“Scrubs” started off as one young doctor leaving college, entering the real world, and trying to find love. It was as hoary a sitcom cliche as they come. And it worked. Zach Braff is a mostly (barring “Garden State”) charming actor, and the show’s sense of whimsy and imagination sold it.
“Scrubs” was fun and easy to watch, it was a cotton candy for the soul in a world where every hospital procedural was a blood-soaked, melodramatic affair.
But then, “Scrubs” became as rigidly formulaic as every hospital show on TV. There would be a serious main plot, a goofy, usually janitor-based subplot, someone that either died or threw something, a way to bring all of the plots together and a weepy piano ballad with The Fray’s “How to Save a Life” being the favorite.
Even before the show moved to ABC, “Scrubs” had run out of steam. Every seemingly reasonable plot had been exhausted. What’s really going to happen after JD tells Elizabeth Banks he doesn’t really love her? Am I really supposed to care that Turk is nervous again about being a dad? Oh no, Dr. Cox is having another crisis of confidence/ infidelity/drinking.
Sure the story was never the most important point, but as the show regurgitated its plots and choked on its own quirkiness, “Scrubs” jumped every shark there was and landed on its glutes.
The end of “Scrubs” will probably make most people say, “Oh” and then continue on with their comedy-deprived lives. For the dedicated few who stuck through the show’s ninth season, it’s the end of an era of a seriously underrated comedy.
Even at its end, “Scrubs” was still the same oddball sitcom it always was, never straying from the strange jokes that made it likable in the first place, albeit with a different cast.
After many time-slot changes on NBC, the Peacock finally gave up on the show, which then found new life on ABC. When the show continued with a (mostly) revamped cast, many longtime supporters abandoned “Scrubs.”
If “Scrubs” stands any chance of being revived yet again (though its death looks imminent), fans of J.D. and crew need to give the feisty newcomers a chance.
The witty wretchedness of Dr. Cox, immature humor of Turk and dirty inappropriateness of Dr. Kelso are all still there, and the new med students, like horse-obsessed Lucy and douchebag Cole, played by James Franco’s brother, Dave Franco, deserve to have their stories told. Just think – “Scrubs” could become the “Law and Order” of comedies – with a new cast rotating in, like how a real hospital is.
Luckily, “Scrubs” might be syndicated more than “Friends” and “Seinfeld” combined, so it won’t be too hard to catch Giant Doctor, Dr. Acula or another crazy Hooch moment. It will, however, not be the same.