There are only two episodes and already holy crap do I love this show.
Remember “Osmosis Jones”? The (rather adult) movie turned into the kids show “Ozzy and Drix”, about a white blood cell who teamed up with a medicine pill to take on diseases in the human body?
I was a fan as a kid, but it wasn’t very good. What it had going for it was a cool idea, which carried it some way but meant that it really had little more than cult value (as a movie) and wasn’t clever enough as a show to be more than…okay. The writing meant well but it could have done way more with its concept than it did. And the protagonist was obnoxious.
“Cells at Work” is basically “Osmosis Jones, but good this time”.
The show follows two characters, a female Red Blood Cell named…well, Red Blood Cell and a male white blood cell named…White Blood Cell. Red is ditzy but well-meaning; like all red blood cells she works as a courier for nutrients and oxygen, but she gets lost on her way to the lungs. While she frantically searches for her destination bacteria enter the bloodstream: the deadly Pneumococcus. After her life is saved by White she gets wrapped up in an adventure with him – literally and figuratively – to try and find the Pneumococcus bacteria that escaped justice before he can make it into the lungs and start feeding on reds.
The characters are immediately distinct and immensely likable, but the most clever part of the show is how well it makes use of actual human biology to power its plots. In episode 1, Pneumo makes it into the lungs by hiding out in the package Red delivers – exactly as it would make it to the lungs in real life. In episode 2, red blood cells try to escape a bacteria invasion through an abrasion, but the valve they try to escape through is closed off, as would happen – the body attempts to slow blood flow until the wound is patched.
That these little touches are accurate is nice but what really makes the show shine is how they serve the story in immediate and visceral ways. It really adds to the verisimilitude and atmosphere of the show.
Cells at work s not a deep show, but it’s clever, has likable characters, and is a ridiculous amount of fun. It’s my second favorite show currently airing behind “My Hero Academia”.
Also: Your favorite part will be the platelets. Just saying.