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September 30, 2014

Scrubs: My Jerks (season premiere)

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 6th 2009 9:32PM
Scrubs: My Jerks(S08E01) It's interesting how much attention Scrubs gets from us TV-loving types, considering how little attention it gets from everyone else. Why is it?

Well, partially it's because of Bill Lawrence and the cast, who have been entertaining to cover and very press-friendly. But mostly, it's because of the comedic potential the program showed over it's first couple of years, which included the ability to go from comedy to high drama in an instant and make it look easy.

The eighth(and final?) season premiere was more comedic than dramatic (the second episode of the night, "My Last Words," demonstrates this balance quite well), but it showed that Lawrence was serious when he told critics that he was going to dial down the silly and get back to what made people like the show to begin with.

I discussed the episode a bit when I previewed season eight a couple of months ago, so, I'll just give some quick hits on this one. And, to be honest, the better episode of the night is "My Last Words," which I'll discuss more in depth in a separate post.

Fun stuff from this episode:
  • Courteney Cox as the new Chief of Medicine, Dr. Taylor Maddox. She has a little bit of Monica Gellar in her (her fear of spiders seems very Monica-esque), but Cox plays the "friendly but really a jerk" thing pretty well. Maybe it's best that J.D. keeps asking her about her vagina, just to keep her on her toes.
  • Leave it to Dr. Cox to suss out the "jerk" in her. "The position attracts jerks," he tells Carla, and he was reluctant to be "that guy" and fight yet another chief, but he did what he felt was right. Nice performance by John McGinley in the scene where he tells J.D. that he's tired of being "that guy." You can just feel his exhaustion through the screen.
  • Some meta jokes, but not too many: J.D. points in the direction of the ABC logo and goes "that's new," which was kinda on the nose, but at least it led Janitor to make fun of J.D.'s "new pre-pubescent Miami Vice beard."
  • The best meta joke was during the credits tag, where J.D. says, "I know it's tempting to just mail it in, but there's still a lot of people who rely on us week to week. I think we owe it to them to be as inspired as we were during our first few years."
  • You can see that Elliot's come the longest way in the eight years of the show. Even at her most self-involved moments, she seems so much more mature than even the Elliot of a few years ago. Her sincere apology to Keith for breaking things off felt sincere. Too bad she had to be a jerk to Keith for a year-plus first.
  • The interns ... well, what can you say about them? Eliza Coupe as the unfeeling Denise and Aziz Ansari as the text-messaging Ed are the standouts in this one, but we'll be seeing more of them (think webisodes) as the year goes on. And I want to see more of Jimmy the Overly Touchy Orderly.
  • Poor Ted. He just gets more pathetic every year. The smiley face button and handgun in his briefcase are just Ted's life in microcosm, aren't they?
  • Kelso's going to observe this whole circus from Coffee Bucks, huh? It'll be fun to get his view of things now that he's no longer the boss.
  • Janitor fired? Nah ... that's not right.

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