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October 10, 2015

Scrubs: My Manhood

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 18th 2008 1:01AM
Scrubs(S07E08) When I was watching the cold open to this episode, one thought came to my mind, "Oy, I don't know how I'm going to put up with another season." Usually on Scrubs, the cold open is a good indication of how the episode is going to go, comedy-wise.This cold open was not only not particularly funny, but it seemed oddly paced, as well. The only funny part about it was the gag about Ted being The Janitorial's investigative reporter because no one ever knows he's there.

But then something happened: the episode got funny. Not peak-level Scrubs funny, not even peak-level season seven funny. But it at least gave me hope that Bill Lawrence and his gang have enough in the tank to give us another twenty or so episodes (between what's left this season and what they'll likely shoot for ABC next year) and not make me want to stick a fork in my eye or, worse yet, turn the show off altogether.

The Janitor hasn't had much to do lately, aside from wielding his knife-wrench last week (nice catch from the commenters on that one), so the newsletter plot was good to see. I've always enjoyed seeing him screw with Cox, because he truly is the only person, with the possible exception of Jordan, who isn't afraid of ol' Per. Admittedly, I do miss seeing him torture J.D., but I guess that joke had played itself out. Anyway, the current brain trust of Murphy, Ted, and The Todd has been a funny one, especially when The Todd gives an "entire Coffee Bucks high-five."

Is it me or have J.D. and Turk been oddly antagonistic towards each other lately? First it was last week's "suck it, bitch!" gag and now we have them beating on each other and Turk chasing his Vanilla Bear down the halls of Sacred Heart. It just seems weird. Yes, I get it that the "remote wrestling" and other aggressive acts by Turk were a compensation for his testicle being removed (by the way, I was wondering if I had missed the episode where he went to visit his brother, then everything was explained). And I get that J.D. wanted to show his son Sam that he wasn't a wuss. But seeing the two of them beat on each other was a little unsettling. Though hearing how J.D.'s inner monologue sounds while he's being sat on might have made the plot worthwhile.

By the way, even though they were beating on each other, the "Guy Love" duo did take the time to admit what we all knew... Turk: "I think we're a little bit married." J.D.: "I know, and it's great."

It's interesting how the continuation of the Kelso forced-retirement plot had more to do with Elliot than it did with Bobbo himself. And, did they ever show what happened with the male patient who was mortified that he had breast cancer? Usually, Scrubs follows through on those stories, but they dropped the ball here. Anyway, even though almost none of Elliot's stories end with the phrase "and then he hung himself," it was funny that Kelso thought that was the case. Of course, both of her stories ended that way this week, but at least one of them lived. We also found out that Dr. Reid once dreamt of having sex with a half-dolphin version of Kelso, even though we don't know which half was dolphin-ized. Hmm. I don't think I want to know.

Other fun stuff:

  • I do really feel bad for Kelso at this point. No one's scared of him, he's got an eating problem, and he's puttering around the hospital waiting for someone to kick him out. It was getting sad. Luckily, Elliot and Carla -- and, I'd guess Cox, eventually -- will help him keep his job.
  • The overly aggressive patient J.D. faced at the beginning of the episode was played by Mindy Sterling (Frau from Austin Powers). I once guested on a segment of Attack of the Show with her, debating the merits and demerits of Saturday Night Live. I'd like to say I kicked her ass, but she got her points in pretty well. She's definitely a funny actress; I wish we saw her more often.
  • Mindy's husband was played by Michael McDonald of Mad TV, who played extraordinarily frank patient Mike Davis in three episodes (and voiced Dr. Toilet last year). However, I think his role here is different. And way too brief.
  • I love the shocked look on J.D.'s face when he found out that C-Bear had a ball removed. That part of the story -- remember, Turk tells J.D. everything -- wasn't really examined, was it?
  • When J.D. went to give Cox a hug, Cox asked "You saw the interview, too?" J.D.'s classic response: "What interview?" J.D. always thinks Coxie needs a hug; he didn't need some fake article in The Janitorial to tell him that.
  • How can you "sit 'n' surf" (or was it "squat 'n' surf?") without burning your lap? Those laptops are kinda warm.
  • Don't ever, ever call the Janitor stupid. Even if he didn't go to Harvard (or Yale), he's smarter than most of the doctors there. Heck, J.D. still thinks one testicle creates boys while the other creates girls.
  • Another extended fantasy sequence this week, but this one was at least reasonably funny: The "Turk tree" that grew from the extracted ball would have been a lame gag if not for Donald Faison's squeaky mumbling as the plant.
  • Murphy wanted to get Hello Kitty toe tags to put on the dead kids. That's just wrong.
  • The Todd's upskirt camera was an obvious sight gag (he could just use his cell phone), but it still generated a nice chuckle from me.
Like I said, this episode gives me some hope. A maturing J.D. isn't exactly the funniest version of J.D. but he was getting too silly, anyway. And I love seeing Elliot mature; she doesn't even get phased when people call her names or question her skills as a doctor. As long as she keeps telling those stories (and looking hot), I'll be happy.

Is Kelso going to be forced to retire?
Yes. The old fart has it coming for being so mean.90 (38.3%)
No. He's still a good doctor.145 (61.7%)

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The thing about JD and Turk not getting along swimmingly is true, I don't like it one little bit. This happened a while ago, I don't even remember what season but I was also particuarly disheartened by it. When Dr Cox said to JD that he could be the godfarther of his kid but then said he was just joking and that JD wasn't even invited to the chirstening and then Turk just laughed. That was so not funny.

June 07 2008 at 6:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Usually, Scrubs follows through on those stories, but they dropped the ball here."

In light of Turk's situation, is this pun intended? HA!

April 18 2008 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Joel, as for your question about squat 'n' surfing and lap burnage- that's easy. You just don't drop your pants all the way. Keep just over the knees and you've got yourself a burn barrier. I speak from hours of experience with squat 'n' surfing.

April 18 2008 at 8:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what are you doing reviewing a show you obvioulsy disdain? you suck.

April 18 2008 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"How can you "sit 'n' surf" (or was it "squat 'n' surf?") without burning your lap? Those laptops are kinda warm."

If you use something other than those testicle-shrivelling macbooks you wouldn't burn anything.

April 18 2008 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also wondered why Michael McDonald's role was so brief. maybe they just gave his recurring character the "angry husband" role because he was already there directing the episode.

April 18 2008 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved this episode, and it clearly marked an important development in JD/Turk's relationship. I think they have been drifting apart since season 1, and recently with the birth of JD's baby, moreso. I loved the throwing in of "Josh" as a possible name for Janitor, but I think it might have been a false hope for us. Kelso becoming vulnerable is a bit off character, but not as much as one would think because as men age, they tend to soften, my 60 year-old father being a great example of a captain of industry becoming a softie when he's starting to feel old. 5 years ago my father wouldn't have been caught dead playing with a cat or crying about a baby, now he rolls around the carpet with his cat and cries every time his new granddaughter does anything new. Kelso seeing himself as an old man approaching retirement has him in a vulnerable state like he's never felt. Scrubs is amazing how it can tie stupid slapstick humor to incredibly heartful scenes from second to second.

April 18 2008 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What was with JD calling Cox a borderline alcoholic? That sure doesn't seem like something he would say to his great godly mentor figure.

I suppose it was a parallel with the whole "being trapped and lashing out" storyline... but that was one hell of a lashout for a relatively average Coxian insult.

April 18 2008 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Michael McDonald also directed this episode...

April 18 2008 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. It was actually funny and had those classic Scrubs moments - JD wanting to give Cox a hug, and not having to read the article - Elliot's stories, which are always great - the janitor getting revenge - and the fantasy sequences were actually funny this week! and not too long! Turk's mumbling was hysterical!
There is some animosity going on between our favorite couple (J.D. and C bear, of course) - even in JD's fantasies - which is a little unsettling... maybe they'll come back to why Turk didn't tell him right away about his precedure... but maybe it was the whole masculinity thing... speaking of - the guy with breast cancer - same thing... it was just showing how all these different men deal with their masculinity. i don't really care if they bring him back for closure or not b.c. it wasn't about him.
and i think the janitor's name is Joshua ... "all of these names are a somewhat true." interesting... solid episode in my opinion.

April 18 2008 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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