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'Scrubs': Rewind or reject?

Hey, fellow binge watchers! It’s time for another installment of “Rewind or Reject,” the feature where I rewatch an old show that holds a special spot in my memory—and hopefully, in yours as well—and decide if it should stay tucked away there (like the corduroy overalls I adored back in the day) or if it’s worthy of another life (like the denim overalls I adored back in the day).

On the examining table this week? Scrubs, a comedy that ran from 2001 to 2010, first on NBC and then on ABC. I was a huge fan of Scrubs for the first four or five seasons of its life and then gave up on it around season eight when Courteney Cox arrived. (Nothing against Cox, I just remember that the show wasn’t as funny or original as it had been in earlier seasons. Okay, fine, and it was still way too soon to not see her as Monica.) Since my teenage daughter recently started watching the show (so retro!), I rewatched the first couple of episodes to decide if Scrubs was worth rewinding … or rejecting.


Overview: Set at Sacred Heart teaching hospital, Scrubs follows the lives of a group of interns and doctors (as well as a feisty nurse and a bizarre janitor) as told through the eyes—and voice-over—of Dr. John (J.D.) Dorian (Zach Braff). With frequent daydreams that turn into slapstick gags (think heads exploding, semis running people over), the trials and tribulations of life in—and out of—the hospital are conveyed with nonstop humor, introspection, plenty of put-downs and sarcasm, and at the root of it all, a lot of heart.

The cast: Led by Braff, the ensemble cast of characters—Donald Faison (Turk), John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox), Sarah Chalke (Elliot), Ken Jenkins (Dr. Kelso), Judy Reyes (Carla), Robert Maschio (Todd), and Neil Flynn (the janitor)—is nothing short of bizarre. And I mean that in the most fantastic way. From J.D.’s childishness (he’s a big fan of hugs) to Carla’s hot temper to Dr. Cox’s condescending and snarky bedside manner (and attitude in general), every character brings a unique and hilariously random personality to the group—and let’s not forget, the bromance between J.D. and Turk might be one of the best in TV history (and by “might be,” I mean totally is).

scrubs bromance

Scrubs also had an enormously impressive list of recurring characters who checked in for a season or two: Christa Miller, Tom Cavanaugh (Hey, Netflix, when are you going to bring back Ed?) D.L. Hughley, Amy Smart, Tara Reid, Heather Locklear, Bellamy Young and Scott Foley (Scandalous!), Rick Schroder (but he’ll always be Ricky to me), and Elizabeth Banks, among others.

The good: The writing on this show, at least in the early seasons, was rapid-fire funny (especially everything that came flying out of Dr. Cox’s mouth). The use of repeated and running gags made the viewer feel like part of the club: J.D.’s many nicknames; the janitor’s countless pranks (not to mention that damn penny); Todd’s countless high fives; and the many, many fantasy sequences, to mention just a few. And while the gimmick of having the central character narrate the show and have the events happen from his point-of-view certainly wasn’t original (The Wonder Years comes to mind), it felt fresh. J.D.’s adorably naïve way of looking at things and his enthusiasm and innocence was something that made this hospital show different—and in a league of its own.

scrubs father figure

The bad: While everyone loves a “will they or won’t they” storyline, the on-again/off-again romance of J.D. and Elliot got tiresome. I think I even gave up on them. However, I wasn’t a fan of J.D. and Kim (Elizabeth Banks), and I’m pretty sure that when they became a thing is when I started to lose interest. The rapid rotation of characters—no matter how stellar the actors were—also contributed to a loss of the ensemble feel over time.

scrubs dr. cox

The verdict: With the fun twists, great use of contradictory characters (How can you not love a devious janitor who’s purpose is to make J.D.’s life a living hell, a perpetually pissed-off doctor, a nurse who calls J.D. “Bambi,” and a guy who just wants to give everyone a hug?), hilarious writing, clever distractions, and a whole lot of heart, I’m definitely giving Scrubs a rewind and will enthusiastically be rewatching with my daughter this summer (with an appletini in hand, obviously). And who knows? Maybe this time I’ll even stick around after season eight.

scrubs sneak hug

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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