Thursday, March 26, 2009

Scrubs, "Their Story II": The next generation?

Quick thoughts on last night's "Scrubs" coming up just as soon as I try a Popsicle...

I think we're all in agreement that, even if the ratings weren't as small as they were, "Scrubs" in its current form has outlived its usefulness. They're repeating the same jokes about the characters (though they usually at least acknowledge it, as they did with JD and Turk's reprised pimp strut), and aside from the wonderful Glynn Turman episode with Turk and JD, most of the season's memorable moments have come from either the new interns or from expanded roles for the likes of Ted and Janitor.

So my question -- particularly after watching an episode that so blatantly tries to set up Denise, Sunny and new guy Derek as the spiritual descendants of Elliot, JD and Turk -- is whether I would be interested in the ever-so-slim possibility of the show rebooting itself next year around the young'uns. And based on "Their Story II," probably not.

Now, it's not entirely fair to judge anything based on one of the periodic episodes where JD turns the narration over to other characters. I've rarely liked those shows, and feel like they miss the point of JD's narration working only because he's such a weirdo. (The Moral of the Story stuff is usually unnecessary.) But while Eliza Coupe continues to create this really unique and interesting character in Denise, I don't see enough in the other interns to want to follow them, with or without some ancillary characters like Janitor or Kelso hanging around.

(And speaking of Janitor, I thought giving him three different running gags in the same episode -- the motorized cart-as-puppy, the hypnotism, and his refusal to punish Sunny -- was at least one too many.)

One final question: if Turk's "Poison" dance is an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10 for comedy dancing awesomeness, where do you rank the updated version of Elliot's "Told You So" dance? And do you think the dance has improved any since its first appearance in season one?

What did everybody else think?


LeeZy said...

Elliot's "I told you so dance" back then was maybe a 3.

Now... it's maybe a 4 or a 5 if I'm feeling generous.

The dream sequence of her doing the dance with the splits... that would be maybe a 6... but as I said... it was a dream sequence.

Turk's Poison dance screwed up the curve for the whole class... :)

Anonymous said...

I think Eliza Coupe is the only thing keeping it feeling fresh at all. She's wonderful (and in the pilot for No Heroics for ABC, so don't think they're planning on bringing the show back. And Donald Faison is in one for them too.)

I think in a series like this, that was basically JD's coming of age story, it's hard when the main character has come of age. If JD is no longer in the least fearful of Dr. Cox, nor really growing anymore... well, feels like the show is over (and has been for several seasons.) It's still funny, so I keep watching, and I do think this season is better than last, but time to let this one go off into the sunset.

Anonymous said...

Eliza Coupe has become the best part of the show.

Anonymous said...

I thought the first eliott i told you so dance last night was funny, but they didn't need to have her do it twice. speaking of eliott, i know they're trying to not make this season be all about jd and eliott, but i think they're seperating the two of them too much. we barely even see eliott interact with jd, turk and carla anymore. i wish they could find a happy medium where jd/eliott didn't take over the show, but the characters still interacted in each show.

Anonymous said...

I realize how important it is to keep writers/directors/crew members employed, but there's just something sad about a show the refuses to die.

In total agreement about Turman's episode as the only real highlight from this run. The show really should have ended with season...let's say six. Five was such a creative peak that it'd have felt frustrating to lose it then, but Six would have let it slowly fade out.

Braff's out. Lawrence is out. McGinley has a new pilot. Eliza Coupe has a pilot. Aziz Ansari, the best of the new crop beside Coupe, is in PARKS AND RECREATION. There is nothing left that could support a new show. I'm going to start quoting the "Dead Parrot" sketch if I don't stop.

I'm glad the show didn't end on the low point of last season, but this has just felt like marking time. Nice idea to try and extend the run, but someimes, shows should just end.

Omagus said...

I, for one, liked the focus on the interns. I especially liked Denise and the new guy, Derek.

That said, I don't know how much I'd be interested in seeing the show continue with them in the leads, even if people like Cox, Kelso and the Janitor stayed on. I just don't know if the show would be able to cover enough new ground that way.

Anonymous said...

They're repeating the same jokes about the characters (though they usually at least acknowledge it, as they did with JD and Turk's reprised pimp strut)

Someone needs to tell the writers that this trick only works the first one or two times you use it. Bringing back the same jokes and then acknowledging you're doing it IN EVERY SINGLE EPISODE stops being a smart and funny device and just becomes as lame as repeating jokes.

Anonymous said...

When they started the pimp strut, I was pissed. When they acknowledged it was an old joke, I could accept it, but they shouuld do better.

I agree and disagree. I agree they are fading fast. Braff is mailing it in. I expect better from a Bill Lawrence project.

But I like what I see from the interns. Given the dreck that is today's comedy landscape, I could see them salvaging a show next year. It wouldn't be great, but it would have potential.

I don't expect it to happen, but since the interns were the only ones who made me laugh last night, I'd at least give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

It's still funny, and better than it's been in a while, but it's time to put it down. They've more than run their course, so it's nice that they'll have a chance to go out on their own terms, but it's time to go.

And Alan, do you still cover Scrubs as an excuse to youtube Turk dancing?

Anyone else watching Better off Ted?

Anonymous said...

Agree with most of your analysis, including the love for Denise, but disagree that the only episode that has been good this season is the Glynn Turman one. I recently rewatched "My Lawyer's in Love" and I loved it even more the second time out. Of course, you'll say (rightly) that it worked because of the expanded role for Ted, but no matter - I'm happy to see the show focusing on something other than JD's coming of age story. Ted's a great character, I love his band, and I think the arc of what Ted is like post-Kelso is fun and interesting. Gooch!!

Anonymous said...

I've mostly really enjoyed Scrubs this season. The last two episodes were fairly weak, and the Janitor basically carried the show last night. The other problem was that Kelso wasn't on. He's been killing it this season, and his absence was sorely missed.

I think the retread of the old jokes is sort of an attempted wink to long-time fans. Granted, the idea was better than the execution, but I think that's what they're trying to do with the deja vu moments.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I watched Scrubs and thought it could go on without Zack Braff. That new intern was cool, liked his chemisty with Brown Bear. Eliot and her intern had good chemisty, too.

I would def. tune in for another season if Zack was only in a handful of episodes and IF they wrapped everything up this year with his character and Eliot and Turk (Brown Bear).

Anonymous said...

Funny episode. Much better than the last 2 weeks. The rant by Cox at the beginning had me ROFL.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree with most of you posters more. I have loved this season and feel the creative spark that was sorely lacking in seasons 6 and 7 is back. Scrubs has always been a character-driven show, and introducing the interns (the "new generation") has been nothing short of a home run in terms of making the show fresh again.

Oaktown Girl said...

Yeah, with the exception of the Turman episode (and I can't wait to see more of him in In Treatment), Scrubs is getting pretty repetitive. Even tho I like these new interns, it's probably best if this is the last season.

I love watching Elliot do her "I told you so" dance precisely because she's not a good dancer. That's what makes it so funny. She knows all the right moves, except she's just a stiff rich White girl when it comes to executing them. That's the beauty of it.

My favorite Turk singing/dancing moment by far was the episode featuring Cheryl Hines as Cox's sister. Just after she announces she's become a born again Christian, Turk swoops into the lobby announcing to one and all that he's about to go have sex (with his wife, of course, but HInes doesn't know that). It's the very opening scene of that episode. A thousand thanks for anyone who can find it online and post the link.

Pamela Jaye said...

I'll watch anything with a Hospital in it. Except that one with Treat Williams as the heart transplant guy and his ex- the Lady From UNOS - or whatever. I saw one ep and it bored me to tears. (and Doc, and University Medical)
hey, I watched STAT. I missed E/R till it was on Lifetime and never figured out its timeslot...

So probably I would watch it. I didn't have anything to say about HIMYM this week (I miss Big Bang!) but I still watch it.
Perhaps it would have been better to have gradually introduced continuing new interns over the years (and what happened to Doug?) in order for us to invest in them...
that said, after this season, Grey's Anatomy only has 2 left, and even with intro'ing new characters... it's also almost always narrated by its lead *who it's named after* and as much as I like Lexie, I don't feel I know her or can relate to her in the same way as I can relate to Meredith.
At least Scrubs is only a half hour.
And Dr Cox's No was still pretty cool.
I have not yet watched Better off Ted, the pilot of which started off funny and then just sort of... gt weird and dull and faded off into..

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I am the devil's advocate, but I am really feeling that this show is circling the drain. Not that I want it to be that way--I have loved it going back to season 1. Nothing about this season seems to be working.

The new interns are crass, irritating, and unlikeable characters. To say nothing of their being one-dimensional. God help this show if they are the future.

In addition, the production value is downgraded. EVERYTHING screams shoestring budget. All of the sets are dark & dimly lit, you never get a wide angle shot, there are clearly few people--not just the principles players,the background people--patients, other doctors, nurses, etc.

I'll keep watching for a few more episodes in the hope that something turns around, but my optimism is low.

Kensington said...

Wow, I did not expect to see such negative responses. I loved it and thought it was one of the better episodes this year, maybe because Eliza Coupe's Denise continues to be such a delight of a character. But I like the other interns, too, especially Sunny.

The thing is, I'm trying not to think about a future continuation as "Scrubs without the original cast" and simply assess the merits of what it would be: basically a new show or a spinoff, and since that would be true of any show that replaces Scrubs, I don't think it's really fair to judge it by what it no longer is.

Basically, I'll take a new form of Scrubs starring Eliza Coupe over a brand new According to Jim clone.

Of course, all bets are off if the other commenter is right that Eliza has a new show lined up.

Anonymous said...

Oaktown Girl, the scene is here:

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see the other night that "According to Jim" is still on the air. For all I know "Yes Dear" is still out there somewhere. And I saw much of an episode of "Kath and Kim" a few weeks ago.

My point being that mediocre Scrubs is still better than most other sitcoms, especially since we know they're wrapping it up. I agree that Jo (did anyone call her Jo last night? Am I the only one who still thinks that's funny?), Kelso and Janitor are carrying it this season. But, like I said, still better than Two and a Half Men.

Oaktown Girl said...

David - thanks for finding and posting that link. You are AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Turk dance is that funny, mostly because it's too good.

For me, the funniest dancing scenes of all time are in My Blue Heaven. Just check out the FBI agent in this clip:

Anonymous said...

Oh man, how can no one mention Turk ripping out all those organs in Derek's dream sequence?! That was awesome!

I dig the new characters but there's no way they can carry a show. It's a fine, even season this year, glad they're calling it quits though. Can't wait for the finale.

Anonymous said...

Jordan: My husband and I have watched both eps of Better Off Ted and we really dig it. It's dry and weird and just up our alley. This means it will most definitely get canceled.

Anonymous said...

I actually thought for a split second that Elliot was out of breath when she was doing her I told you so dance...then I realized it just felt half hearted. Much better the first time around.

(My word verification is femulog...there's an SNL advertisement in that word...)

Edward Copeland said...

I thought I read somewhere that ABC said officially that these episodes were the end of the road for Scrubs.

Scott said...

I like the new intern dude with the glasses.

When are they going to explain the nurse JD saw last season who looked like Nurse Roberts?

I agree that Kelso has been the best this season. I'd like less janitor and more Carla, Jordan and Ted.

I'm sad they never did a Thompson Twins "Doctor Doctor" skit with JD, Turk (in dreads) and Elliot (in a big hat). :-)