The 9th and final year of Scrubs is called Scrubs 2.0 among the show’s cast and crew. The 13 episodes of this season have the torch being passed to a younger group of medical students on the show. JD returns to try to teach, but the focus here is on the next generation. Unfortunately, the idea didn’t really catch on, and the show has finally ended. So, it’s time to say goodbye to your friends at Sacred Heart Hospital.
Scrubs is a show that resists being defined. Certainly there have been a ton of medical shows over the years. Recently shows like Grey’s Anatomy have found a way to balance a bit of drama with a light mood that often approaches comedy. MASH was the opposite. It was a comedy that often allowed quite serious moments to intrude upon the laughter. Any way you slice it, it turns out that pain and disease can be funny. Nowhere is that more true than on Scrubs. On Scrubs you are never left in an awkward position of knowing if it’s appropriate to laugh. Everything about the show is geared toward the absurd, and hopefully the funny.
The show exists almost exclusively in the mind of Dr. J.D. Dorian (Braff). He exists in a world where he can say and do exactly what he feels like, even though he might not actually say or do any of it. We see what he sees inside of his head. If he sees a good-looking woman, he has a vision of his friend giving a sportscaster breakdown of her attributes. In this place he has none of the inhibitions his real life demands. He can ridicule a patient or fantasize a torrid affair with a nurse. Dorian is surrounded by a solid cast of crazy characters. His best friend is Dr. Christopher Turk (Faison). Turk is recently married to Nurse Carla (Reyes), and they are having a baby. She’s pretty much the straight man here and sets up a lot of the material. Dorian has an awkward relationship with his ex Elliott Reid (Chalke), now with another guy. He’s a bit jealous of her time these days, and more than a few of his fantasy moments involve her. Dr. Bob Kelso (Jenkins) is one of the better characters and actors in the show. Often underused, his tight-ship exterior would make a better foil for the gang if used more generously. Finally, arrogant Dr. Cox (McGinley) does get to be the butt of a lot of the jokes, but he’s established himself as a strong lead at times instead of the typical fall guy. All in all, the cast is sharp and witty. Where I find fault with Scrubs is likely what the fans enjoy the most. It is way over the top. The moments are often ridiculous, and the writers are not afraid to make a huge stretch for a joke.
Each episode of Scrubs is presented in its original full-frame broadcast format. I’m not sure why, but I get the feeling that this is one of those rare comedies that would benefit greatly from a wide presentation. The show is solid. Colors are pretty much right on target. Flesh tones are a little soft, but that is more likely the lighting. Black levels are pretty good, as are sharpness and detail. These presentations are likely very comparable if not a little better than their broadcast versions.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track might be a little bit of a waste. The musical episode did, however, benefit from a nice broad mix that gave the show a much larger feeling than most sit-coms. Dialog is always quite clear. A solid, if not dynamic, audio presentation is above average for this type of show.
Scrubbing In: (6:04) This is a look at the new characters and the passing-the-torch idea that dominates the season.
Live From The Golf Cart: (2:08) The security guards run a talk show from their golf cart.
If you’ve read enough of my reviews, you know that I preach character chemistry like a revivalist minister with a tent full of followers. While Scrubs is a bit too much for my tastes, it is this cast of characters that made this an enjoyable experience just the same. Zach Braff has a Ray Romano / Kevin James thing going where you almost can’t imagine he’s a doctor. He comes off as the guy you’d take to a couple of Ray’s games or just hang out with. That was likely a brilliant piece of casting. His awkward, almost adolescent behavior might seem out of place in a hospital, but we except it because we accept Braff. There couldn’t be a Scrubs without him. And, that’s why this version was doomed from the start. “This is like The Muppet Babies meets Scrubs.”