Scrubs may be the most bewildering show on TV. It has never been a ratings juggernaut, yet time and time again the series is renewed. Star Zach Braff has stated numerous times that he won’t return to the show, yet there it is on my TV each season. Although the series faced an uncertain feature in it’s supposed final seventh season, due in large part to the writers’ strike, the series is set to return to ABC next year with another “final” season—we’ll see if this one sticks. Of course I don’t want it to because it’s such a humorous show.
Dr. John “J.D.” Dorian (Zach Braff) has gone from intern to resident to attending physician at Sacred Heart Hospital. He and his friends and colleagues, Elliot (Sarah Chalke), Turk (Donald Faison) and Carla (Judy Reyes), may be growing older but they aren’t necessarily growing up. Career changes, family matters and even love invades the quirky world of this tight knit bunch of friends, but nothing—not sarcastic Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley), imperious Dr. Kelso or the enigmatic Janitor (Neil Flynn)—will stop them from administering a healthy dose of humor in each episode of Season Seven.
I jumped in on the Scrubs bandwagon around its fifth season and haven’t looked back since. Well actually that’s a lie; I did look back as I quickly rounded up the previous four seasons and set up on a binge-watch and was through with the four season within one weeks time. Scrubs seemed to pioneer the non-laugh track comedy, as it was one of the earliest on network television to not sport an audience of any kind. Instead the humor, often biting, sarcastic, and in-your-face, kept the viewers laughing their heads off in ways that only Scrubs can.
Of course the show isn’t all laughs, it tried its hands at some drama, especially with the introduction of pregnancies in the shows seventh season, but even the serious bits were backed up with a generous helping of laughing. Even with the laughter, however, the seventh season (and the sixth as well, if we’re going to be honest) did decline in quality. The plots became noticeably more hammy and I actually found myself not even laughing at one of the seventh season episodes (the “My Inconvenient Truth” episode) and that in of itself is an oddity. How was I not laughing at the Sacred Heart staff? It was bewildering to me. On top of that episode, the final episode of the season had me questioning why I was even watching the show. Yes, a The Princess Bride parody is funny and all, but for the supposed and possible series finale, that’s what it was going to go out on? Not to mention it brought back Dr. Kelso for seemingly no reason…it was just an incredibly awkward, boring, and quite frankly unfunny way to wrap up the season, writers’ strike or no.
Even though it has a couple stinkers, the majority of the eleven episode season remains entertaining. Whether it’s some strange sub-plot featuring the Janitor or a serious discussion about the word “brinner,” the seventh season of Scrubs did manage to make you laugh more often than not, so it’s hard to discount solely based on a few bad apples. Still, the overall feeling of the season was highly uneven and there was a little too much drama infused into the series, whether it be between J.D. and Elliot or J.D. and Kim (Elizabeth Banks), there was always that downer element in the back of your head. Thankfully Turk was there to keep the mood light, and truly the best sequences in the season either included Kelso, Turk or Perry.
Overall it was a hit-and-miss season, but it’s still worth checking out. It’s certainly not a shining example of the wit and humor that the series excelled at during its initial five seasons, but even Scrubs on a bad day is worth watching. Except that “Truth” episode…blech. Recommended.
Due to its limited run, the season set for this season has been downgraded to a two-disc set. Not altogether unexpected, but it makes you wonder how it has an MSRP of $29.99. The set itself is packed in a standard two-disc amaray case with a cardboard slipcover and the usual Disney inserts. Menus for the set are simple and easy to navigate (and yield an easter egg titled “Just A Other Typical Day In the Scrubs Elevator”) and if you own any of the previous seasons, you know what to expect here.
Video and audio for this set are a tad bit disappointing. Well, make that just the video is disappointing—how do you manage to film a show in this day and age and not have it been in widescreen? You can’t say its budget constraints, widescreen cameras are everywhere now. On top of that the video quality isn’t even of a good quality; it’s rather dull looking and is almost something you’d expect from a show produced in the 90s. Thankfully the audio, a DD5.1 mix isn’t quite as disappointing and directs the dialogue and sound effects accordingly around the room.
Moving onto the extras we first find audio commentaries available on every one of the eleven episodes. Well that’s a bit of a nice surprise at least! Each one of the tracks is an informative and humorous listen as it’s a mixture of cast and crew (mostly the latter) who chime in on the various episodes. Next we have a My Making of II: “My Princess” (17:38), a decent piece on the construction of this episode…although I didn’t particularly care for this episode at all, so I wasn’t too eager to see how it was made. Next we have One-On-One With Ken Jenkins (7:26), a continuation of the cast interviews for each season, while a round of Deleted Scenes (13:54), Alternate Lines (15:41) and Bloopers (2:52) round out the set. These are all worth checking out, the alternate lines and bloopers especially.
While this isn’t the strongest season of the show and may possible be its worst, it’s still worth checking out. You can liken Scrubs to 24–even at its most ridiculous or off-kilter, it’s still worth watch as its better than most of the other junk on TV.
Scrubs – The Complete Seventh Season is now available on DVD.