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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
(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.
(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...
Stop! Don't touch the remote! Keep that finger away from the Power button! In other words, don't turn off your TV during TV Turnoff Week. If you do, you'll be missing one of the funniest comedies on television today.
I am talking about
NBC's Scrubs. There hasn't been a comedy since Friends, not even
Everybody Loves Raymond, that makes me laugh out loud like Scrubs does. I mean, how can you
not chuckle while Chris Turk (Donald Faison) dances and lip-synchs to Bel Biv Devoe's Poison. Or snicker
when Dr. Cox (John McGinley) goes on one of his 30-second rant on, for instance, why the purple Wiggle is
always sleeping (for the uninitiated, the purple Wiggle is Jeff Fatt of the very popular children's television show
The Wiggles). Or guffaw when J.D. (Zach Braff) has one of his surreal daydreams in the middle
of a conversation.
"This year we decided to stop obsessing about how we can bring new people to the show...we decided that this year, we'd just do what we wanted and hoped we would at least be proud of it, even if it never saw the light of day."
Hello! Your friendly neighborhood Rich Keller here substituting for the wonderful and talented Chris Thilk to review this past Tuesday's episode of one of the best comedy's out there, Scrubs.
Let's face it, the three-camera, studio audience comedy is not doing very well. The wave of the foreseeable future is comedy shows like Scrubs, My Name is Earl, The Office, and Arrested Development. These comedies can do so much without the boundaries of a sound stage that a standard sitcom could not do without injecting canned laughter between the jokes. This is why you, the adoring public, seem to laugh out loud more at Scrubs then you would at, um, Joey.
Not only are the boundaries different, but they also do comedy in a different way. The writers and producers of shows like Scrubs aren't afraid to inject a bit of sweetness, a bit of seriousness into their comedies. True, both Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond were good at injecting those little serious parts in-between the laughs. However, it's hard to do this on a sitcom that is throwing one joke after another like, um, Joey (Gosh, I'm disappointed in that show).
Anyway, let me get off this soapbox and get the review out of the way.
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