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July 24, 2014

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Scrubs: My Happy Place

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 14th 2009 5:01AM
Zach Braff(S08E04) This was the better of the two episodes tonight, for a couple of reasons. One, we figured out why Kelso continues to hang out at Sacred Heart, and it's not for the free muffins at Coffee Bucks. But mostly, it's because we had a J.D. / Elliot relationship episode that was actually treated with subtlety and maturity.

This is a relationship that's been as maddening as any that's been on TV, mainly because of all the artificial blockades Bill Lawrence and his writers kept throwing in their way. Lawrence himself told me and others that he never wanted the relationship to become a focal point of the show. But by constantly trying to get away from it they did the exact opposite, giving the 'shippers as much to talk about as those that just liked the comedy and the stories about the hospital.

What I'm saying is: if J.D. and Elliot had the conversation they had tonight sometime during season three, all of that crap would have been avoided.

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Scrubs: My Saving Grace

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 14th 2009 4:02AM
Scrubs: My Saving Grace(S08E03) Since there are two episodes again tonight, I'll keep things brief.

I gotta say, I'm not sure why they brought Courteney Cox in for this arc. In her three episodes we didn't see much of her, and what we did see was at best a one-dimensional caricature. Other multi-episode guests have shown more depth; heck, Michael J. Fox did twice as much with one less episode when he was on the show in season three. She wasn't even the centerpiece of her final episode. Everyone else was, from Kelso and Dr. Cox, to Janitor and Ted. As last week, the second episode was better than this one. But this one wasn't bad.

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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.

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Scrubs panel: funny lines, backhanded remarks, and a "name" for the Janitor - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 16th 2008 10:21PM
Scrubs session
By far, the funniest panel of ABC's first day at the press tour -- one that had Jimmy Kimmel question the network president and had Ashton Kutcher and his fellow producers bring up critics to play a miniature version of Opportunity Knocks -- was the one for Scrubs, which will air its eighth season on the network.

A panel with Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, and John C. McGinley couldn't help but be funny, right? But if you've ever read interviews from the show, you'd know that creator Bill Lawrence is usually the one who steals the show. This time around, though, he had an assist from Neil Flynn, who had a few good zingers thrown in for good measure. One of them came when someone asked him if he knows the name of his character, which for seven years has always been known as "The Janitor."

More after the jump, including an episode spoiler...

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Scrubs: My Princess (season finale)

by Joel Keller, posted May 8th 2008 11:42PM
Scrubs: My Princess(S07E11) Well, that was a little confusing, wasn't it? Kelso is still in charge of the hospital, Keith is still around, and J.D. and Elliot are talking about their almost-kiss from the 6th season finale, something we thought they had gotten past awhile ago.

It was pretty obvious that, once NBC told Bill Lawrence that he couldn't make any more new episodes after the strike was over, there was a mutual decision to make "My Princess" the season (and, as it turns out, the NBC) finale. Problem was, since it was episode 709 (look it up at the NBCU Media Village site), some continuity problems would rear their heads.

Oh, well. Continuity was just a small problem with this episode. I will say this: any episode Zach Braff directs is going to be ambitious, and this was about as ambitious as Scrubs has gotten. But for some reason, I was expecting more from this Princess Bride homage than I got. It was funny in spots, but it could have been a whole lot funnier.

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Scrubs: My Waste of Time - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted May 2nd 2008 11:23AM
Scrubs: My Waste of Time(S07E10) So next week, according to NBC, is the "Scrubs finale," which means that only 11 episodes will have aired for what was going to be the show's last season. Epguides.com lists a 12th episode, but I'm guessing it either never got made or it'll be saved for the eighth season on ABC.

Anyway, tonight was definitely an episode full of transitions. Kelso's on the golf course. Cox is the interim chief of medicine ("Chief Dr. Cox," as he orders everyone to call him). Carla wants another baby, especially now that Turk's a Uniball. Ted's got some confidence for once, and is challenging the authority of the Janitor. And J.D. and Elliot are starting to look more and more like a couple, especially when they're cooing over little Sam Dorian.

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Scrubs: My Dumb Luck - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 25th 2008 12:55AM
Ken Jenkins as Kelso(S07E09) Last week, one of our commenters, perhaps inspired by Shakespeare, left the following comment on my generally positive review of "My Manhood" (spelling and capitalization have not been touched):

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

While I generally don't respond to witty comments like these, it gives me a good opportunity to remind folks that, yes, I do like Scrubs. In fact, it's one of my all-time favorite shows; I laugh my butt off at the reruns, even if I've seen them a hundred times. When I don't like an episode, it's usually because I'm disappointed. I know the show can do so much better, and with limited episodes left, it disheartens me when I come across a dud. It disheartens me even more when there's a string of a few duds in a row.

This episode, though, was not a dud. In fact, it was pretty funny, and it felt like one of the show's original writers penned it. I'll talk more about that later, but I first want to ask one important question...

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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.

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Scrubs: My Bad Too - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 11th 2008 12:00AM
Scrubs(S07E07) God, what a snoozer this episode was. And you can't really blame it on the writers being rusty after the strike; this is the first of the last five episodes made before the strike, which NBC held until it could pair it with new episodes of the rest of the Thursday lineup. In fact, as we found out, this is the first of the five final NBC episodes, as the show wasn't picked up by the Peacock. We'll likely see an eighth season on ABC, but nothing has been set yet.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the boringness of this episode. There were two decent laughs in this one: "brinner" and... you know what? I can't think of the other. There was some story advancement in this episode, but overall it was so unmemorable that I'm just going to pretend that next week's episode is the first Scrubs since the strike. Yeah, that'll work.

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Scrubs: My Number One Doctor

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 7th 2007 1:41AM
Scrubs: My Number One Doctor(S07E06) I've been getting mixed signals, from commenters as well as fellow critics, about this season of Scrubs. A lot of TV Squad readers have been finding more fault with the episodes this year than I have, and the Star-Ledger's Alan Sepinwall called this season "flat and repetitive" on his blog. But I've been enjoying it so far; I think that the flatness some see is a low-key-ness that we haven't seen since season two or so. And the repetition? Final-season homages to the past. Anyway, I've been liking this season because anything that even slightly improves on last season's general clunkiness makes me happy.

All that being said, this episode didn't do it for me. It just wasn't funny. Even the most reliably funny characters, ones that save otherwise clumsy episodes, just didn't have it in them this week. And even the touching J.D. - Elliot moment rang a bit hollow.

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Scrubs: My Growing Pains

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 30th 2007 1:42AM
Scrubs: My Growing Pains
(S07E05)
I really have to give Bill Lawrence and his staff credit; they're really doing a nice job of making the final season of Scrubs a strong one. This is yet another example of how the writers have made the show funnier by making things less wacky. In fact, the lack of wackiness parallels how both Turk and J.D. are becoming more like real adults than either of them want to be.

Were there some tired jokes in this episode? Sure. But the laugh quotient was pretty high this week, and that's all anyone can ask, right?

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Scrubs: My Hard Labor

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 2nd 2007 1:16AM
Scrubs: My Hard Labor(S07E02) Despite what I knew about this episode going in -- that it would be the one where J.D. and Kim finally have their baby -- I didn't expect it to be so warm-hearted and almost gimmick-free.

We've been hearing rumblings from Bill Lawrence, Zach Braff and company that the final season of Scrubs was going to be more reminiscent of the show's earlier seasons, where there were flights of fancy but J.D. was a more realistic character and the fantasies weren't quite as outlandish. While last week's season premiere didn't quite reach those standards, this episode did. In fact, this felt more like one of those first half-dozen first-season episodes that were slower-paced and relatively restrained, and it was quite refreshing to see.

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Scrubs: My Cold Shower

by Joel Keller, posted May 4th 2007 12:21AM
Scrubs: My Cold Shower(S06E19) Notgettingany Syndrome is an affliction that affects millions of American men, and it seems to run rampant at Sacred Heart, doesn't it? Carla's still not feelin' it months after having a baby, so Turk goes without. The Todd always talks a good game, but no one's getting into his banana hammock. Kelso can't find any interesting Asian massage therapists to befriend; he's so desperate, he's thinking of actually having sex with his wife. And, J.D.... Well, we all know what's going on with J.D.

What does all this mean? Lots of cold showers. A lot of thinking about your aunt's arm fat. And it also means we've found one of the funniest episodes of the season.

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Scrubs: My Words of Wisdom

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 12th 2007 11:05PM
Scrubs: My Words of Wisdom
(S06E16) This episode started promisingly enough, which was ironic, since it opened at Laverne's funeral. But seeing how everyone dealt with losing a co-worker was, as usual, the most interesting aspect of this entire episode. This isn't the first time the Scrubs crew has had to deal with loss; the death of Jordan's brother Ben seemed to tear a lot of people up. But this is the first time a death affected everyone, and we see that Dr. PeePants Murphy smiles over the fact that he did Laverne's autopsy, Keith wants to deepen his relationship with Elliot, and Carla wonders why no one is as broken up as she is.

But, of course, no one beats J.D.

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Scrubs: My Fishbowl

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 8th 2007 11:10PM
Scrubs: My Fishbowl(S06E12) OK, let's take care of three things off the bat:

1. Note to network programmers: It's pretty obvious you're airing a show's episodes out of order when one of the stars is shaved bald one week and has his previous mop of hair the next.
2. Looks like the two-tone scrubs have graduated from "extra" to "star" status. Still not sure how I feel about them; they kind of look like softball shirts.
3. Yes, the "Fishbowl" of the title applies to the room most of the cast was in during the bulk of the episode, as well as the fishbowl Janitor was holding in an effort to out-think J.D. It probably also refers to the hospital, and the fishbowls we all think we're in, etc. etc.

Like most of the episodes this year, this one had a lot of funny moments. But it also had a lot more forced humor than I can remember Scrubs having in the past.

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