Friday, March 23, 2007

Scrubs & Andy Barker: Fate and the fat man

Spoilers for "Scrubs" and "Andy Barker, P.I." just as soon as I pack my thermos of emergency bisque...

"Scrubs" seems to be edging ever closer back to the real world, where strange things happen in the real world (the guys' perfectly-concocted lie about Mexican football), but the really bizarre stuff has been consigned back to JD's fantasies (the boobie horn, JD's perfect date), and I think the show is better for it. Not a fantastic episode, but funny enough in spots, and the Laverne twist both surprised me (I was expecting the tragedy from the episode description to be the loss of Jordan's baby, followed by Cox begging Laverne to give him a reason for it) and is going to provide some strong material for Mr. McGinley.

"Andy Barker," meanwhile, provided the funniest of the five episodes I've seen. (Co-written by celebrity blogger extraordinaire Jane Epsenson.) In particular, the running gag with the flashbacks to Guy's running made me laugh so long and so loud each time that Marian (on the phone with an old friend) had to get up and leave the room. It wasn't just the image of a fat guy running in slo-mo, but the context each time, plus the giant sub jiggling in his hand and that same music snippet over and over. (Also loved the tragic Vietnam movie score after Guy collapsed, and Guy's physique made Andy look positively svelte.) The addition of Nicole Randall Johnson from the pilot as Andy's disinterested secretary is a good choice, even though I'm constantly distracted by the fact that she looks a little and sounds a lot like Gina Torres, and her presence gave the otherwise misused Tony Hale something funny to do.

I wouldn't say it's all downhill from here, but I think the concept's a thin one for a series, and this is about the best they can do with this. If the show gets renewed, I hope Andy, Conan and company prove me wrong.

What did everybody else think?

21 comments:

Kristin said...

Scrubs was fab. I read on my TiVO what the episode was about and guessed it was Laverne before it even started. Then, when she and Cox started debating religion, I knew it was her...Good choice, though. Nice moment with Cox & Jordan where Jordan seemed more human.

I liked this episode of Andy Barker, so I am sad to hear you think it was the best of the episodes out there. "Buster" (as I will always know him) was given something funny to do, which was great. Like the assistant. And the idea of the dead guy being a player...with both the ladies and the men.

Roper said...

I thought Scrubs was great this week. I loved the guy lie about mexican football. The boobie horn was also classic. I saw the Laverne twist coming but they did a great job with it. Johnny C. will have another couple of emotional episodes ahead (will someone please give him an emmy for this role!!!)

Didn't watch Andy Barker but I probably will watch it online later. I'm with you on this one Alan. It has its moments but there's only so far it can go with this premise.

Eric said...

I noticed a teeny-tiny Buffy shout-out in Andy Barker P.I. - Guy's company was called "Doublemeat Industries" or something like that. Doublemeat Palace was a fast-food place where Buffy worked one season, and I would guess that the episode "Doublemeat Palace" was written by Espenson.

dan said...

Scrubs; I could not stop laughing at Turk seeing Elliot as unattractive.

There wasn't much in this weeks commentary. They do mention how many episodes the Laverne story-arc will be.

dez said...

Scrubs; I could not stop laughing at Turk seeing Elliot as unattractive.

I'm going to have nightmares about that for weeks.

I didn't see the Laverne twist coming, so I was shocked (and thought, "Boy, Cox, don't you feel like an ass right now!"). It felt like a good old-fashioned "Scrubs" episode.

I really enjoyed last night's "Andy Barker" ep. I'll probably re-watch it online to catch the jokes I missed while I was laughing. If this takes off, does that mean Nicole will be off MAD TV? She's one of the funniest cast members they have.

Elayne said...

I thought Andy Barker was spectacularly unfunny until about the last five minutes. Just like the last time I saw the show. But then I don't cotton to (as Jon Stewart called it) weight-phobia. Fat people as punchlines seems so cheap. Although I suppose the food=fat obsession is to be expected from a woman who ends every blog entry with a listing of what she had for lunch that day.

Cat Pick said...

I thought there were some funny moments in Scrubs, but frankly, the tragic-event-makes-the-non-believer-reconsider plot device to be rather cheap. Granted, there was the twist at the end, but still. I guess I'm still not sure whether I even like this show. And Christa Miller's [supposed] facial plastic surgery work gives me the heebie jeebies.

Without Tony Hale, Andy Barker would be a little too thin. Tony's moment with the black and white cookie was awfully funny. The 'fat is funny' plotline, well, not so much.

I totally missed the Doublemeat reference. Dang!

Andrew said...

I caught the Doublemeat reference and did take some time to check to see that indeed, Jane Espenson not only co-wrote "Fairway, my Lovely" but did also pen Doublemeat Palace.

I want to like Andy Barker-- because of Andy Richter and Tony Hale-- so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. This was a fun episode.

Rick said...

Anyone know the song that's playing while Guy is running with the sandwich? I think it needs to be on my workout mix.

SJ said...

The Andy Barker episode was pretty funny. Especially the 'We should watch the movie Taxi together'.

I am disappointed though that you think it's the funniest of the six episodes so far. Well I'll watch it anyway.

Alan Sepinwall said...

BTW, a friend pointed something out to me: If Turk is that turned off by women that JD has dated, how/why would he have had sex with JD's college girlfriend?

snowkrash said...

He is not turned off by women J.D. has dated... he is turned off by women J.D. has "hooked up with".

There is a pretty decent chance that Turk hooked up with J.D.'s college girlfriend long before J.D. even lost his virginity.

Roper said...

I think Turk said he only gets that turned off once JD sleeps with them. So maybe JD never slept with his college girlfriend.

...or maybe they screwed up continuity for a quick joke

Alan Sepinwall said...

The friend counters, "It's a college girlfriend...what else could they have done besides have sex?"

Roper said...

haha good point...but knowing JD probably sing every song off of an old Toto album.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I was laughing thinking of the fact that JD and Carla once shared a kiss.

I guess it depends on your interpretation of the term "hook up."

Mike said...

"There wasn't much in this weeks commentary. They do mention how many episodes the Laverne story-arc will be."

dan, what commentary?

jimmy said...

Anyone know the song that's playing while Guy is running with the sandwich?

War's "Me and Baby Brother," the same song that Stringer and his crew blasted in their SUV when they picked up Avon from prison in season 3 of The Wire.

I've seen all the Andy Barker eps online. I can't wait for 30 Rock to return, but I grew to like Andy Barker as well. Like 30 Rock, the first couple of eps are on the bland side. The show starts to really gel with that Jane Espenson ep ("Fairway My Lovely"), which is actually ep #4 on the website, and the "never-before-seen" Amy Sedaris/Ed Asner ep that NBC plugged at the end of last night's broadcast. If NBC doesn't care for Andy's new show, why can't its sister station USA pick it up? It'd be a perfect fit with Monk and Psych.

Edward Copeland said...

This week's Scrubs for the first time this season really reminded me why I fell in love with this show in the first place. It's by far the best they've offered this year, though I'm bummed we have to wait two weeks to see the next new one.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed scrubs this week as well, in part I think because it balanced the cast so well. All the main players got something reasonably significant to do, and the minor characters were sprinkled in well. And I'm always up for any episode that gives Janitor slightly more than one dimension.

Plus Kelso's "Gotta go. Boobie horn" made me laugh for an hour, easy.
-Lance

Anonymous said...

Not only did Turk sleep with JD's college girlfriend, there was an entire episode where Turk was having sex dreams about Elliot (right before him and Carla got married).