The more you live (the more you live)
And your happiness (happiness)
Is relative (and if you're...)
And if you're feeling like crap
It's time to face the fact
It's your prerogative (your prerogative)
To be positive
B Positive is a CBS sitcom created by Marco Pennette and executive produced by Pennette, Chuck Lorre and Jim Patterson, premiering on November 5, 2020.
Drew Dunbar (Thomas Middleditch) is a divorced therapist with a young daughter Maddie (Izzy G). Making a doctor’s appointment because he’s having trouble urinating, he gets the bad news that he is in renal failure. Friends and family prove less than willing to provide a kidney. At a wedding Drew has a chance meeting with Gina Dabrowski (Annaleigh Ashford), a high school classmate who now works at a retirement home called Valley Hills, but is still the Hard-Drinking Party Girl she was in school. Touched by Drew's plight, she offers up her kidney. Of course, the rigor necessary for an organ donor—three months without drugs or alcohol—is difficult for her, but she’s willing to give it a try. Meanwhile, his ex-wife Julia (Sara Rue) monitors the situation with a mix of concern, confusion and amusement.
After ending Season 1 with the transplant, Season 2 saw a Retool in which Gina inherited tens of millions of dollars from a late Valley Hills resident and purchased the home, while Drew sorted through his feelings about her and the residents of the home gained more prominence.
After two seasons and 34 episodes with okay-but-not-great ratings, CBS canceled the show on May 12, 2022.
Tropes in this show:
- Aborted Arc:
- Drew and Julia start sleeping together again in the middle of the season. There's one more reference after The Reveal, and then nothing. When Sara Rue comes back from her extended hiatus Drew has a new girlfriend and their previous relapse isn't addressed.
- In one of Bette's first appearances, Drew, of all people, catches her eye, suggesting that at some point he might get caught in an odd romantic tug of war between her and Gina, but it never happened.
- Actor Allusion: A couple for Jane Seymour (Actress), who plays nursing home resident Bette.
- In "Bagels, Billiards and a Magic Show" she orders a big supply of "My favorite anti-aging cream." Seymour endorses a brand of anti-aging cream (Crepe Erase).
- In "Novocaine, Bond and Bocce", the nursing home residents watch an unspecified James Bond movie on Movie Night. Seymour co-starred in Live and Let Die (which would put them in full Celebrity Paradox territory if they watched that particular Bond movie).
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Believing he is going to die, Drew laments that he'll never walk his daughter down the aisle, have grandchildren, or be able to see Hamilton.
- Artifact Title: The Punny Title becomes this after the season 2 retool, since Drew no longer needs dialysis treatments.
- Artistic License – Medicine: Not the medicine itself, but Drew's doctor leaving another patient's file open when Drew is in the office alone is a big HIPAA no-no.
- Bloody Hilarious: The season one title card montage, a Terry Gilliam-style animation based on an old "anatomy lesson" painting.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Non-villainous example. In the pilot, Gina can't remember meeting Drew again or anything about the night.Drew: You fell out a window!
Gina: You're going to have to be more specific.
- Season 1 ends with Drew and Gina both going under anesthesia for the transplant operation.
- Control Freak: Drew is so worried about how Gina spends her time away from him, he installs a tracking app on her phone, to her considerable annoyance. In talking with Julia she learns that his controlling nature was one of the big issues that led to the end of the marriage. Maddie even calls him out on it.
- Cool Old Lady: Norma, the nursing home resident who acts as a mentor to Gina and Gabby, and also shares their taste in mischief and partying.
- Cut Short: The final episode, "Juneau, Froyo and Mario Kart", ended on two big Cliffhangers—Valley Hills now has to fend off the aggressive competition tactics of the bigger, fancier Golden Horizons home, and Gina is too late to declare her love for Drew after he takes off for Alaska. The show's cancellation leaves them unresolved, and Chuck Lorre confirmed that Drew/Gina in love and Golden Horizons would've been the main storylines of a third season.
- Diagonal Billing: Annaleigh Ashford and Thomas Middleditch are listed this way in the opening credits.
- Didn't Think This Through: Pressured by the nursing home residents, Gina fires the center's chef. It's only after she does so that her co-workers realize she just axed the cook just before a hundred people are expecting lunch without even starting a search for a replacement. Gina herself cites verbatim that she didn't consider this.
- Dirty Old Man: Mr. Knudsen at the nursing home, who often says inappropriate things and is fond of painting nude pictures of the female residents.
- Disappeared Dad: In "Recessive Gina", Drew has to get the medical records for Gina's father, and Gina reveals that she was the product of a Teen Pregnancy, with her father getting several girls pregnant simultaneously but rejecting Gina's mom in favor of one of the others. She had visits with her dad as a girl, but was treated like The Unfavorite and last saw him when she was 10. She tells Drew that her father is dead, but later admits that she was lying, but when she goes to see him, she learns that he did in fact die recently, but her stepmother never bothered to tell her.
- Expy: In Season 2, Rondi Reed joins the cast as Norma's cantankerous half-sister Irene, which is basically just Reed resurrecting her portrayal of Mike's mom Peggy on Mike & Molly.
- Fake Guest Star: Linda Lavin as Norma was officially listed as a guest star in Season 1 even though she was in almost every episode. She finally got Promoted to Opening Titles in Season 2, while the new faces, like Jane Seymour (Actress) and Héctor Elizondo, became the ones to be listed as guest stars despite clearly being part of the cast.
- Fake High: After one of his dialysis friends gets a kidney but his body rejects it, Drew skips dialysis and decides to try one of Gina's drugs. Next thing she knows, Drew is deliriously walking around the neighborhood, thinking a lawn gnome is a lost child and having a conversation with a realty sign. It turns out, however, that the drug Gina gave him was an aspirin; the hallucinations were the result of Drew getting blood poisoning due to skipping dialysis.
- Fee Fi Faux Pas: Drew is in the middle of telling his new dialysis buddies that he already has a donor when he realizes they might resent him for it and tries to abort. They've already figured it out, of course.
- Gallows Humor: There's a lot of this, since one of the leads is terminally ill at the start and the other is self-destructive.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany:
- Drew has one when Gina arranges a weekend getaway with Eli after the transplant.
- Gina shows signs of this as well when Drew tells her that he slept with a woman during his first day of "#vanlife" living, who stole his wallet afterwards. Gina keeps asking him pointed questions about her, and just generally expresses inordinate interest in his love life after that.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode of season one is named after medical terms. After season two, they are named after three items relevant to the plot (common in Chuck Lorre sitcoms).
- Immune to Drugs: Gina, her friend Gabby, and really her whole social scene. Drew goes to meet her at her apartment after a (her) night of debauchery and blows coke off a mirror. The guy she hooked up with says, "That was my breakfast!"
- In Vino Veritas:
- When drunk, Gina becomes "Becca", who is more impulsive than sober Gina.
- A big development in Season 2 is when Gina gets drunk after breaking up with Eli and kisses Drew. Drew later makes a Love Confession but she's passed out and doesn't hear it.
- Killed Offscreen: In the Season 2 premiere, Gina and Gabby learn suddenly that Mr. Knudsen from Season 1 has died.
- Like a Daughter to Me: Norma seems to regard Gina as a surrogate daughter, especially since she has a bad relationship with her real daughter. But it cuts both ways, since Norma occasionally displays a nagging attitude toward Gina.
- Lives in a Van: In Season 2, Drew suddenly decides to sell his house to become a "#vanlife" vlogger, with plans to travel the country.
- Meet Cute: Drew and his love interest Adriana meet when they both try to take the last can of ginger ale in the hospital cafeteria.
- Mocking Music: The hold music on the National Kidney Registry's helpline is "Stayin' Alive".
- Nice Girl: For all her reckless choices, Gina is definitely this. It takes a higher than average level of compassion to offer your kidney to someone you haven't seen in years, with zero hesitation, while expecting nothing in return.
- No Social Skills: Drew has trouble making friends and talking to people in general. Since he's a therapist this could be seen as an example of The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes.
- Phoneaholic Teenager: Maddie is depicted this way in the pilot, less so in her subsequent appearances.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Linda Lavin, Darryl Stephens, and David Anthony Higgins for Season 2.
- Put on a Bus: Samantha from the dialysis group goes "out of town" in the last two episodes of season 1 and is replaced by fellow Deadpan Snarker Megyn.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Drew confronts Gina about her addictions.Drew: What is the matter with you? I mean, do you not understand that this is life and death for me? I have a daughter who needs to have a father.
Gina: I know, I know.
Drew: No you don't! See, I-I knew I couldn't count on you! You were a train wreck back in high school, and you are a train wreck now.
Gina: That is not fair. I was not this bad in high school.
Drew: You know what, Gina? You can keep your kidney. You're gonna need it. You'll probably be dead before me.
- Replacement Flat Character: In Season 2, Gina tries to be more responsible after buying the nursing home, and seems to leave her partying days behind. Because of that, the drug/alcohol abuse and flakiness gags start going to Gabby, Gideon (who left the dialysis center to work at the home) and Bert, the home's barely-competent chef.
- Retool: The first season revolved around Drew awaiting the kidney surgery while trying to get Gina to adjust her wild ways. In Season 2, with the surgery successful, there seems no reason to keep the two together...until Gina inherits $44 million from a late resident of the nursing home, buys the place and Drew becomes its therapist.
- Scatterbrained Senior: Played for Drama by Peter. His memory's starting to slip, and it's completely devastating to him.
- Screwball Comedy: Beyond the typical edginess of a Chuck Lorre presentation, the show has a fairly classic screwball structure: uptight Drew has his life shaken up by wild Gina.
- Secretly Rich: It turns out Mr. Knudsen was, and after he dies he leaves his multimillion dollar fortune to Gina.
- Sex with the Ex: Drew and Julia sleep together again after he gets high and breaks into her house to steal a ceramic owl.
- Silver Vixen: Bette is pushing 70 but heroically tries to stay alluring with wigs and tons of plastic surgery.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Mr. Knudsen (played by Bernie Kopell) appeared in a handful of scenes in a few episodes of the first season, but his death and the reveal that he was Secretly Rich is what sets Season 2's Retool into motion.
- Thematic Theme Tune: Co-written by Keb' Mo' and Chuck Lorre. Keb' Mo' also performed it in Season 1, but the second season transformed it into a "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune showcase for Annaleigh Ashford, as a glitzy Broadway-style number (appropriate, since Ashford is a Tony winner).
- Theme Naming: Gina likes to name pets after Italian food. Her huge dog is named Cannoli, and she names the stray cat she found Bolognese.
- Theme Tune Extended: The Broadway-style retool of theme song in Season 2 includes an extra verse, and there's an even-further-extended version that's sometimes used that opens with Annaleigh Ashford performing a slow ballad verse on piano.
- Thought They Knew Already: Invoked verbatim by Gina when she matter-of-factly tells Julia how she's giving Drew a kidney, not realizing Drew hasn't told his ex-wife yet.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Drew is dorky, and constantly embarrasses Maddie. This gets more pronounced in Season 2, when their encounters tend to consist of Drew telling stale dad jokes and Maddie trying hard to act like he's not there.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Meredith, the terminally ill wife of Harry, dies just six episodes after her introduction in Season 2.
- Wham Shot: At the end of "Novocaine, Bond and Bocce," the hints that Peter's memory is failing him are confirmed in the most heartbreaking way possible. He opens his closet door, and we see that he's covered it with photos of people he knows, and notes reminding him who they are, what they do for a living, etc., showing that it's even worse than we thought, and Peter is all too aware of what's happening. The episode ends with him putting a note reading "she knows" next to Bette, who previously asked him about his tendency to repeat the same stories, before he sits on his bed and begins to cry.
- Will They or Won't They?: A minor theme in Season 1, officially introduced in "Integration Therapy", where Drew's fellow dialysis patients speculate whether he's sleeping with Gina, with the ones who say "yes" pondering the possibility of Gina giving them a "rebound kidney" if they break up. Eventually they both get into relationships—Drew with cancer patient Adriana, Gina with Drew's fellow dialysis patient (and former Seattle Seahawks star) Eli. Adriana quickly gets Put on a Bus, however, due to getting experimental treatment in Switzerland and after his successful kidney transplant Drew has completely fallen in love with Gina. In Season 2 this progresses to Drew making an Anguished Declaration of Love, but Gina tells him she needs more time.
- World of Snark: As you'd expect in a Chuck Lorre show, everyone takes turns at making sarcastic quips, but Norma from the nursing home and Samantha from the dialysis group are the standout snarkers.
- Wrench Wench: Gina knows enough about mechanics to keep her own motorcycle, although it eventually dies on her. Drew gives her a car then, with a lengthy payment plan that will ensure they stay in each other's lives for years to come.