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April 24, 2014

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Scrubs: My ABC's

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 28th 2009 10:05AM
Scrubs: My ABC's(S08E05) After four episodes that have ranged from the pretty-decent to the almost-classic, we start this week's double-shot of Scrubs with the season's first real clunker. Which is odd, because you'd think the presence of everyone's Sesame Street favorites in J.D.'s fantasies would have made for a funnier show. But I'm starting to wonder if it's becoming less funny because it's nothing we haven't seen from this show many times before.

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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 season eight - An early look

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 11th 2008 1:54PM
Scrubs cast
A lot of people -- fans included -- wonder how Scrubs has managed to get to an eighth season. After all, things weren't breaking its way at the end of what was supposed to be its seventh and final season: the writers' strike truncated the season, its network (NBC) no longer wanted the show, and, though the writing quality had picked up by the time the seventh season was cut short, it had declined enough that even the show's most ardent fans were wondering if it was time to put the show out of its misery.

But thanks to the efforts of Bill Lawrence and ABC Studios, Scrubs does live on, this time on ABC. And, after viewing the first two episodes of the new season, I'm happy to say that going to an eighth season was worth it. Lawrence told me that he wanted to get back to the humor and storytelling basics of the early seasons, and the episodes I saw show evidence of that.

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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 Identity Crisis

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 16th 2007 1:40AM
Scrubs: My Identity Crisis
(S07E04)
This was kind of a quiet episode, wasn't it? It seemed to go at a relaxed pace that I haven't seen from the show in quite some time. As we've been finding out this season, Bill Lawrence and company have been trying to scale back the zany and make some episodes that were more reminiscent of the show's early years. But this one felt like an early one, like one of the first few half-dozen where even J.D.'s internal monologue was subdued.

But I liked it. It really got in and explored some of the characters' insecurities while giving us a few of the classic laughs that Scrubs is known for.

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Scrubs: My Inconvenient Truth

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 9th 2007 1:31AM
Scrubs: My Inconvenient Truth(S07E03) Based on the first two episodes, I was tentatively hopeful that the final season of Scrubs was going to be a good one. Now, after this third episode, my confidence in Bill Lawrence and company is almost fully restored after last season's awkwardness and inconsistency.

What worked this week? Well, having Tom Cavanagh come back to play J.D.'s older brother Dan always helps. But, like last week, we had a refreshing lack of insanity, punctuated by some funny situations that came out of the characters' personalities instead of zippy lines.

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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 Own Worst Enemy (season premiere)

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 25th 2007 11:04PM
Scrubs: My Own Worst Enemy
(S07E01)
One thing I can say about the season premiere of Scrubs' seventh and last season: It wasn't as lurchingly awkward as last year's season premiere. Or most of the first half of last season, for that matter. But that doesn't mean it was good.

There were a few laugh-out-loud moments, but most of the jokes fell pretty flat. And none of the flatness had anything to do with the conclusion of last year's cliffhanger, where J.D. and Elliot, trying to escape some big life changes, lie next to each other, and kinda sorta lean in for a kiss...

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Scrubs: My Rabbit / My Point of No Return (season finale)

by Joel Keller, posted May 18th 2007 12:17AM
Scrubs: My Point of No Return(S06E21 / S06E22) Now that we know that Scrubs is going to be back for a seventh season -- though from what we've all heard, the seventh season was all but assured, even if it was on ABC instead of NBC -- the way this season concluded made a whole hell of a lot more sense. Since I don't want to spoil anything for people who haven't seen the episode yet, I'll save my thoughts on that until after the jump.

You know what? I really shouldn't call this an "episode." Really, it was two episodes edited into one. You could just tell by the fact that the tried-and-true Scrubs structure was run through twice here. Oh, that and the two different names and episode numbers. Those were also a good indication. Anyway, my point is that if the pacing of the episode felt weird to you, that's the reason why.

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