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Review: Scrubs - Our Histories

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 16th 2009 11:01AM
Sam Lloyd, Kate Miccuci, and Ken Jenkins in Scrubs: Our Histories(S09E04) It was good to see an episode that had a bit more of a balance between the old and the new. Yes, we concentrated a lot on the J.D./Turk "Bro-a-Palooza" and Ted's departure from Sacred Heart. But we also got a fair amount of the students working together.

Do Lucy and Cole still need a little bit more of a personality infusion? Sure. But it's hard to keep up comedically with characters who have been developed over the last eight years. This episode gives me hope that eventually they're going to be able to stand on their own.

As others have mentioned, we need to see more of Turk away from J.D. We know he can stand on his own as a character, but if he's going to be one of the significant cast members after Zach Braff leaves in two episodes, we're going to need to see how he reacts to Cox, the students, Denise, etc. We've barely seen him interact with any of them without J.D. around.

Because of the Bro-a-Palooza, there wasn't one scene where Donald Faison was separate from Braff. And despite how funny the story was -- Turk the black cowboy and J.D. the Indian in chaps doing Brazillian fight dancing was priceless -- it did Donald Faison's character a disservice.

I will say one thing, though: Cox making the two of them realize that they're getting old was a nice breath of fresh air. "Stop wearing ironic t-shirts and just let it happen." Yes, Bill Lawrence seems to be mining similar territory in Cougar Town, but that's probably because he's feeling his forties hit him upside the head. I'm only 38, and I can relate to all of it. But it's a good reminder to Turk and especially J.D. that their characters need to move forward, not stay in the past.

Ted and Gooch are so friggin' adorable together, aren't they? It was nice to see Ted stand up to Kelso and demand more from him than a drunken, clammy good-bye, even if the clammy one was Ted. And it was good to see Kelso finally give him one. After all the abuse Kelso gave and Ted took, it was heartening to know that Bobbo appreciated the guy.

Sam Lloyd doesn't get enough credit for creating a well-defined character like Ted in his short bursts of screen time, and it was good to see him get a proper send-off. Which of the state songs did you like the best? My choice is Wyoming.

Ok, med students: Nicky Whelan looks like she's become the fourth new regular, as she's actually getting major plot time, and a name - Maya. It'll be fun to see the writers play off her Aussie accent and her way too hot to be a med student physique. Good to see that Cole got some more personality quirks (can't touch bread) and a teeny tiny bit of heart (he came back to talk to the dying patient played by Paul Dooley). Lucy has a weird habit of pulling on the front of her scrub top; is that Kerry Bishé's quirk or one she gave the high-strung Lucy? And we didn't see a lot of Drew, but we saw enough to know he used to eat from dumpsters and is still sleeping with Denise.

More fun stuff:

  • Denise is really becoming Coxian, isn't she? She stressed the students do their final interviews with dying patients, and was sincere on how important it was to both the patient and the doctor. Do I dare ask that we get a little of last year's fattie-chasing misanthrope back?
  • Was what happened in "My Last Words" really a formal final interview? Or was it just J.D. and Turk keeping a dying man company? So that knowledge bomb Turk dropped might not have been as powerful as he thought.
  • Cole knowing some of the guys from Nickelback isn't as impressive as he thinks it is.
  • Wouldn't the J.D.-as-Debbie Allen scene have been funnier if Lucy didn't point out that he was doing the speech from Fame?
  • Only John C. McGinley has really thrived in this format. There was more than one example of a revived Coxian disgust that had been mostly missing during the last couple of seasons. I could feel the spittle coming from his mouth as he was screaming at Lucy like a drill sergeant.
[Watch clips and episodes of Scrubs on SlashControl.]

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Eric H

I just wanna say, I really HATE Cole.

December 17 2009 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The last 2 commenters do realize that this really is more of a spin-off than a continuation of "Scrubs", right? Besides all the new castmembers and the brand new setting, there's also a whole new creative team behind the show (except for Lawrence still being semi-involved, of course). New writers, new executive producers, the whole deal. So what is in need of being put out of its misery or jumping the shark? It's essentially a new series, that happens to need to create some transition episodes given the way "Scrubs" ended last season.

Has anyone else noticed the stamp Jonathan Groff has had on the new show? The former "Late Night" writer, who co-created "Andy Barker, P.I." with Conan O'Brien, definitely has leant some of his sensibilities to the "new" show. He also worked on "Psych", along with the new co-showrunner, and I can definitely feel a bit of that style mixing in, as well. Considering how much I liked "Andy Barker", and how "Scrubs" and "Psych" are 2 of my favourite shows of the last decade, I'm liking the comedic voice of the show right now.

I'm just sad there are only 13 episodes in total.

December 17 2009 at 4:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The final countdown thing didn't seem to be a good omen. Especially when Ted said, "play me out".. played out? Huh?! Thought he was going to step over a toy shark on the way out.

December 16 2009 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

for the love of god, put this POS out of its mistery.

December 16 2009 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yme Sandelmann

You inspired me to do a Google image search on "Nicky Whelan". Now I'll have to get a swab for all that drool!

December 16 2009 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Right now its good. I'll even go as far as say it's very good. Thing is, its relying on the JD/Turk relationship right now. It's funny and working, but Zach Braff is only there so long.

I remember reading an interview by Bill Lawrence where he said given the choice, he'd rather do it without Braff so he wouldn't become a crutch, and I'm worried that is happening right now.

December 16 2009 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show has some traction. I do not like the throwaways on where the wives are (I thought JD's wife was gonna be a regular, though I knew Carla was not) and where JD's kid and first mate are and welll as Cox's wife and chldren. Maybe a little too complicated for so many departed cast members. I did like the Ted & Gooch sendoff. A lot. Kelso has gotta be going next. Then the decks will be cleared for this show to be on its own.

December 16 2009 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is it just me or has Scrubs gotten too sappy, and preaching over the last coupld of seasons. I don't need every episode to teach me a life lesson, I want more absurdist comedy like in the first couple of seasons. Maybe it's just me.

December 16 2009 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Beth's comment

Have you ever seen the show? It's always been a mix. It's very hit or miss, but there has been some hilarious comedy and moving drama throughout the run.

December 16 2009 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yme Sandelmann

Um, did you watch the first season? THAT was the "sappy" one (although I don't agree that "Med School" is sappy at all). The last two/three seasons were the absurd ones :)
I liked and always will like the fine line "Scrubs" is walking on between drama and comedy. Even more, I believe the "sappy" episodes were the best ones.

December 16 2009 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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