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Review: Scrubs - Our Role Models

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 9th 2009 11:20AM
John C. McGinley in Scrubs: Our Role Models(S09E03) Since I saw the first two episodes via screener, this is the first time I got to see the "[Med School]" subtitle in the opening credits. Wow, talk about barely there... if you blinked, you missed it. I guess it's better than not having it there at all, but wow; it's as if ABC is really trying hard to tie this show to the original Scrubs.

I felt a little odd watching this episode. By all objective measures, it was a good episode; funny, good story, lots of glimpses into the characters' personalities. But, as in the first two episodes, most of the good stuff involved the old cast, mainly Zach Braff. And, since this is supposed to work more as a transition to a new show than more of the old show, this trend is getting me worried.

First of all, how much more are we going to see J.D. beg Cox for attention instead of acting like his peer? During the scenes where he acts like the latter -- watching the game with him and Turk, telling Cox to give Drew a chance -- it was good to see J.D. and Cox act more like veteran doctors/mentors rather than son/abusive father (at least according to J.D.). But when J.D. goes ballistic when he sees Turk drinking with Cox, or when he tried to upstage Drew in Cox's class, it makes me wonder if the new writers stopped watching the old show somewhere around season six. It's just too wildly inconsistent to make any sense.

Drew definitely has potential as a character, and not just because he set shrimp boats afire or got shot by a twelve-year-old at a petting zoo. It's because he's more experienced than any of the other students, and Cox has taken an interest in him (loved the pink #1 shirt. Perfectly Coxian). As John Damn Dorian told Cox, "You've finally taken an interest in someone. Don't ruin it by being you." And it looks like Cox is getting the message. The whole dynamic of that relationship is likely what's going to drive the show once Braff is gone.

I'm still not sure about Lucy. She still seems like a mix of J.D. and Elliot than her own character. Maybe Denise will mentor a personality into her. At least she treats Cole the way he should be treated, even if he keeps getting in bed with her. Denise, on the other hand, is becoming the other new centerpiece of the show. Eliza Coupe is doing a pretty good job of showing how much she's struggling with her bedside manner, but she's making advances. You knew she'd eventually give her number to that kid to help him through his mom's fatal illness. And it was good to see her admit to Lucy how she deals with the emotions -- "out the door, out of my head." It'll be fun to see her become a good doctor while keeping her mannish edge.

I just wish we got more laughs out of the new folks. Once Braff's not there to do "Candy hands!" with Turk or luxuriate in "sports grass" while wearing girly OwlCat makeup, the laughs are going to have to come from elsewhere. And, if that ends up falling to the show veterans (McGinley, Faison, and Coupe), then it's not going to work.

More fun stuff:

  • Even Lucy's fantasies aren't that good. The 2nd grade gym class dodgeball fantasy was more scary and funny.
  • Of course Lucy likes horses. They're just hornless unicorns, right?
  • So far, my favorite name for one of Cox's students is "Ugly Don Cheadle."
  • The writers are getting Denise down pretty quickly. Lucy: "Mahoney? Maroney? Isn't that funny?" Denise: "Not as I understand funny."
  • A Carla mention! I guess we had to hear Turk utter her name at some point, just to assure us that they're still married. Wish they could have come to an agreement with Judy Reyes for at least a couple of episodes.
  • "Mo Candy Perry."
  • Are you digging the security guards, who are essentially Janitor substitutes? Neither am I.
  • How many times have J.D. and Turk played Magnum P.I. Crustache before? Would have loved to have seen Turk as Black Higgins.

[Watch clips and episodes of Scrubs on SlashControl.]

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"And, if that ends up falling to the show veterans (McGinley, Faison, and Coupe), then it's not going to work."

While I personally find the new 3 castmembers slowly coming into their own, why is it such a bad thing if the funniest parts come from McGinley, Faison, and Coupe? Who cares if they're the vets -- it's not like they're going anywhere. They're just as much a part of the new show as the 3 newbies are.

The 2 funniest people in the "old" Scrubs to me were Cox and the Janitor, not the original interns. Yet it still worked.

December 10 2009 at 5:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John From Raleigh

I am digging the new show and I agree with most of the reviewers comments, especially the regression of J.D. The only time I really laughed was when he was so upset to see Coxy pat Drew on the back at the end. The scene in the "Owl Cat" costume played the most real as I know the character of J.D.

I do disagree concerning the fantasies. I enjoyed the dodge ball scene and the other ones so far.

Not digging the security guards either. Written too poorly and broad for the sharp writing I expect from Scrubs.

The C-Train is starting to grow on me... I agree with Jimmy that he is like "He's like Aziz Ansari, minus the charm." But I saw more charm in last night show and I hope he will improve. I was really bummed when Aziz left Scrubs last year.

I like the maturity Dr. Turk continues to show, he is still JD's best friend but he has grown up.

I am really enjoying Lucy as the "voice of the Show" She is much more perky, upbeat, and strong then Elliot was in the first 3 seasons. She has the confidence Elliot lacked, I see her as more scared then overwhelmed / scattered brain like Elliot. It took a little effort but she stood up to Coxy on the last show and was very proud of her love of Horses.

Finally, I have to give a shout out to "lingerie model avoiding my stare" That is one hot chick, in the immortal words of Todd, "boing".

December 09 2009 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show keeps getting better each week, which is all we can ask. I like the new JD (Lucy) and the continuation of the recurring ones. Will Cox ever mention his children or wifey . . .

December 09 2009 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought Scrubs had run its course, but I must admit: I've enjoyed the first few episodes this year. The two female leads are very good, and Drew is likable.

That said, I detest Cole. I know we're supposed to, but probably not to the degree that I do. He's like Aziz Ansari, minus the charm.

December 09 2009 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was torn between liking the comedy with JD and disliking the huge step backwards they took with his character to make it work. Instead of regressing into making JD the same needy guy he was up until midway season 7 they should have focused on him trying to become a better teacher.

Of course I'm sure JD will be back to the dependable guy we came to know from the last season before Braff's stint on the show is over, but I don't see why they had to kind of back track with his character in the first place.

I also think Cole's one liners are hilarious. And Lucy actually reminds me of Sonny/Sunny, the super happy and always chipper and smiling intern from last year. Lucy's an interesting character, but I'm not feeling her as main character material right now. Seems like she's an after thought more than anything else. Maybe the next three episodes will help the transition, but for now I'm getting the feeling that when Braff leaves it's going to feel like a huge black hole sucked all the fun out of the show.

Also, I never imagined medical school looking like that. The shots in the hallways reminded me of high school with the extras they got.

December 09 2009 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt Ryd

I actually thought that the J.D. comedy bits were the lowest point of last night's episode. They were funny in theory, and I probably would have laughed if they had been part of a season 3-5 episode, but they were completely out of character for the growth that we saw in seasons 6 and 7.

As sad as it is, I'm looking forward to the episodes after Braff leaves. I feel like his presence is restricting the other characters from really having the chance to shine, and, at best, he's just a distraction.

December 09 2009 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was glad they went with "Candy Perry" and not "Candy Cox".

December 09 2009 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dave's comment

I'm pretty sure Candy Cox is a porn star.

December 11 2009 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
a jug of Clorox

Frankly, I love Lucy's scary Cox fantasies, esp last week's prisonbreak bloodhound and searchlights one. McGinley can really pull off the psycho thing. And if anyone remembers The Rock, McGinley was way underused as an evil marine.

These are fresh med students with next to no exposure to medicine and if JD was scared as an intern w/ 4 yrs of med school already in him, imagine what Lucy ("Jelliot"?) must be feeling. Med students spend their first TWO years in mostly lectures, so I really hope they run with the ball on this abject terror aspect of the student/Cox dynamic.

December 09 2009 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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