“Scrubs” has become the master of the psych-out finale. The trumpets announcing the death of this sitcom have blared several times before, and the show has miraculously been brought back. First, it switched networks from NBC to ABC, then it mutated into a sort of spin-off last year while still keeping the “Scrubs” name.
Now, it appears to be gone for good. The Twitter page for the “Scrubs” writers has disappeared, and both former series star Zach Braff and it’s creator Bill Lawrence have hinted that the show is now officially gone. This development makes me sad and happy at the same time.
Sad because “Scrubs” renewed my faith in the sitcom. Well, not to say I lost faith completely, but I was without a television for a number of years in the late Nineties and the early part of the last decade, so I’d been out of practice when it came to regular TV watching. Until five or six years ago, all I bothered to catch on TV was “Family Guy”, sports, and the occasional show on MTV or VH-1. Then, I discovered the IGarden State” soundtrack, which led me to discover “Garden State” the movie, which led me to discover “Scrubs”. Yes, I realize that’s totally ass-backwards. I’m big on relatability (relativity?), and there was something about the writing and the show’s characters that struck a nerve with me. Without “Scrubs”, it’s hard to say if I would have even had the patience to discover “30 Rock” or “How I Met Your Mother” or “Modern Family”-shows that I now watch and enjoy. Hell, “Scrubs” indirectly provided me with the name of this blog! Thanks, Donald Faison.
I had enough faith in the show that I continued to be a faithful watcher this season, even with many of the main characters gone. I even stuck around after the first couple of new episodes, which were, quite frankly, awful. I felt like the show had become really cartoony. I mean, not to say the characters in the first incarnation of the show weren’t cartoony, but their loopiness was mixed in with a certain sobriety that was very much based in real life. The show suffered without Carla (Judy Reyes) and Janitor (Neil Flynn…who’s now starring in his own so-so ABC sitcom). Donald Faison’s character (Turk) seemed to be even more of a supporting player in this version of the show than he was in Scrubs 1.0, and the Lucy character (who took the place of Zach Braff’s JD) was just a bubblehead. There was no identification on my part. The only redeeming characters on the new version of the show were Eliza Coupe’s Dr. Denise Mahoney and Mike Mosley’s Drew. And while that may have been enough to keep the show watchable, it wasn’t enough to maintain the level of quality that had been established by the show’s previous eight seasons.
So for those reasons, I’m glad the show is gone. There have been plenty of sitcoms (and TV shows) that overstayed their welcomes and wound up tarnishing their legacies. Bill Lawrence and the “Scrubs” gang, I think it’s best you guys go now while the gettin’ is good.
This remains one of the most emotionally affecting moments from the show’s run. I wept like a woman the first time I saw this episode. “Scrubs” was excellent at mixing the funny with scenes that could tear your heart up.