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October 25, 2014

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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 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 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 star fractures pelvis

by Anna Johns, posted Sep 25th 2006 7:18PM
judy reyesOh, man. Poor Judy Reyes, who plays 'Carla' on Scrubs, has fractured her pelvis. That's supposedly a very painful break. A rep for Reyes tells People that she had an "accidentall fall" at her home on Wednesday. Apparently she didn't realize she was in that bad of shape until she went to the Scrubs set on Thursday, where she was in a lot of pain. Reyes ended up having surgery to set her pelvis later that day and she is supposed to be released from the hospital today. Reyes will be on crutches for at least six weeks. Luckily, Scrubs isn't on the fall schedule so the shooting schedule can be moved around to accomodate Reyes' recovery.

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Why Watch TV: Scrubs

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 25th 2006 6:42PM

Zach Brajj and Donald Faison on ScrubsStop! 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 Everyone 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.

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Scrubs lets it all hang out

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 9th 2006 2:27PM
ScrubsInteresting piece over at The New York Times about how the creators and producers were so exhausted by NBC's handling of the show (various time slots, on the shelf, off the shelf, etc) that this year they just decided to let it all hang out and kick the wackniess into high gear. Creator and executive producer Bill Lawrence:

"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."

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Scrubs: My Bright Idea

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 29th 2006 8:55PM

The cast of NBC's ScrubsHello! 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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