Monday, April 28, 2008

Scrubs: Outta here like Vladimir

Belated "Scrubs" spoilers coming up just as soon as I put on a fedora...

"Thanks for everything, Ted. Sincerely."

God, I'm going to miss Ken Jenkins -- who's been the "Scrubs" MVP for the last two seasons -- if, in fact, he's leaving the show.

I understand why Bill Lawrence wants to do a bonus final-final season on ABC next year. NBC wouldn't let him make the handful of episodes he needed to send the show off properly, and it wouldn't make fiscal sense for ABC to pick the show up for a half-dozen episodes or less. But episodes like "My Dumb Luck" -- funny and touching and classic "Scrubs"-ian though it was -- concern me, because now certain characters are getting their closure well ahead of schedule.

I imagine Jenkins will stick around with the show in some capacity -- Kelso could become a private practice doc based in the hospital (ala Elliot), or a member of the board (ala Jordan), or a pharmaceutical rep (ala Heather Locklear), to name just three possibilities -- and if Cox gets the chief of medicine job, there could be some entertaining role reversal in Cox having to make the unpopular decisions while Kelso needles him about it.

But part of what made this episode so good -- and what's made the last few so good after nearly two years of very uninspiring "Scrubs" -- was that knowledge that the end was in sight, and that the writers could pull out all the stops and give Kelso a proper farewell (from his job, if not from the series).

This reminds me of the last two years of "The Sopranos." Season 6 (or 6A, if you want; the one with the Kevin Finnerty experience) started off like gangbusters, because the writers at the time assumed this would be the last year. About halfway through the writing process, David Chase agreed to do one final batch of episodes, and they had to put the brakes on a whole lot of storylines. (That's why Vito's gay awakening got so much play, for instance.)

If "Scrubs" can be as good as it's been for the last few episodes for another year, then I have no problem getting another season out of the show. But if it's been this good of late solely because the finish line was in sight, then I worry about how much of the ABC season is going to feel like filler.

Oh, and was I the only one driven batty by every character mispronouncing Porphyria? It's poor-FEAR-ee-uh, not poor-fur-EE-uh.

What did everybody else think?

18 comments:

Michaela said...

I, in fact, was also driven batty by the constant mispronunciation of "porphyria" by alleged doctors. Where's that medical consult when you need him?

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the show getting closure, but 18 episodes seems a little excessive at this point. And, frankly, I don't understand how it's financially advantageous for ABC to pick up the show and promote its move to a new network when it only has one season left.

LA said...

Oh, and was I the only one driven batty by every character mispronouncing Porphyria? It's poor-FEAR-ee-uh, not poor-fur-EE-uh.

There was a little banter about this on another thread, and as a medical transcriptionist, a thousand times yes, it drove me batty. They seriously could have called me and asked. In lieu of a consultation fee, they could give me a tour of the set, that's all I ask.

For the record, Sarah Chalke by far (since season one) has the best pronunciation of medicalese.

I will miss Kelso. Like you, I hope he's not really gone.

LA said...

Oh, and was I the only one driven batty by every character mispronouncing Porphyria? It's poor-FEAR-ee-uh, not poor-fur-EE-uh.

There was a little banter about this on another thread, and as a medical transcriptionist, a thousand times yes, it drove me batty. They seriously could have called me and asked. In lieu of a consultation fee, they could give me a tour of the set, that's all I ask.

For the record, Sarah Chalke by far (since season one) has the best pronunciation of medicalese.

I will miss Kelso. Like you, I hope he's not really gone.

Bobman said...

Who has two thumbs and better stick around for next season?

Bob Kelso.

Anonymous said...

The mispronunciation became my obsession, which was unfortunate, because it was otherwise a good episode.

Theresa said...

The episode was sweet and poignant (it actually had me tearing up when Kelso left, I'm not gonna lie) and felt like a good last-season episode. I have my fingers crossed for the actual final season, but unfortunately my hopes aren't too high. Kelso has indeed been the high point for a long time.

Matt said...

ABC is the producer of the show, which means it's reaping the syndication revenue, and there may well be additional syndication dollars with additional episodes in play. (I believe "Scrubs" and "Reaper" are the only non-ABC shows still produced by ABC.)

The thing that'll be the shock is in a few years when "House," which is NBC-Universal produced, probably gets poached to NBC.

Mac said...

When JD first said "poor-fur-EE-uh", I figured Cox would wind up telling him, "It's 'poor-FEAR-ee-uh', Deborah" or something similar. Haven't they had porphyria on "House" a couple of times?

LA said...

Haven't they had porphyria on "House" a couple of times?

Yes, at least once.

Sorry for the double post earlier, BTW.

Anonymous said...

Hi there from South Africa
I have Variegate Porphyria and the correct pronounciation is -
por·phyr·i·a (pôr-fîr'ē-ə)

Jim said...

If there's no more Kelso, what's next? The Janitor saves JD from drowning in a Very Special Episode?

Ted marries a supermodel?

I was disappointed Nurse Roberts never shows up as a ghost.

Maybe Kelso can fake illnesses to show up to drive Cox nuts.

Kensington said...

The thing that really strikes me right now is that Bill Lawrence has really, so far, dropped the ball on Aloma Wright. When I first heard that he had promised to bring her back as a twin, I thought it was a great idea, but what's really come of it? Has she even been seen more than once or twice? What a disappointment.

dez said...

I will miss Kelso. Like you, I hope he's not really gone.

Same here! Kelso has to be back in some capacity--he rawks!

Anonymous said...

Was there any significance to the plaques behind Kelso when he was sitting on the bench? It's the first time I've noticed them and the director seemed to making an effort to get every one of them on camera at different points of the show.

- jude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- jude said...

Zach has added this to his MySpace blog: "I've just been informed that I'm not allowed to talk about anything related to Scrubs and it's (sic) current fate. What I can tell you is that we are currently shooting 18 episodes for the 8th season. I am not allowed to discuss where one might watch them. (More news to come.)"

Personally, this show has run its course. I will stop watching the show after the finale next week because I can't bear the thought of 18 more episodes of this played-out formula.

Rick said...

Alan, I think you're missing the obvious choice for Kelso during next season: a patient. As a one-episode stint it would feel trite, but as a long-term patient, there would be a lot of potential.