Some brief, interconnected thoughts on "Scrubs" and "My Name Is Earl" coming up just as soon as I shave a kangaroo...
Both shows have been so disappointing of late -- particularly "Earl," where the coma sitcom fantasy may be the single worst idea they've ever had -- that they've been reduced to watch-while-multi-tasking status. But even though I didn't pay as much attention to either one as I did to, say, last night's brilliant episodes of "The Office" and "Survivor," I felt both were improved over what they've been doing lately.
Specifically, while the "My Name Is Earl" writers still have Earl in a coma, this episode was 100% sitcom fantasy-free, which allowed them to take advantage of the biggest plus to the coma scenario: the good, boring version of Earl is in a coma, so we get more of the bad, funny version in flashback. Plus, this was maybe the best they've ever used Beau Bridges as Earl's dad. The sequence in the motel room (and kudos to Michael Pena for finding a slightly new way to play the cliche of the eccentric drug dealer) where Mr. Hickey had to deal with being frisked and being confronted with everything he hates (ambiguous sexuality, drugs, exotic animals kept in small spaces) was really well done, as was the montage of dad going through his humdrum life with more pep in his step, cut to the theme from "Superfly."
"Scrubs," meanwhile, got back to the Kelso forced retirement story they brought up right before the strike and had all of the characters behaving more or less in character and as recognizable humans. (We all know this has been a big problem with JD in recent seasons.) The Turk/JD friendship is almost always funny, but this was the first time in a while (and that includes the "We should be more grown-up now that we have kids" episode) where I felt like both were on equal footing as three-dimensional characters.
Also, "there's some truth to" Janitor's name being Josh? What the?
What did everybody else think?