Friday, May 18, 2007

Scrubs: Will they or won't they stop with the will-they-or-won't-they?

Haven't seen "Grey's" yet, and may not get around to it until Sunday or later (given what little I've heard, I'm not that motivated), but spoilers for the "Scrubs" season finale coming up just as soon as I slip Dr. Cox a DVD of the "Viva Laughlin" pilot...

Sigh... They're really going back there, aren't they? As I wrote last week, J.D. got over Elliott years ago, and even if the writers are trying to use this as an excuse for each of them to re-examine their feelings for their significant others, it feels like a mistake -- or like there aren't any other ideas left, so why not revisit this doomed coupling one more time?

Part of the problem also lies in the fact that, while Elliott and Turk and all the other regular characters (save Kelso and maybe The Janitor, and even he's gone from a psycho loner to the leader of The Brain Trust) have grown and changed over the years, while J.D. has, if anything, devolved as the writers have accentuated his wacky, immature, effeminate qualities to the point where he barely resembles a human being. That's fine if they just want to do wackier storylines, but when the show has to shift gears and build a story around J.D.'s emotional life, it doesn't work anymore.

("Cheers" was guilty of this too in its later seasons, as Sam got dumber and dumber because it made for easier punchlines, but when the writers decided to throw some slightly dramatic material into the final season, they remembered how to write him as the old Sam again, and it worked.)

There was some funny material on the margins: Ted's brilliant Elliott impression; Doug's frustration at being replaced by Lloyd; J.D. and Turk acting like a married couple, and Turk helping negotiate a better deal between J.D. and Dr. Cox (which J.D. was a fool to turn down); Cox's latest rant involving Hugh Jackman (two words that John C. McGinley says almost as brilliantly as Rainn Wilson says "Schrute-Bucks") and Kelso interrupting said rant with, "Funny long list, we get it. You need a new thing, big guy." Plus, they used Dudemeister's last name for the first time in a long time.

Like a lot of other bubble show producers (see the people behind "Jericho" and "Crossing Jordan"), Bill Lawrence clearly wasn't interested in providing closure -- though, of course, he knew ABC would probably give him a pick-up if NBC pulled the plug. But this was easily the weakest "Scrubs" season to date. I hope they can re-find their mojo during the hiatus, perhaps inspired by being back on the fall schedule for the first time in a few years.

What did everybody else think?

19 comments:

Ann said...

Totally agree - so sick of JD's immaturity. It just doesn't work anymore. I much prefer the reruns to the first runs from this year. Have they written themselves into a corner?
(Caught the last 15 minutes of Grey's - ugh)

Anthony Foglia said...

I agree on the anti-J.D+Elliot stuff. My only hope is that they cut away just before anything major actually happened. Hopefully Elliot will come to her senses in the first seconds of the next episode. I'm hoping Bill Lawrence's position wins out and the couple stays apart.

Jennifer J. said...

I really hated that last moment between Elliot and JD. If they do "go there," I really will stop watching. It doesn't feel right. It's beyond trite and rehashed.

Ted as Elliot was hilarious. :)

dan said...

Kelso once again had me missing stuff while I was laughing.

MEEEEOOOW!

Kristin said...

I am also in agreement here. The scene with J.D. and Elliot was painful. I was turning my head away, wishing they weren't going to go there. And then when they did, I was pretty annoyed.

They set up PLENTY of conflict through new relationships...J.D. as a father to his ex-girlfriend's baby, Elliot having to play wife when her mother was such a messed up one, etc. There was no need to revisit this old relationship.

And is Jordan's face just getting puffier and stiffer every week? She looks terrible. Stop the injections now!!!!!

Michaela said...

I don't think they're going there. I don't think it's a coincidence that the baby is due in a week and the wedding is in a week -- I think there will be serious recoil in the next 10 seconds of that moment at the end of the show, paving the way for water-breaking hilarity to ensue at the wedding.

It's a little annoying they brought this back to provide DRRRAMA at the end of the season...

Edward Copeland said...

This was by far the weakest season and I hope they aren't going back to the J.D.-Elliot thing, not only because it's been resolved but because it would seem so odd to introduce the Elizabeth Banks' pregnancy angle just to go back to this. That said, I think this season really belonged to Ken Jenkins. I've long given up hope that the Emmys will ever nominate McGinley, let alone reward him, but for this season, I really think Jenkins is the only choice. Give him the Emmy!

Benaiah said...

I was actually angry at the end of "Scrubs" last night (thought it didn't last long because I was still so happy from "The Office"). The logic that JD and Elliot are both afraid of commitment and thus should hook up to blow up their relationships is a tough pill to swallow. Sure, a tiny part of me wants them to get back together, but there is so much other stuff going on that it seems unconscionable- especially for those reasons. Unlike when JD broke up with Elliot before Carla's wedding, they aren't even being true to themselves- however petty and absurd they are as people- they are knowingly self-destructing two relationships to indulge their own neuroses. I hope and pray that they don't go through with it, but I have a bad, bad feeling that they will.

the2scoops said...

I've always championed Scrubs as one of the best comedies on TV, but that ending just left a bad taste in my mouth. I've read the writers on Scrubs are in favor of JD/Elliot, while producer Bill Lawrence is against the idea and feels that story closed already. Is last night (and much of this season) a sign that Bill isn't on top of the show as much anymore? I have faith they can turn it around in the final season if Bill Lawrence is running the show a bit tighter.

Thanks for helping me figure out what's been irritating me the most" J.D. and his lack of growth. For all of his observations and mentor worship, he hasn't seemed to learn a damned thing. Next season needs to open with J.D. re-reading his journals (where the narration essentially comes from) and remember all those little lessons. It's a shame the J.D.-Elliott thing brought me down, because it takes away from the fine work we've seen this season from John McGinley, Donald Faison, Judy Reyes and Sam Lloyd have done this season.

I had hope J.D. would man up and get with his baby's mama (Elizabeth Banks, who I adore even though the role isn't fully capitalizing on her comedic skills).

"Scrubs" has slipped down from my #1 TV comedy spot, as it is now bring up the rear behind "The Office" and "How I Met Your Mother". If "30 Rock" comes strong next season and "Scrubs" doesn't improve, I may just be watching the last season out of habit more than want.

Anonymous said...

Julianna Margulies played a lawyer on Scrubs. And now she's playing a lawyer on Cantebury's Law. Which is the best segue I can think of to ask this othewise completely unrelated question, Alan: I was just watching the clips of Cantebury's Law on Fox's site and recognized one of the locations as the Essex County Courthouse in Newark. Do you know if the series will be filming in the area? Or was it just the pilot?

Homertojeebus said...

JD/Elliott no is good. Please to be not goink there. Maybe they're building to a great satirical resolution in next season's premiere. Here's hoping.
This season, they pushed the boundaries of the absurd humour at the sacrifice of much of the show's warmth. This show was always great at being able to do anything for a laugh, yet still have a heart.

the2scoops said...

I thought they managed to capture the old heart of the show with the episodes about Laverne's passing and Perry & Jordan's baby troubles. But for every one golden moment, we had to get through two "Doctor Toilet" type gags.

Dan Coyle said...

Speaking of Margulies: after seeing the way Schiff was lit on The Sopranos, does David Chase have a major crush on her or what?

aux2master said...

http://sepinwall.blogspot.com/2006/11/feasts-and-famines.html

Where did you get that FOX release from?

Blankity-Blank said...

I think maybe you've got Ted-colored glasses on, because that "impression" was nothing more than him saying "frick." Anybody could have done that.

As for J.D. and Elliot, I don't really see the problem with them doing this. It's not unrealistic that they'd latch onto each other at this point. And now I hate myself for semi-defending a terrible show.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Where did you get that FOX release from?

From Fox, of course.

Anonymous said...

this post contains random spoilers for various shows, especially hospital shows, which have already aired. if you are behind, don't read... (as if anyone would anyway)

I've been away (in LA, seeing Scott Bakula, in a musical, as I probably have already said, repeatedly, knowing me)so I'm a bit behind.
Alas, I managed to hit your Scrubs post before seeing the last three eps. Well, I saw the picture... I certainly didn't read the post, which I am doing now (don't you love the play-by-play?)

>even if the writers are trying to use this as an excuse for each of them to re-examine their feelings for their significant others, it feels like a mistake

it feels like George and Izzie (the really did "watch our lives and then put them on TV"!) only actually less out of a clear blue sky than George and Izzie. At least JD and Elliot had a history. Okay it was a history that had an end put to it, but George and Izzie?? I'm still wondering what Shonda was on, much as i love her.

have you noticed Lloyd? (i'll probably find later that you have)

..never watched Cheers (okay, a few times. maybe more times than Friends or Seinfeld or Frazier (or was it Frasier?))

yup, you noticed Lloyd. I asked the brother who was gone, that he'd been elevated -- and he told me. I hate the word "duh" so I'm not going to use it. how about "oops"?

> "Funny long list, we get it. You need a new thing, big guy."

this was great. along with the recent near breakages of the 4th wall... (i'm a few eps behind on Boston Legal yet, also, several eps of Veronica Mars (one may have died with my DVR, one ep of ER, and i'll have to check http://next-episode.net to see what else. apparently missing the beginning of Notes from the Underbelly was a strategic mistake.)

I noted Studio 60 was returning... I was at Warner Brothers week before last and the tour guy said the set was beautiful, and the apartment chosen to be Joey's apartment was *actually* somewhere he used to live. I believe his quote on seeing the pictures was "are you kidding me?"

back to Scrubs...
Okay, I've got nothing. I did think that they had made JD realize what a baby he was in that ep which I can't remember where they taped him to the ceiling, but, guess not.

alas, the comparisons with Grey's are just funny. And didn't BL say they would never ever go there again? And yet, I can't see why Elliot is marrying Keith. And apparently she figured it out too. In any case, my brother commented that the falling anvils were getting as loud as they are on Grey's (after I paused the tape so he could make the anvil noise)

Honestly, I don't see either of these "couples" - though I do feel JD should do something for his child, I don't think that marrying its mother is the something he should do, and I can't see how anyone could love Elliot enough to put up with all the crazy - though, oddly, I can see how someone could love Meredith Grey, and Ally McBeal, so perhaps I'm not the best judge ;-)
Keith just seems like a doormat.
(just when I was starting to like him in reruns of Passions, Scifi channel dumped it)

>paving the way for water-breaking hilarity to ensue at the wedding.

oh please no!

so, who did end up getting married this year? George and Callie? Luka and Abby? (I never cared whether they did nor not. As Luka once told Abby, "you're not that special" - and neither, alas, is he. I'll blame the writing for both. I do see them catering to the dedicated fans by saying Luby, though. And
Morris and Hope are fascinating. I still have one ep to find out about... that other thing. and oh! Tucci! he must have really liked playing a doctor in 3 lbs. he seems to be playing the same guy. but I can live with it -- and I could live with it better if he'd bring Feuerstein with him... I really like that guy. I once went to a taping of Good Morning Miami, just to tick off my brother, who had a massive crush on Ashley Williams, actually, and ended up naming all the shows Mark F had been in... it was kinda scary: Ally, Once and Again, West Wing... perhaps he was following Lisa Edelstein around)

>I was actually angry at the end of "Scrubs" last night

I was so angry when whats-her-name told JD she miscarried, I was nearly throwing things at the TV. This was ...less bad, at least. Just general stupidity.
However, just for fun, compare last years season ender of Grey's (try the last minute) to the next to last ep of Scrubs this year.

>I've read the writers on Scrubs are in favor of JD/Elliot, while producer Bill Lawrence is against the idea and feels that story closed already

really? where? I'd love to read that. (I know, I can't keep up with Scrubs news. and btw, I went to see Zach's movie last weekend (short shelf-life on that one) and I liked it. Liked his last one too. They're the only movies I've seen since 2003... (in a theater). Jason Bateman's character was just wonderfully annoying. And Zach on SNL looked scarily like John Ritter, even more than when JR was playing his father. From the beating Zach took in this movie, he may just be heir to JR's throne. I know he gets tossed around on Scrubs, but apparently whoever wrote this movie decided to continue the trend (something I don't remember in Garden State (which I really didn't love as much as I expected) or The Last Kiss, which I really liked.

>For all of his observations and mentor worship, he hasn't seemed to learn a damned thing.

JD has severe "daddy issues" - it's not just with Cox, but I know it's somewhere else too. Just can't remember where. Perhaps we should send him off to Seattle Grace - I'm imagining him and Meredith doing dueling voice overs... one plaintive and one silly.

>Next season needs to open with J.D. re-reading his journals (where the narration essentially comes from) and remember all those little lessons.

I like this idea.
In other news, I've never been fond of Kim. And I haven't seen EB elsewhere to see if it's just the writing. Or the way she was dropped on us last year.

Oh, right - HIMYM (we are several episodes down, mostly due to the dead DVR
(sigh))

>
This season, they pushed the boundaries of the absurd humour at the sacrifice of much of the show's warmth. This show was always great at being able to do anything for a laugh, yet still have a heart

and speaking of heart - have you watched Brothers & Sisters? Wonderful eps lately. So glad they got rid of the first two love interests (and Scotty) and got Rob Lowe. Are they keeping him? I just saw episode 12 of 6....

and now I get to try to figure out what to do till I can get my VCR back at 10. perhaps some more email...


--Pam

Anonymous said...

I realy love elliot and Jd togethere because it gives the show more liveleness

Anonymous said...

also is scrubs over the next episode was jd's first day