|Scrubs: The Complete Third Season|
|DVD TV Shows|
|Written by Mel Odom|
|Tuesday, 09 May 2006|
“Scrubs” won’t change a viewer’s life, but the DVD collection of the third year—especially for a fan—will guarantee that the viewer won’t think about anything else for at least twenty-two minutes at a shot. After five seasons on television, “Scrubs” displays an amazing longevity in a medium that is quick to toss off weak or ambivalent programming.
Fans of the show have watched things change over the seasons, yet remain remarkably the same. Comedy works best with familiar elements, which is why most of the greats have routines. “Scrubs” has routines as well. J. D.’s (Zackh Braff) relationship with Dr. Perry Cox (John C. McGinley) remains a treacherous path on a slippery slope. Turk (Donald Faison) and Carla (Judy Reyes) finally set the wedding date and move into married life. Elliot (Sarah Chalke) makes changes in her life, including a new boyfriend who talks to fish. Dr. Cox and his wife, Jordan (Christa Miller Lawrence) make adjustments to life with each other and baby. And the janitor (Neil Flynn) remains on the scene to make J. D.’s life hell.
Set in Sacred Heart Hospital, “Scrubs” episodes deliver an explosive combination of humor in a familiar vein and thought-provoking voice-overs about the human condition—not necessarily medical. The mix of characters, interacting with each other, with the second tier of characters, returning characters and the weekly walk-ons offers the same entertainment with a twist. Watching the episodes on DVD back-to-back is like sitting across the table from a favorite friend who’s been gone too long and listening to that friend spin story after story. This pure viewing pleasure, and a guilty one at that.
“My American Girl” opens up with J. D. struggling with a patient whose ailment he just can’t quite figure out. When he asks Dr. Cox, his mentor blows him off, concentrating on his own problems: life with baby and trying to get Dr. Kelso off his back after punching him out last season. Elliot, fed up with her old life and the fact that she’s struggled ever since her arrival at the hospital, buys a new car (which is great slapstick!) and runs into an old boyfriend. Carla and Turk are busy talking about marriage. Seeing Elliot come in dressed to the nines and tell the lab doctor off makes this episode worth watching all on its own.
J. D.’s apprehension over Turk’s coming nuptials gets the treatment in “My Journey”. He asks Turk out for a “man-date” and Turk gets testy with him. In the meantime, Carla’s well-ordered life takes a walk on the wild side when she finds an unlabeled jar of urine sitting around. She struggles to find out whose urine it is, despite the admonishment by the doctors to just forget about it. Elliot moves her relationship with Sean to a new level.
“My White Whale” opens with some of the insane humor that marks this television show. J. D. is out front, busting a move, when Turk comes by and reminds him that white boys can’t dance unless they’re gay. J. D. spends the episode dealing with his own interns and their lack of respect for him, and even has to resort to taking advice from Elliot’s boyfriend, Sean, which just absolutely crushes J. D. Dr. Cox and Jordan struggle over finding a good pediatrician for their son, which involves puppet kidnapping and mutilation.
Turk and Carla’s relationship takes part of center stage in “My Lucky Night” as Carla picks up an extra shift and ends up in the OR with him. She steps in hard and changes not only his operations technique, but his time with his buddies as well. J. D.’s amorous relationship with Elliot slips out of the bag and Sean uses it as a reason to argue with Elliot. He has to go on a six-month work trip and didn’t want to tell her, and doesn’t expect the relationship to survive. J. D. sees that as a chance to get back with Elliot. Dr. Cox wants the opening in residency, but refuses to ask Jordan to help him, which involves him stooping to all kinds of new lows. J. D.’s hair-met is another of those slapstick moments that makes this show so great.
In “My Brother, Where Art Thou”, J. D.’s older brother, Dan (Thomas Cavanaugh) returns after his mom kicks him out because her new husband doesn’t want him hanging around the house. J. D. and Dan don’t get along at all, but Dan steps up to the mark to deal with Dr. Cox when he feels J. D. is getting broken down by the constant pressure. Elliot has to deal with her long-distance relationship and even experiments with phone sex, although she gets caught out in the park by a bunch of cub scouts. Since she wants to see Sean and has to save up money to do that, Elliot gets Carla to help her find a moonlighting job that puts them directly in the path of Dr. Kelso’s ire.
“My Advice To You” showcases Turk and Carla’s relationship when her brother comes to stay with them. Supposedly, the brother can’t speak English, but Turk knows his future brother-in-law doesn’t like him, and even knows English. J. D.’s romantic life gets a shot in the arm when he runs into Danni, a beautiful blond, who happens to turn out to be Jordan’s sister. Dr. Cox’s relationship with J. D. also has a poignant moment when he tells J. D. to stay with a patient but J. D. refuses. Dr. Cox stays with the patient, who survives when no one thought she would, and tells J. D. that sometimes a doctor just needs to sit with a patient and see a win come through.
Since they’re involved with sisters, J.D. and Dr. Cox have to spend a lot of time together outside the hospital in “My Fifteen Seconds”. This proves to be uncomfortable—and highly comedic—for both of them. The chicken dance at the beginning and getting caught by Dr. Cox alone makes this episode outstanding. However, the main theme is the fact that people don’t really listen to each other, or do so in limited doses, and that plays out well comically as well as seriously. Things get even worse when Danni finds out that J. D. and Jordan slept together.
“My Friend The Doctor” puts Turk in the limelight as he solos in surgery. Dr. Cox starts dealing with his own mortality as he thinks about raising a young son, and Carla own ticking biological clock can be heard throughout the episode. The funniest bits are, as they often are, the constant war between J. D. and the janitor. Only this time J. D. finds out that everyone in the hospital thinks the janitor is someone else. J. D. makes it his mission to find out who the janitor really is and keeps flashing on the movie, “The Fugitive”. Elliot gets upstaged by J. D. and has to deal with her own issues of inadequacy.
When Elliot accidentally triggers an orgasm in a patient during a pelvic exam in “My Dirty Secret”, the repercussions spread throughout the episode. Zach’s fantasy is Elliot can no longer say clinical terms for sexual anatomy, and the episode becomes a running joke. J. D. gives Dr. Cox some advice on how to handle his home life and gets Dr. Cox kicked out of the house, which means Dr. Cox is taking over his bed until J. D. comes up with a new plan. Carla also decides that she and Turk aren’t going to have sex until the marriage, which drives Turk nuts while he has to listen to Carla coaching Elliot on saying sexual anatomy.
In “My Rule Of Thumb,” Dr. Cox’s patient is finally getting a liver transplant after being on the list for three years. However, this puts him in direct conflict with Turk while Carla is trying to smooth out the relationship between the two doctors before the wedding. Carla and Elliot also try to deal with a terminally ill virgin by hiring a male prostitute for her, which ends up with them arrested. Danni decides to move in with J. D., freaking him out.
Unable to get over Elliot, J. D. decides to break up with Danni in “My Clean Break” after they end up looking at apartments instead of going to the movies, only when she knows what’s coming, she drops him first. Elliot’s new look gets a lot of attention this episode, both good and bad. Dr. Cox has problems teaching class when everyone decides they no longer need to fear him.
J. D. thinks he’s found a new mentor in “My Catalyst” when Dr. Kevin Casey (Michael J. Fox) arrives at the hospital. The guy is fabulously knowledgeable and an incredible surgeon, as well as seeming to know everything about everything. However, Dr. Casey also suffers from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and has several irritating lifestyle problems. Dr. Kelso struggles with crow crap on his car and ends up hiring the janitor to get rid of the garbage, which throws Ted the accountant into a tizzy.
The janitor installs a toilet on the hospital roof in “My Porcelain God” that everyone comes to believe grants epiphanies. In no time, the word is out around the hospital. Carla and Turk ask J. D. to be the best man at the wedding, but the ensuing confusion about the wedding, what Turk wants versus what Carla wants and if J. D. was the first choice, complicates everything. Elliot loses faith in her skills after a botched procedure, and Dr. Casey comes to the rescue. Dr. Kelso’s decision to shut down one of the hospital wings causes an overload of patients.
Jordan’s brother and sister come to visit and throws Dr. Cox’s schedule off in “My Screw Up”. Elliot has to deal with a bunion on her foot that she wants removed. Carla tries to talk Turk into having the mole on his face removed, and Turk wants her to take his name after the wedding. Ben (Brendan Fraser), Dr. Cox’s brother-in-law, shows up and still has cancer. Later, Dr. Cox becomes convinced that if he stays on duty no one at the hospital will die.
After her brother’s funeral, two of Jordan’s friends stop by to cheer her up and make Dr. Cox’s life horrible in “My Tormented Mentor”. After Dr. Kelso’s rude remark about the sexual harassment going on at the hospital, Carla has to teach sexual harassment classes—with Dr. Kelso as the number one student. J. D. tells Jordan’s friends to leave, but that backfires and gets Dr. Cox in hot water with his wife. Turk comes into conflict with a new female surgeon, Dr. Miller.
“My Butterfly” presents several alternate realities involving the interns and doctors of Sacred Heart Hospital. An errant butterfly flits through the lives of the hospital staff and seems to cause all kinds of massive responses, things that never should have happened. Elliot promises that a bone marrow patient will have her little pink doggie in time for surgery, which causes all kinds of stress. Turk’s nightmare in the OR is hilarious and totally unexpected, two of the staples of this show. Dr. Cox’s late arrival triggers a couple of J. D.’s great fantasies.
As the wedding date approaches, Carla and Turk both have problems in “My Moment of Un-Truth”. Carla’s old boyfriend asks her out and J. D. has to keep quiet about that, and Carla gets upset about Turk checking out other women. Dr. Cox has to save Elliot from her mistake. The janitor starts up a whole new shtick to bug J. D. with.
“His Story II” starts out with a priceless exchange between Dr. Cox and J. D. involving a bell. Dr. Cox dismisses J. D. and his fantasy involving the head nurse and a jelly bean are totally insane. Turk’s voice-over is totally hilarious. Elliot can’t perform as a clown for the kids and is disappointed. J. D. gets banged up while trying to jump a creek in the park. Turk screws up in the OR and nicks a nerve of a concert pianist. J. D. and the janitor end up being the clowns for the kids, and Elliot ends up in bed with J. D. only to have Sean walk in.
J. D. is still reeling after going to bed with Elliot and walking her walk away with Sean in “My Choosiest Choice Of All”. On his way to meet with Elliot, J. D. runs into Danni. Dr. Cox starts crushing on Dr. Miller. The janitor works on the alarm system and decides to be a security guard after Irv tries to smother a patient. J. D. and Danni end up in bed together and decide that being together even when they don’t like each other is better than being alone.
Dr. Kelso decides to offer free body scans to patients in “My Fault”, which brings all kinds of problems for the hospital. Dr. Cox and the janitor end up drinking at the same bar when he sees that Dr. Kelso is running commercials and billboards offering the body scans. Carla and Turk are freaking over the last-minute preparations for the wedding. J. D. and Danni break up. Even though Turk is getting along with Dr. Miller, Carla takes her off the invitation list and that causes problems. J. D. pines after Elliot worse than ever. Elliot asks Sean to move in with her.
After convincing Elliot to dump Sean, J. D. finds himself conflicted over his feelings in “My Self-Examination”. He ends up talking to Danni in order to figure out what’s going on in his head. Carla is freaking worse than ever over the coming marriage. The janitor has lost the election for union president and is struggling to deal with it. Dr. Cox and Jordan are arguing over who’s taking care of the baby the most. Turk and Marco, Carla’s brother, struggle to get along before the wedding. Jordan tries to never argue with Dr. Cox.
Carla and Turk’s wedding takes center stage in “My Best Friend’s Wedding”. Everything, from the women getting ready for the wedding to J. D. and Elliot’s last tennis ball golf game, is hilarious. J. D. deals with Turk while Carla takes care of Elliot. The one-liners fly as the well-oiled crew plays off each other. Turk gets delayed in surgery. This is one of the most moving episodes of the year.
The special features on the DVD set offers a lot. “Twist and Shoot” offers some inside info on the directors that highlight what they deal with. The interviews with the directors and their feelings on what they went through are very human. The physical comedy of the series comes into full focus in “Don’t Try This At Home”. The falls and punches are a big part of the show. According to the interviews, the “cowboy switch”, where the stunt person is replaced by the actor or actress, is one of the staples. They also used footage from Tom Cruise’s movie “Vanilla Sky” to show a car wreck. “Long Term Residents” offers a compendium of the show’s special guest stars. The “Spin City” stars continue to show up in the series. “What Up Dawg?” shows the dogs that belongs to the show people and the problems that go along with them. “Scrubs Factor” talks about the extra lengths (usually challenges) everyone goes to in order to keep the show fun and all the workers having a good time. They focus on eating things that are gross. “Robert Keeps Talking” features Robert Maschio who plays Ted on the show. He talks a lot about who he is and where he’s been. “Elliot’s New Look” reveals the thinking that went into revamping the character Sarah Chalke created. “Is There A Doctor In The House?” discusses the story arcs there were chosen for the third season. “Scrubbed Out: Deleted Scenes” is pretty tame for the most part. “Alternate Lines: A Second Opinion” shows some of the other takes on lines that were pulled. “Gag Reel” offers some of the bloopers and re-takes the cast had to deal with, but most viewers will end up wanting more of them. Audio Commentaries with actor Donald Faison and writer Mark Stegemann on “His Story II” and Show Creator Randall Winston and actors Donal Faison and Judy Reyes on “My Self-Examination” really show how much thought goes into the episodes, as well as how much fun everyone involved has.
“Scrubs” consistently remains one of the best shows on television, offering well-developed characters and organic stories that continually move forward. This collection is a definite buy for fans and is a definite rental exploration for people interested in comedy.