A review of last night's "Scrubs" coming up just as soon as I come watch you build a deck...
Early in "Our Role Models" JD tells Lucy he's preparing her to get by in med school after he leaves very soon, just as "Scrubs" will have to survive once Zach Braff finishes up the second half of his six-episode commitment. But watching that scene, and most of this laugh-light episode, I once again felt like the show, if not Lucy, would be much better off if JD were gone already.
I think there's potential there with the new characters, Drew in particular. But so long as Braff is around, we have to spend so much time on tired JD jokes that no one else is getting a chance to really establish him or herself as a source of humor. Even Turk is still largely being defined by his relationship to JD, and as I watched him yelling at the incompetent suck-up, I wished we were getting more of that and less of Turk rolling his eyes at JD's misunderstanding of sports(*).
(*) Though I can't hate too much on a scene in which Turk admits he cries at the end of "Rudy," can I?
With Lucy feeling too much like a female JD, and with Cole still a fairly two-dimensional character, it's weird to see the show being carried by three characters (Cox, Denise and Drew) who are sarcastic misanthropes, but they're also the three best-defined, funniest characters we have right now. (John C. McGinley's weary delivery of "No Candy Perry!" was the episode's one big laugh for me.) It feels like the writers are aware of the sarcasm build-up and are trying to compensate by softening Denise, as two of the three episodes so far have been about her opening her heart a little to other people. I think that'll work in small doses, but I don't want to lose the essence of the great character Eliza Coupe and the writers created last year. The solution isn't to change Denise too much, but to do a better job with Lucy and Cole, Aussie Supermodel Doc and maybe even Ugly Don Cheadle. (Though I suspect he's going to be a Snoop Dogg Attending or Colonel Doctor-esque extra who rarely, if ever, speaks.)
I still enjoyed the first two episodes enough that I don't regret the show having come back. Again, even if the show were awful all season, it still wouldn't take away from what I loved of the series, any more than the last couple of NBC seasons did. But these episodes are making me retroactively dislike JD a little. He was a great character for a long time, but if he's not going to grow up and/or work more in support of the newbies, I'd rather he not be here. I guess we'll find out after three more episodes if a completely JD-less "Scrubs Med School" works. Right now, though, the show's not quite there.
What did everybody else think?