Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Scrubs, "Our Histories": His last words

A quick review of tonight's "Scrubs" coming up just as soon as I hear Ted and Gooch's song for West Virginia...

Though the show is still struggling to serve too many masters - telling the story of the med students, saying goodbye to characters like Ted and Gooch, keeping JD a prominent part of the picture - when a clean break might have been wiser, "Our Histories" was a definite improvement on last week's episode. (Also Cole with Dr. Cox is a pairing that we must see as much as we can.) I imagine we can't really judge the show till after Zach Braff's gone and the focus narrows, but this one gave me the same feeling as the season-opening double-feature: I didn't love it all but was glad to still be spending time at Sacred Heart.

We got more concentrated time with the med students (even if Aussie Supermodel Doc still doesn't have a defining character trait other than being hot and Australian) and Cole managed to not be a complete tool without taking away from what can make the character funny. By confronting JD's age head-on and making his denial of it the point of the JD/Turk story this week, their antics went over much better than they did in the first three episodes(*). And while Ted's goodbye wasn't really necessary - landing Gooch was essentially Sam Lloyd's farewell last season - I'll never object to some Ted/Kelso time.

(*) Also confronted head-on: the obvious similarities between the Paul Dooley story and last season's incredible "My Last Words." The problem with a show that's on this long is that all the stories get repeated, even if they're being repeated on new characters - even "My Last Words" was designed as a sequel to "My Old Lady" from the first season. This wasn't as effective as either of those, but it ultimately wasn't going for tears as much as it was trying to put these four characters together to see what happened.

What did everybody else think?


jcpdiesel21 said...

This was my favorite of the episodes that have aired so far this season. I laughed a LOT at Cole, who is quickly becoming my favorite character. And JD didn't make me want to punch him in the face, although I still don't see the necessity of having him on this new incarnation.

Ben G said...

Am I the only person who has felt that the comedy this past season has been a bit tone-deaf? I'm speaking as a longtime Scrubs fan, and it seems like a dumbed down/MadTV version of Scrubs. It's really disappointing to me.

With that said, I think storywise it has been fine, and i'm warming up to the new characters. So, oddly enough, i've come to enjoy it a bit more as a drama rather than the genre its intended to be.

fgmerchant said...

I would definitely like to see Australian Hottie become a better defined character. I feel like if they don't giver her some history quick, she will just disappear! Right now she is still just a guest star and I would like to see her promoted to cast member after JD is gone.

Unknown said...

I still wish it had ended last season..It's not the same with Janitor, Carla, etc...I keep watching it hoping something will catch me...It hasn't...Pretty sure this week is my last episode..

Matt said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but I still hate Cole. Not hate as in how I hate Ryan from The Office, but in a way that I hate Thirteen of House. He had some better moments this week, but he's still a useless character who will always be a less interesting, less funny "The Todd".

And it's worth noting that as long as Cole's still on Scrubs, Ryan is NOT the douchebaggiest character on TV.

But as for the episode overall, they seem to do a poor job of phasing out Braff, instead splitting time between him and the med students. Ted's farewell was touching and it's nice to see Ted stand up for himself to Kelso, demanding a better good bye and then Kelso obliging. Calling him "Bob" at the end was a simple but cathartic end. Nicely done.

Eric said...

Matt - as long as Jersey Shore exists on any form of video media anywhere on the planet Ryan is NOT the douchebaggiest character on TV.

Tyroc said...

I'll admit I missed or wasn't paying enough attention in the season opener, but they're in a different hospital right? The New Sacred Heart (which is on the campus of a med school?) Why was Ted working there at all? Because if everyone made the move, shouldn't Carla be around? Or is she but we just don't see her on camera? Someone please explain...

Also, didn't JD want to be closer to his kid who lived far away? Or is that move still pending?

I agree with Alan that they really should not have brought back JD. Nor the voice-over. And in my opinion Dr. Cox feels completely played out, too. I thought he had matured past just yelling at med students. At least there's no chance of Jordan coming back.

But I do like Turk.

This show feels like a really bad version of season one. I'm giving it one more episode (and I watched all of the original series.)


Hoosier_Paul said...

On a personal note, this episode made me realize I'm much closer to 40 than 20. Oof.

Andrew said...

I was disappointed with the idea that Denise's big plan to bring them together was to give four people assignments to interview four other people. Did she know the the one dude wasn;t a talker? Cause there is no reason ANY group of four people, teammates or strangers, wouldn't have split up and each been responsible for one.

The cutaway gags to Lucy's imagination feel weak to me. The stuff with JD tended to be more elaborate or at least didn't feel like anything more than the hospital sets cheaply re-dressed with some green rocks and dry ice.

I know that we will never know what this show REALLY looks like until Braff makes his FINAL final exit, but they have done a poor job of defining Lucy, too. We know she is neurotic and poorly socialized, but no idea why. And it is far more incongruous considering she is quite hot, while Braff has always been... let's use the phrase "interesting looking." He can be painfully quirky and it makes sense. But the hot blonde with perfect skin? Not so much.

Can any show, comedy or otherwise, use "The Final Countdown" and not give me pangs of remorse about Arrested Development? No. No it can not.

Pamela Jaye said...

Off the top of my head, I just noticed JD or Turk referring to My Last Words as being "last year" when in the first ep they said an interim year had gone by. Okay, maybe I got that wrong. I thought the last season we saw was *two* years ago, now.

Just watched Zach being asked by Kimmel if any other show had been canceled, done a finale and then came back. They couldn't think of one. I wanted to scream 7th Heaven! (not that I watched past season 2). it was annoying, but a good interview.

I still haven't seen last week's ep of HIMYM (if there was one. I can't remember if I'm one ep down or two) and I hear Better off Ted is dead (what's with the "again"?)

My DVR needs cleaning out so bad I was watching episodes of Jeopardy.

What is the Aussie girl's name, anyway?

However bad Scrubs ever is, I like it better than CougarTown.

Also, I liked it when Dr Cox climbed out of the elevator rather than listen to Ted but I also liked it when Ted got a good send off

Pamela Jaye said...

JD has moved away, worked at new hospital, and I forget if he is still working there "37 minutes away" while also working at the med school. maybe, maybe not. dumb idea though - unless he only works certain days. parts of days would be dumb.

All I could get out of Bill on Twitter one night was that Elliot moved her countertop from her old apartment to JDs new house (even though in the interim she had her own house - where was it then?) "because she is neurotic. don't you do things like that sometimes?"

odd thing is, the countertop from my last apartment is in my garage.
In my defense, it was made for me by a friend of mine, to top three free-standing cabinets, of different heights, into one counter.

still sounded to me as if someone forgot she had her own house...

Anonymous said...

This episode finally killed the show for me. I took it off my TiVo Season Pass list.

The new season has been horrid, and I couldn't even make it all the way through this episode before deleting it.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Away, Zombie Scrubs! To me, you are no more. The real Scrubs ended after 8 seasons.

WV: vette - Has a friend named "cor" that fits well with it.

Anonymous said...

The previous commenter's "Zombie Scrubs" line was funnier than anything this season.

Unknown said...

Didn't Futurama get cancelled, do a finale, then come back?

Anonymous said...

My two main problems with this episoded echo what others have said. First, the med student storyline didn't really work because first it was about them working as a team, then it was about them realizing that the patient comes first and they have to put their personal lives on hold. And, as others have said, Denise asking four people to conduct four interviews isn't some mysterious, convoluted way to have people "figure out" a way to work together. I don't see the teamwork aspect to that plot.

Second, Nicky Whelan (hot Australian model) needs more lines. They've clearly decided to focus on these four med students, Lucy, Cole, Drew, H.A.M., but they've only given three of them a chance to develop. It's very obvious and noticeable. Maybe Nicky is a horrible actress, but either do something with her or get rid of her.

(Oh, and I guess my third problem is the continuing problem that Braff just needs to leave).

WilforkForFood said...

This episode was ok- I'm still not sure how I feel about Lucy. I think its been mentioned before but I just can't tell if she's her own character or a combination of JD and Elliot. Couple laugh outloud moments, expecially "Don't bruise the Pepper-J."

Two things still out there- 1. Maybe I missed it, but what did JD & Turk do to make Cox try to teach them that lesson about Aging? I didn't get what was driving him, other than the usual mess with JD motivation.

2. Security guards... ughh. Wendell Middlebrooks could be a great character for the show in the same vein as the Janitory, but right now the pair of them just aren't working at all.

Jim said...

two lines made me laugh out loud

"This isn't my drink, but it's good"


"Zombie Scrubs"

I still like this show more than most people, but I'm pretty much a total sucker for Kelso. Cox confronting JD and Turk about their slide into middle age was pretty good, would've been more effective if JD hadn't regressed so hard in the first epis of this season; and the JD and Turk are almost gay but not quite, which has been played out for years, IMHO, worked when filmed with Cox looking horrified in the background.

LA said...

I really liked this episode. I could watch Turk dancing, Cox ranting, and Ted & Gooch singing all day long.

I'm warming up to the newbies, too.

Loved that the security guards moonlight as security guards at the bar. Also dug it when the one with sunglasses talked into his shoulder just like he does at the hospital/med school.

Anonymous said...

Hot Australian Supermodel doctor actually has a name according to the credits: Maya. Have they ever actually said it on screen, though?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sold on Cole. I feel like the writers are still writing for Aziz Ansari, but the guy playing Cole isn't as good as Aziz. So, to me, the character comes across a weak version of Aziz's character. I dare you to watch Parks & Rec and tell me think Cole is better at playing that role.

Anonymous said...

Rory L. Aronsky said...
Away, Zombie Scrubs! To me, you are no more. The real Scrubs ended after 8 seasons

right you are sir!

Anonymous said...

So this episode had Europe's "The Final Countdown" played on a ukelele. A few hours later, the British comedy music quiz show 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' had "The Final Countdown" played by a brass band. Just thought I'd share that.

Unknown said...

I felt like when #1 said "atta girl" that was SO cox. I don't know if it was supposed to show that Cox has affected him that much or they can only write in the Cox voice.

Anonymous said...

Agree re: the Lucy comment. A female JD she's not. They could have be less plain looking. The Aussie model makes no sense.

Even the Cole character seems like a poor man's Aziz Ansari's one from before.

More on Lucy -- we want neuroticism like JD's great -- "What theme is it....etc. etc....Star Wars from the roaring 20s". That's classic JD.

The Lucy character I can't ever imagine pulling a line like that off. Her comic timing is off. Her dramatic instincts seem forced. She's hot though.

I'm a medicine resident (typing this one while on call!) and Scrubs is a beloved, accurate show for many of us. This episode is the first of the new version I saw and it's terrible except for the inspired moments that kept the old show so great. They simply could have had SO MANY chances to create truer characters than any of the students here.....I can't recognize these people at all. The stress in med school centers around career decisions (what type of doctor do you want to be, taking tests, and dealing with life and death decisions for the first time. Much of my work is routine, yes, but as a med student it's all new and difficult to tire of. Perhaps they could have used a different resident class?

At any rate, perhaps they need to get into the personal lives of the students more -- what makes them want to be doctors? -- family pressures? money? being able to help people? feminist drive? How do they choose their specialty?

It's not that Lucy is bad as a central character, but as long as they try to make her JDish it's not going to work.

Uggg.....can't stand House or Grey's....this one is not worth it.