Rachel Gunn, R.N.

Christine Ebersole stars as a wisecracking head nurse in a sitcom that’s little more than a rip-off of NBC’s Nurses. The level of humor is low, low, low: Rachel says to a nun, ”You believe in an orderly universe and save souls; I, on the other hand, save urine in small bottles.”

The supporting cast is the usual roundup of nutty eccentrics and includes an arrogant, dim-witted doctor played by Kevin Conroy, who must be at least the 684th variation on The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘s Ted Baxter we’ve seen on television. Two things make Rachel Gunn particularly depressing. The first is that Ebersole is a good comic actress — you may remember her as one of the many women whose talents have been wasted in brief tours of duty on Saturday Night Live; Ebersole’s was from 1981 to 1982.

The second bummer in this series is its supposed alliance with the working class — Ebersole sings a version of Huey Lewis and the News’ ”Workin’ for a Livin”’ over the show’s credits, and we are supposed to root for Rachel and her nurse colleagues over the supposed ruling tyranny of the medical profession. But since every character in Gunn is either a dope or a cynic, the show’s sense of class consciousness is pointless. D

Rachel Gunn, R.N.
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