra time to play video games while talking with another gamer, Will_5000, who lives in America. Since Daniel doesn’t stop gaming, even when Becca comes home, Will_5000 listens in on all of the couple’s conversations and knows everything going on in his British friend’s life.
Note: I’m purposefully not showing a picture of Will_5000 because you really need to watch the series to get the full Will_5000 effect.
When Daniel does manage to make it to work, he’s upset because Becca has broken up with him, with Will_5000 as a witness (at least, audibly). Daniel figures he has nothing better to do so he shows up at work with a sling on his right arm, as he has told his boss, Michael, that he recently hurt it and can’t work as much as he used to because he has no use of his one arm. Hence an excuse for Daniel to just laze around the office; or, not even show up, as his arm is “hurting” or because he has a doctor’s appointment, which he always manages to miss.
At work, Michael’s boss, Kenny West, is losing it in Michael’s office. This angry, ranting man is played by none other than Don Johnson. West is a lascivious, right-wing, big-animal-trophy-hunting con man who sells “health insurance” in the United Kingdom. Daniel is a customer service rep for West’s company, We Cover. A more apt name would be We Cover Nothing!
The reason West is angry and yelling at Michael is because We Cover is supposed to be featured on a British talk show and West is upset because everyone at We Cover is “too ugly to be on TV,” except for this one cutie, Linda, who West wants to bed.
To calm West down, the ineffective and spineless Michael agrees to fire at least one person – Daniel – but Michael lets West know he can’t do so until after Daniel gets back from his doctor’s appointment. Michael then exits his office and goes to where Daniel sits to remind him that he has said doctor’s appointment. When Michael questions why Daniel is wearing his sling on his right arm when he hurt his left arm, we get to see more reason why Becca broke up with Daniel.
We also witness West going amongst the people he considers beneath him to invite Linda to lunch. While she accepts his invitation, it’s only because she wants to sell something to West, and it’s not her body. Linda is a small-time entrepreneur and inventor, who has created a rubber vitamin dispenser that one can put on their thumb and then suck down vitamins embedded in the rubber. When Linda demonstrates how to use the vitamin thingy, you can just the simultaneously revulsion and lust in West’s eyes.
Before Daniel meets with his doctor, he’s told that his regular doctor is away and that he’ll be seeing a Dr. Iain Glennis. Daniel is unaware that Dr. Glennis has just been told by another more-senior doctor that his doctoring is so bad that if he makes one more mistake, then his worthless derriere is fired! The senior doctor reminds Dr. G that he was brought on temporarily only as a replacement while the regular doctor was away because – I don’t know – there were no other available doctors in all of the UK? Knowing that his wife will leave him if he’s no longer a doctor, Dr. G agrees to make no more mistakes (as if that’s possible).
And then, when he sees Daniel, Dr. G mistakenly tells the young man that he has cancer. Later, when the doctor realizes his horrible gaffe, he calls Daniel back into his office and tries to get him to sign a waiver saying that it wasn’t Dr. Glinnis’ fault that he told Daniel he had cancer. Like it was some other person’s fault? Daniel refuses to sign the waiver. He leaves the doctor’s office and returns to a life that now has a loving girlfriend, a kind boss and co-workers, and parents who no longer blame him for nearly killing them in an earlier car accident that occurred when Daniel was at the wheel.
The hullabaloo occurs when Daniel tries to figure out whether he should tell everyone in his life the good news. He’s wont to do so as he figures all the love and kindness will disappear. He talks over his dilemma with Will_5000 and decides to remain “sick” a little while longer.
It’s only after Daniel comes home a day or so later and finds evidence that Becca and Ash had been having sex in his and Becca’s bed, that Daniel starts to re-think his life. While puzzling over the new-found affair, Daniel is unaware that Ash is hanging on to a pipe outside of Daniel and Becca’s bathroom window, as Ash and Becca had only finished their coupling a few minutes earlier. Becca had only been away from the apartment for about 15 minutes when Daniel came in and Ash was on the toilet. Hearing his friend enter the apartment, Ash hops off an unflushed toilet, pulls up his pants, and crawls outside the second-story window, where he proceeds to hang off ta nearby pipe.
When Daniel looks in the window, he’s horrified at what he sees in the toilet. He then looks out the bathroom window, sees Ash hanging there, and opens the window to curse him out. This action causes Ash to fall two stories and land hard on the ground. Not sure whether Ash is dead, Daniel calls Dr. Glinnis to come help him, blackmailing him into doing so by telling the doctor that if he doesn’t help him, then Daniel will let everyone know about the cancer debacle.
From here, a misdiagnosis of death occurs, followed by a not-so-bright policeman thinking the KGB tried to kill Ash. Becca shows that she’s willing to sleep with anyone and puts the make on Ash’s wife, and after Will_5000 shows up unexpectedly from America with a startling something on his face, Becca proves that she’ll have it on with anyone, even the “mutilated.”
Then there’s what happens to Mr. West and the entrance of his daughter, played by Lindsay Lohan, who is forced to leave her family of baboons (or monkeys or gorillas – I’m not sure – I was laughing so hard) and come to England to save her father’s company. Like her father, she is charmed by Linda, but she’s not in it for Linda’s body. She’s in it for Linda’s vitamin thumb. Apparently, baboons like to suck. Have they met Becca?
Oh, and Daniel becomes a national hero, and Dr. Glinnis begins working towards a cancer cure (or, not), and so much hilarity ensues that I laughed so hard, I literally hurt myself. On three separate occasions, not only was I in pain from laughing beyond anything I’ve ever done before, but I simultaneously couldn’t breathe. At one point, I remember thinking, “I can’t die this way. I’m barely dressed.”
If you’re not a fan of British comedies, you probably won’t like Sick Note. But if you’re into comedy that sneaks up on you and shocks you and makes you roll around in pain, then this is the perfect series for you. If you liked the British original of Death at a Funeral, then I think you’ll like this sick romp. During Death, I laughed so hard I shot red wine out of my nose (no exaggeration); but, I think I laughed harder during Sick Note. So, check it out and let me know what you think. Here’s to there being a Season 3!