Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scrubs 2.0 blows

So, Scrubs this season is just not doing it for me.

I adore Scrubs. I think Scrubs, whenever it was on top of its game, was one of the funniest and most moving shows out there. I recently rewatched last season's "series" finale and it was pretty much a pitch-perfect way to say goodbye to all our friends at Sacred Heart.

Now, I miss my favorite shows way longer than is probably sane or healthy (hence my addiction to TV on DVD) but when ABC decided to renew Scrubs, albeit with only half the old cast members and in a totally new environ, med school, I was apprehensive to say the least.

Now, I've tried and tried, every single week, mostly now begrudgingly, to get back into this show, but although Dr. Cox and Turk and sometimes even J.D. and Elliott are still there, this show isn't Scrubs.

Zach Braff is not a cast member anymore, just a guest star, and when he's not there, the show just feels different. Scrubs was not just about the hospital and the staff and patients in it - it was about being inside J.D.'s head, and watching him make mistakes, and watching him grow up.

Now, Cox and Turk are exactly the same, and to be honest, if it was just them with the occasional J.D. and Elliott, I think I'd still watch, because the actors know their characters inside and out by now, and those two are still the same and I still love them.

In the pilot episode, I thought Drew and Denise seemed the most promising - Denise, who was also left over from last year, still kinda works, though her attitude seemed funnier as a student than as a teacher, and I really, really liked Drew as the reluctant teacher's pet of Cox and object of jealousy for J.D. Now, only a few episodes into the season, Cox, Denise, and Drew have all become the same character - they have no patience for ineptitude, kissing ass or stupidity and they can cut you down in an instance with their witty, scathing retorts. It's not funny. It's just lazy writing.

Cole (who is played by Dave Franco, who I didn't know was the brother of James Franco, but I should've by their shared inability to open their eyes wider than slits) is an idiot and even with his father's pull at the med school it's impossible to understand how he even got into med school. At least we know The Todd is a skilled surgeon despite his frat boy behavior.

And Lucy...ah Lucy, the new J.D. She's supposed to be cute and quirky and endearing and eager and I don't know if its the actress or the writing but it just falls completely flat. She's J.D. 2.0, down to the voice-overs and fantasies, and it doesn't work...I think it worked for J.D. to be honest, because the character was a guy.

It also worked because the writers gave J.D. meaningful and well-written storylines about patients we came to care about, coworkers we came to care about, and well-rounded friends we cared about. There were real moments of conflict and emotion. The storylines this season are flat and trite and worst of all, boring. I feel like a show that spent seven years evolving and weaving an intricate world full of intricate stories has devolved into an 80s sitcom.

The things is, I just realized, though, too, is that I do find myself still laughing at the show on occasion - at Cox. Or Elliott. Or Turk and J.D. and their antics. It's like the writers still know and love those characters. It's like the writers can't end stand the new class...

And sadly, the worst part, I think, is that Scrubs is dragging down one of the *best* sitcoms on TV right now, Better Off Ted. BOT is paired with a show I can't stand to watch anymore (even though I still do...bad habits die hard) on Tuesdays when that zany, quirky, witty show could be paired with three other ABC zany, quirky, and witty shows on Wednesdays...and there's even a spot for it in the lineup! It's infuriating. And sad.

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