Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Scrubs, "Our White Coats" & "Our Couples": (No JD) + Drew = Winner

A review of last night's two "Scrubs" - which, if you gave up on the show earlier this season, were vastly improved - coming up just as soon as I say "fo shizzle" for a week...

I kept speculating during the early episodes of the season that we really couldn't judge the new incarnation of the show until Zach Braff left, because he was dominating so much of the proceedings, and because the writers chose to backslide JD into his irritating season 6 & 7 persona. Braff's been gone for three episodes (though he still has one more to go), and those three have been vastly improved. The low ratings probably won't allow for this, but these latest episodes feel like the foundation of a show I'd be happy to watch for several more seasons.

With JD out of the way, the med students have become much more clearly-defined. Lucy seems more interesting as a mirror of Elliot than JD (her fantasy sequences still aren't really working; like the narration, that device probably should have been retired with JD), I'm starting to enjoy Cole more (even if I keep imagining the character being funnier if Aziz Ansari were still available to play him), and Drew has become very funny no matter what other character he's paired with. There's just enough of Dr. Cox in Michael Mosley's performance to feel like a torch is being passed, but not so much that the character just comes across as a rip-off.

After being consigned to play JD's eagle wingman in the earlier episodes, Turk has come back to life (and we still get some Turk-as-the-black-JD moments, just in small enough doses to be funny rather than frustrating), and it was nice to see the second episode address Turk and Cox finally being peers (even if Cox ultimately outranks Turk). And after it seemed like too many episodes this year were designed to take away the edge that made Denise such a unique and funny character last season, we saw with the second episode's golf cart theft subplot that even if Denise softens a little for Drew, she's still capable of unleashing great evil on the rest of the universe.

What did everybody else think?

32 comments:

Christian said...

100% agreed. I liked those two episodes a lot, and once again D&D (Denise and Drew) were the scene stealers in both. Glad, Scrubs is back to greatness.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! What happened?! I loved the old show with JD but this season was dragged down by him. Now that he is gone, it is like the show is fun and funny again. I absolutely loved the last two episodes.

Anonymous said...

So much better. Reminded of the greatness that Scrubs can be. Too bad the ratings are so low.

mrsb said...

I quit Scrubs a long time ago, but just happened to tune in to this episode. I was surprised at how decent it was. Not great, not early-Scrubs good, but it was watchable and funnyish.

Probably won't watch again, though.

Smoogy said...

First off, I'm one of the biggest Scrubs fans out there. Completely agree that JD became unlikable again, which was a shame.

The new characters, while not perfect, are pretty impressive in their ability to hold down a show. They did a good job with them. I thought these 2 were a huge improvement, but it's sad for me that it won't matter how good they are.

Just want to comment to support Alan in his continued posting one of my favorite shows of all time, and one that was underappreciated for its entire run.

Sidenote: I still hate the new lighting on the show and agree that it takes away from the comedy. Remember the episode when a Cheers writer was a patient in the hospital and they did 10 minutes of the show with colorful vibrant lighting style? It was weird and unscrubslike and less funny. Who thought it would be a good idea to make the entire show look like that?

Anonymous said...

I missed the first episode. Have they explained where Carla is? Seeing Elliot reminded me that we haven't seen Carla yet.

Anonymous said...

Carla wanted to be a regular. Bill Lawrence only offered her some guest spots. Carla (Judy)declined.

JasonR said...

I couldn't decide what to think of Denise's dress. Did she look like an 80's prostitute because that look is in style now (the retro part, not the hooker part) or is that what Denise thinks is dressing up looks like? The dress and the hair seemed too over the top to be anything but a joke, but Denise seems too young to dress up in something from the 80's. Either way, I enjoyed it.

Kensington said...

I really hope that ABC sees fit to give this one more season. Maybe they could dump Cougar Town and add Scrubs and Better Off Ted to the Wednesday line-up. Something like this:

8:00: The Middle
8:30: Scrubs
9:00: Modern Family
9:30: Better Off Ted

Anonymous said...

Were they better? Yes. Were they good? Not really. And certainly not enough to justify keeping the show alive another season.

Jim said...

I thought the interplay between Elliot and Denise was great too (and yeah, they did dress Denise up like she was going out clubbing with the guys from that MTV Jersey Shore show). Sarah Chalke has been really good in her epis, reminding me all over again how much progress she's made since she was so awful on Roseanne. I assume the episode ZB/JD has left will be the birth of their baby?
I also can't watch Cole without thinking how much better Aziz Anzari would be in that part, but as of last night I find myself liking Cole better than Lucy. There's just something about the character--the actress? the writing? the voice-overs?--that doesn't work for me.

belinda said...

Also agreed. Finally I'm not as annoyed with Lucy as previous episodes (even though she's still probably my least favorite newbie), and it's kind of strange that JD was the only 'oldie' that really took over the show and not allowed it to breath and grow as a separate entity. Without JD (and even with another guest oldie, Chalke), I'm really liking the new vibes of the cast.

It's a shame that ABC is kind of busting with comedies - with MF, The Middle, BOT, Cougartown and Scrubs Med all pretty fun to watch when they're at their best - so I guess this is the last season for BOT and Scrubs, but - there is that extra space on wednesday! Any chance either BOT or Scrubs could get another season off that one slot? It would make a killer wed block.

LA said...

Totally on board with Alan's assessment. I texted my sister "much improved without Braff," and she hit me back with, "I'm sorry to say I agree." Saw Tweets along the same vein.

What's ironic is the network thought Scrubs needed Braff in the mix to get viewers, but ultimately that decision is going to be what kills the show.

Loving Franco, loving the security guards. Denise and Drew rule. I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

LA said...

Kensington - Cougar Town has a full season pickup, as do Modern Family and The Middle. If it were up to me, next season I'd drop The Middle and keep Scrubs and Ted.

Scrubs said...

I gave up on the show at the beginning of the season. After reading this, I might go back and watch last nights episodes. So without JD the show is actually funnier? Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Sidenote: I still hate the new lighting on the show and agree that it takes away from the comedy.

Agree with whom? I want to thank this person. Most comments I've read seem favorable to the look.

Who thought it would be a good idea to make the entire show look like that?

My guess is whoever's been dealing with the show's reduced budget.

Joe Enos said...

Definitely better without JD - he was funny the first few seasons, but it looks like most of us agree that he's been holding the show back for the last couple years.

Denise is the best character now, and I'm hoping people start to watch the show to give these characters a chance to grow more than just this one season.

cadfile said...

There were a couple of exchanged when Drew sounded just like Dr. Cox which gave me a chuckle.

Although I really hate Cole's Vanilla Ice impression I did laugh along with him and Lucy during the trick candle scene. I know I'm weird.

I thought Denise looked decent when she put on the dress - probably not perfect since she doesn't have a lot of experience doing that.

I did love her line when she had on the hockey sweater earlier that she thought it was sexy because she was "free boobing".

Anonymous said...

The show would be better still if they didn't feel the need to have Elliot and Turk constantly refer to J.D.

We don't need to see Turk talking to J.D. on the phone all the time; he's a strong enough character in his own right (and if he weren't he shouldn't have been kept over anyway).

Completely agree with the love for Drew.

Diana said...

I just can't bring myself to watch the show without Zach Braff in it. It's just not the same.

Anonymous said...

Haven't watched the episodes without J.D in it and can't believe it's funnier without him--NO WAY!!

Brian said...

Was the title of the post an allusion to overrated Red Sox outfielder JD Drew?

Scott said...

The security guards make the show too sitcomy. They really bring the show down with their terrible acting and are more unfunny than Lucy. They are an awful substitute for Janitor.
Also, is ABC showing the episodes out of order again? This one seemed like it should have happened sooner

Pamela Jaye said...

Don't like the security guards.

Better without JD? Alas, yes.
He was around for a strange amount of time, to begin with (Hi, I'll be your new professor for 4 weeks and then I'm leaving!)
but mostly, he couldn't weave himself into the other characters, he had to stand out, and most of all, he'd regressed to needing a hug from not only all his students, but Dr Cox - even though he'd already (finally) gotten it.
I can deal with Eagle, I can deal with Guy Love, I can't deal with JD as Cox's puppy. When Elliot arrived, she made that even more obvious by the fact that she *had* grown up.

Probably said this last week. Oh well.
Wish that these eps played first and the show had a chance. Alas, since they didn't, it doesn't. :-( (Unless it pulls another Scrubsacle)

annie said...

Sometimes when I wasn't looking at the screen I though Drew was doing a very good, intentional impression of Dr. Cox.

The more I think about it, the less I like it, but it's Good Enough, so I'll just sit back and enjoy it.

arrabbiata said...

These post-JD episodes aren't close to the level the show achieved in its best years, but they're certainly watchable. Drew and Denise have quickly become a solid core for the other characters to play off of, far more interesting so far than any of the other new cast. I agree with Alan that Drew seems to work in any pairing. In fact, I can imagine the character being dropped into any recent show I follow (with the exception of Mad Men) and fitting in just fine.

Madame George said...

I haven't watched much of Scrubs in the last year and I was a little shocked at what a relief it was not to see Zach Braff on the show. He was sucking almost all the air out of his scenes, IMO.

Cole cracks me up constantly with the jargon and jive boy talk. I can't even explain it. And the channeling of Dr. Cox by Drew just enough to make you notice is a little shine of brilliance.

It's not at the top level of the elite comedies but it's enjoyable.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Zombie Scrubs has been cancelled. Good riddance. From "Ask Ausiello" on EW.com:

"Question: Will ABC order the back-nine episodes of Scrubs? I’m loving the new direction, and I don’t want the show to end on an unresolved note in episode 13. —Rion
Ausiello: I’m afraid I’ve only got bad news here. No back-nine, and no closure in episode 13. “It’s just a routine episode,” says an insider of what could turn out to be the show’s series finale. “There’s no special moment or anything.”"

Link: http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2010/01/06/ask-ausiello-smallville-house-greys/#more-5105

Raz Cunningham said...

i was feeling the same way about Denise, but she's made a comeback in a big way and Drew is easily the best new character.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Zombie Scrubs has been cancelled. [...] No back-nine, and no closure in episode 13.

While I don't expect the show to be back next year, based on the awful ratings it and Ted are both getting, the lack of a back nine is meaningless. ABC was always going to order only 13 episodes of both Scrubs and Ted, as the only hole in their theoretical schedule was the Tuesday gap between Dancing with the Stars seasons. Even with Hank dead, they don't seem to view either show as a candidate for Wednesdays. No back nine was always the plan, in both success and failure.

Matt S said...

I remain stalwart (sp?) that the 2 could always come back as another stop gap for the same time period next year. (hey abc's gotta air something in between the 2 Dancin With The Stars editions and it thankfully doesn't have According To Jim to throw onto the air at the last second anymore!)

forg/jecoup said...

I loved the latest episodes, I wish this was how they started

And to all of you thinking that ABC should drop one of ABC Wednesday sitcoms to make room for Ted and Scrubs sorry I don't think that will happen the lowest rated (The Middle) performs way better than Scrubs and Ted. Don't get me wrong I both love Ted and Scrubs but I just don't think ABC will sacrifice any of their Wednesday sitcoms to make room for two low rated sitcoms.