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Series / Getting On

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Getting On (2009-2012) is a British sitcom set in a hospital ward situated at the wrong end of the Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty. The series is centred on a general ward and the unglamorous lives of its long-suffering staff. The series was written by its three leads: Jo Brand as Nurse Kim Wilde, Joanna Scanlan as Sister Den Flixter, and Vicki Pepperdine as Dr Pippa Moore. The show is intended to be a realistic portrayal of hospital life with naturalistic dialogue and shaky camera movements. Its director Peter Capaldi may have learned a few tricks from his time working with Armando Iannucci on The Thick of It.

Kim has returned to nursing after some time away, and is struggling to cope with the changes the National Health Service has been through in the meantime. New regulations stop her from providing good old-fashioned patient care and constantly throw up problems, not least of which is the over-sensitive Matron Hilary Loftus.

Also spawned a US remake on HBO from the creators of Big Love starring Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein and Niecy Nash.


  • Accidental Misnaming: Damaris.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Hilary Loftus with his "issues". He's not too sure about his sexual orientation himself.
    • Dr Oxford, whose advances Pippa misinterprets as platonic. At the end of series 3, they're seen leaving together, headed for Dr Oxford's hot tub, and Pippa still hasn't twigged. Though her reaction when told she won't need a swimming costume suggests she may have some idea.
  • Ascended Extra: Damaris.
  • Black Comedy: Some of the blackest.
  • Butt-Monkey: In season 2, Beedie Fyvie's function seems to be this.
  • Color Wash: Used to make the hospital setting look suitably bleak.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kim Wilde.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Sister Den Flixter, and Matron Hilary Loftus who also has a Gender Blender Title.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Pippa who is forced to reapply for her own job... and fails to get it.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Hilary.
  • Hospital Hottie: Peter the psychiatrist, who is swooned over by the female staff, Pippa is something of an Abhorrent Admirer.
  • Jerkass Ball: Den seems to jump from being Kim's friend to holding her to NHS regulations and reminding her that she is her line manager and isn't to be questioned.
    • Both Den and the usually affable Deadpan Snarker Kim indulge in this when Dr Moore not only fails to receive a higher position but it seems as though her existing job is at risk. After causing trouble on the ward, they follow up by locking her in the office.
  • Jittercam
  • Important Haircut: After her divorce is completed, Dr Moore turns up with rather glam extensions.
  • Moment of Silence: When recurring character Mrs Fyvie dies.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Nurse Kim Wilde, who is somewhat less glamorous than her namesake. Apparently the non-nurse Kim Wilde approves.
  • The Snark Knight: Kim, who is dryly sarcastic, but also very caring towards the patients.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted, Dr. Moore is working towards creating a mapping system of over 150 types of stool. This results in a sample being left in a chair for most of the first episode.
  • No Social Skills: Pippa, who seems unable to empathise with patients and staff alike. A performance review gives her an embarrassingly low score for communication skills:
    Peter Healy: "Well, it's only technically a poor score..."
  • Old People are Nonsexual: In the US version, the nurses scramble for what to do when they realize that two of the patients in their geriatric extended-care wing have been getting it on, something that has apparently not happened before. It is resolved through, of all things, paperwork; Dawn has to have the old woman's grown sons sign a consent form.
  • Only Sane Man: Kim, who remembers the NHS before health and safety legislation made everyone's jobs so much more difficult.
  • Put on a Bus: Damaris.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Roll River Roll by Richard Hawley.
  • Sequel Series: Going Forward, which focuses on Kim as she moves into working as a home health care worker and her life outside of work. It includes Hilary as a recurring character.
  • Shown Their Work: Jo Brand drew on her experience of working as a psychiatric nurse at London's Maudsley Hospital.
  • Shout-Out: To Peep Show- The name Jizzcock Pisskidney is written on a notice board at the beginning of one episode.
  • This Is What the Building Will Look Like: part of a running gag in series 2.
  • The Voiceless: Josh for most of series 3 (he's finally heard in a non-plot-related scene in the final episode). Guest star Tilda Swinton's character in the final episode has no lines.