Friday, March 16, 2007

Scrubs: My rerun

"Scrubs" spoilers coming up just as soon as I give someone a sneak hug...

Another pretty good episode (though I may have been in the minority about liking last week's), though the continuity fairy was only working two-thirds of the time.

On the one hand, we had the return of Sandy Chaplin (or Alexander Gaberman, or whatever he's calling himself these days) as the drug-scamming patient (now counselor, but still drug-scamming) and the callback to Carla losing Rowdy and The Janitor replacing him. On the other, the stolen scrubs plotline seemingly ignored the subplot from season one or two where the hospital installed a scrub dispensing machine that would only give out fresh scrubs if you inserted your old ones. (Elliott had to give up a nice blouse to get the thing to work.) Either I'm forgetting some development from that episode that resulted in Kelso ditching the machine, but it was there in the first place to prevent this kind of wholesale scrub theft.

Not a huge deal, and some very funny stuff, including the stealth hug, Caveman JD's narration, The Janitor's revelation of his Inuit heritage, a nod to The Todd's pansexuality, and the escalation of the writers' complete hatred of "Grey's Anatomy." Plus, Victoria Tennant acting for what seems like the first time since "L.A. Story" 16 years ago (though IMDb has a few credits in between).

What did everybody else think?


Roper said...

Finally Scrubs is back on track. I've gone back and watched Season 6 and the season up until the last two episodes has been very up and down.

I was disappointed that once again elliot trusts a drug addict and Dr. Cox has to be the cynic but that was a minor issue for me.

Loved the sneak hug and JD's ability to tell Rowdy from Steven. Hopefully, the show can keep this momentum and carry it forward.

On a somewhat related note, I've been watching the past seasons and in my opinion the odd numbered years are the best (1,3,5) while the even numbered years have some decent episodes but usually delve into something that turns out to be a bad idea (jd & carla kiss in season 4 or heather locklear in season 2). The only positive is that the writers usually realize it isnt going well and turn it around in time for the next season. So Season 7 could be great.

Anonymous said...

This was the best episode in a while, but I think I found it more amusing than funny. Still, it's at least a step in the right direction.

As for continuity issues, I still don't understand what the hell happened with Cox's shaved head in the clip show.

Anonymous said...

I agree this is probably the strongest episode they've put out this season, but I can't help but feel that the problem with Season 6 isn't so much the jokes but the lack of direction.

The writers seem to not know what to do with the characters anymore and have tried to compensate by making the show very meta -- a pardoy of itself. The joke-a-second pattern they've picked up this year doesn't allow for any of the characters to show any development or humanity. There's no personal or emotional stake in any of the comedy anymore.

Not that Scrubs was all that emotional to begin with, but every season they would surprise you with a particularly poignant episode -- all three docs losing a patient in the first season, Cox's Season 5 meltdown, any episode with Brendan Fraser. This season seems to be lacking that, and when they attempt it, like with Elliot and Pvt. Dancer last week, it feels awkward and forced.

That said, you can start to feel the season pick up some steam. However, I personally hope the show gets dumped to ABC because I think it will invigorate them. I think it was Bill Lawrence who mentioned that they were going to start making the show for the diehard fans this season. That's the problem. They're playing to front row and not stretching. I think that's why the show feels forced. They've stopped trying to impress the harshest critics and win new fans. They're too content. There's too many great performers/actors on this show to not give them something to do each week.

But I have to say, any episode of Scrubs that has JD simultaneously feeling two dogs' nether regions can't be completely written off.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I think it was Bill Lawrence who mentioned that they were going to start making the show for the diehard fans this season. That's the problem.

Bill actually said that about last season, though this one continues the wackier, more in-jokey pattern. I just think the execution was better last year. This year it seems like they're trying too hard most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Actually I think it seems like they're not trying hard enough. The wackiness (which even Bill Lawrence admitted went too far sometimes last year) has begun to feel like a crutch when the writers aren't able to come up with anything genuinely clever to say.

Anonymous said...

I think another problem with this season is that the writers are way too amused by making JD miserable -- the second-date pregnancy, losing his roommate, living in a tent, Kim dumping him, etc. I've read several interviews in which writers for various shows say that happy people make for boring TV, but I don't think unhappy people are inherently more interesting (see: Season 6 of Buffy, or the endless Meredith-Derek drama on Grey's Anatomy), and they're certainly not inherently funnier. Except of course for Ted.

Anonymous said...

someone crossposted an article from tHR (somewhere) that said Zach would be making somewhere in the neighborhood of $375K per episode, should the show return, and that it was likely that it would.
There were cheers in my family.

I love the Grey's stuff, and don't really find it to be hatred. After all, when both that show and House were mentioned the characters indicated that they liked the shows.

I do wish someone would explain Cox's shaved head...

and I loved Caveman JD Voiceover.

well, perhaps playing to the fans is logical, as, consider the timeslot, and the previous low ratings, we're the only ones watching it anyway.
I like the meta. I like it on Boston Legal and I like it here, where it's a peg down -- Scrubs is talking about TV, Boston Legal is *saying* it's a TV show.

And hey, at least Kim is gone.
In fact, a lot of characters I have disliked this season are on -- Craig Bierko on BL, That girl Brian was going out with on WAB (never liked her), Kim, Josh Hopkins - who I disliked from Ally, left Brothers and Sisters (and his replacement is cute!). Can't recall who else now. But I did like Sarah Lancaster :-(
Oh well, win a lot, lose a couple.

There was only one show I was watching and I didn't really feel invested in it - that got cancelled. Or hiatused. and it's coming back... (why didn't they just kill it off? I ditched the first 6 eps) -- 6 degrees. Everything else I just recorded -- and then it got cancelled. I'll get to Ugly Betty sooner or later...

But I'm really happy about the loss of characters I don't like. :-) That's a new trend.


Edward Copeland said...

I thought it was better than it has been and once again I think it had to do with giving Ken Jenkins more than his usual shtick to do. I did love the neanderthal J.D. voiceover.

Anonymous said...

by far the best episode this season so far.

The massages were hilarious... and the baby tracker for white babies.

From the commentary.

This was the first episode written by a Clarence Livingston.

He mentions the references to Grey's as a shout-out; and Ken Jenkin's calls them an homage.

Ken also says that if it weren't for television, he would be working in Vaudeville with Sam Lloyd, two naked girls, a magic act... and a midget.

From the commentary of "My Night to Remember" Perry's head was shaved for an upcoming episode.

But even if they swapped the airing of episodes 11 and 12, his head is still shaved out of sequence.

I'm hoping for a strong second half this season.

Unknown said...

I wonder if things will get a little awkward around the watercooler if Scrubs did get picked up by ABC for next season and ends up on the same network as Grey's Anatomy?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed last night's ep. Kelso was totally cracking me up (I do not want to know what his extra-special happy ending was), and I loved the sneak hug. JD had such a cute look on his face when he did it!

Zodin2008 said...

Well, I am all for "Scrubs" ripping on that soap opera, "Grey's Anatomy". I don't think they were paying homage and that's fine with me.

Also, this season has been wildly uneven and not as good as past seasons, but the one castmember who's had my wife and I laughing harder then ever and is at the top of his game, is Ken Jenkins as Bob Kelso.

Mac said...

I think part of the reason this episode worked -- and why this season as a whole hasn't worked -- is that JD was pretty much sidelined into v/o and as a "joke" character, not entirely unlike Todd or Ted. Watching Eliot go toe-to-toe with Cox really showed how far her character has come, while JD is just getting more childlike. Right now, the show's simply stronger when someone else is at the center of the action.

Zach Braff really deserves better by the writers.

Donlee Brussel said...

Ken Jenkins' best Kelso episode was last season's "My Jiggly Ball" which opens with him whistling every time he steps foot out of the hospital, and ends with him bumping a patient from a drug trial, to certain death, in order to be able to open the prenatal clinic for the greater good.

The second he steps on to the ground, it's clear to us, if not the rest of the residents, that Bob is actually putting up a facade and is clearly effected by it all.

Easily one the most humanizing episode he's had including the one where he narrated.

Anonymous said...

Commentary? Please, tell me where?

I watched (listened to?) some commentary before, but I could *not* get it in synch with the show (which makes itsomewhat harder tounderstand)

Had a friend over last night and hooked her with this week's ep (then the brother showed up and she had to watch it twice --but I Grey's stuff was awesome, and Neaderthal vo and I just *noticed* Elliot's new "spunk") and then My Musical and My Way Home (and somwehere in there, hte pilot of Grey's, after which she told me I was evil :-) )

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Scrubs is coming back I never really watched first seasons of it was scrolling the channels one night and found it and after I started watching it I really liked it. So now I'm Hooked