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HTF DVD Review: Scrubs: The Complete Seventh Season

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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

Neil Middlemiss


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Posted November 17 2008 - 12:09 PM

Scrubs: The Complete Seventh Season

Studio: ABC Studios
Year: 2007-2008
US Rating: TV14
Film Length: 236 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: Spanish & French

US Release Date: November 11, 2008

The Show - out of

Dr. Perry Cox:
What in the hell are you talking about?
Dr. John 'J.D.' Dorian: Oh, I'm just doing this thing where I use a slice of wisdom from someone else's life to solve a problem in my own life.
Jordan Sullivan: Seems coincidental.
Dr. John 'J.D.' Dorian: And yet I do it almost every week.

Scrubs is a unique combination of exuberant comedy, bizarre fantastical flashes and elements of drama in which the characters jest and joke throughout their days at the Sacred Heart hospital.

JD, the narrator and central character of Scrubs is played by the extremely likeable Zach Braff. His character is a soft-hearted, lovable goof with an overt effeminate view of the world and love for all things. He banters with his best friend, Turk (Donald Faison), a talented surgeon and his wife Nurse Espinosa (Judy Reyes). Fellow Doctor’ Elliott Reid (Sarah Chalke), a clumsy, speed-talking relationship ‘train-wreck’ and ‘The Todd”, a substantially endowed surgeon and a chronic ‘sexual harasser’ add spice and absurdity to the hospital crew. The rest of the staff is rounded out by the ‘rich with sarcasm’ Dr. Cox (John C McGinley), the man who works to grind everyone down verbally and physically and the bane of everyone’s existence, Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins), a selfishly narrow-minded, chauvinistic old fart who runs the hospital and revels in making each of the hospital staff’s lives difficult. And adding to the struggles of JD’s world is the Janitor (Neil Flynn), who manages to find some of the most ingenious ways of exploiting JD’s whimsical approach to life and everything in it.

Each of the characters and the actors who portray them, are as comfortable and well defined as they can be. Donald Faison’s Turk and his beautiful onscreen wife played by Judy Reyes, light up the scenes they are in with a genuine affection, chemistry and comedy rich partnership that often steals the show. But the world of Sacred Heart revolves around Zach Braff’s lovable and feeling JD.

As season seven begins, JD and Dr Elliot Reid are in a precarious moment, dangling on the edge of a kiss that could change their worlds. They don’t kiss, but change absolutely comes to their worlds anyway and they start to face the seriousness of where they are in their lives and the reasons they are there. This season is about growing up and looking for ways to do that without changing who they are fundamentally. That is a thread of this series and is not unlike the other seasons as they grow into life in ways hard and fun. However, this season is more serious, more subdued than others. And the greater sense of restraint is at the expense of the shows adorable exuberance but, while the rich magical edge is a lessened, it seems to suit where these older characters are.

Scrubs is a unique show. A distinct comedy that has for years balanced fantasy infused laughs with genuine heart-tugging moments of real emotion, and is able to say something about love, friendship and relationships in its stride. In the sixth season, the show enjoyed more outrageous fantasy musings than ever before. But now, perhaps as the show has grown and matured, as well as the characters that make this show everything that it is, the more innocent air of the show has shifted. But that somewhat lighter, softer view of life that the show had in its earlier seasons is missed. As it stands, Scrubs is still filled with a high dose of quirks and quips and the same accomplished balance of sarcasm and deep bonds between the employees of Sacred Heart, but it is just a little more restrained.

All the characters go through life changing events in this season, from ending an engagement, facing their age and what that means and adjusting to fatherhood. The excellence in writing continues and the show manages to find the fear and the funny in all of the sad situations. A tribute to the writers for their ability find the laughter in such serious events without ever trivializing them or descending into melodrama.

Scrubs is showing its age a little, and despite NBC treating it poorly in the schedule, it still has a loyal audience and fan base (including me) who will happily enjoy this show as it moves to another network.

The Episodes

Disc One
1: My Own Worst Enemy
2: My Hard Labor
3: My Inconvenient Truth
4: My Identity Crisis
5: My Growing Pains
6: My Number One Doctor
7: My Bad Too

Disc Two
8: My Manhood
9: My Dumb Luck
10: My Waste of Time
11: My Princess (this episode clearly out of sequence)

The Video - out of

“Scrubs” was filmed and broadcast on NBC in full frame, 1.33:1, and that is how it is presented here on this two disc collection. The color balance is ok with varying levels of grain and other problems. Generally, the episodes look fine, fairly good flesh tones, bright and warm. Occasionally the image is a little dark, particularly in the season premiere. Despite 4X3 being the native format for the show, which is not my preference, I always prefer widescreen, this is a good enough presentation of this show on DVD.

The Sound - out of

The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound on Scrubs season seven is, overall, pretty good. The many songs that fill the episodes with its emotional depth and playful energy come across well as does Zach Braff’s narration. The surrounds aren’t particularly active with the exception of the occasional zippy effect that accompanies a joke. Generally speaking, the surround sound fits the show nicely.

The Extra’s - out of

My Making of II: My Princess” : - (17:38) – A look at the Princess Bride inspired episode directed by Zach Braff. We get a look at the table read, the scale of the production and impressive wardrobe and sets.

One-on-one with Ken Jenkins (Dr. Robert “Bob” Kelso) : - (7:24) – Ken Jenkins discusses the curious and mean Bob Kelso character, acting and joining the show in this choppy interview.

Deleted Scenes : - (13:53) – 15 deleted scenes from a number of episodes compared to the versions that aired.

Alternate Lines : - (15:40) – 19 examples of alternate lines as the actors riff jokes and have fun in the moment – the Janitor hearing bells is funny in any version!

Bloopers : - (2:51) – Cute bloopers as the cast fumble words and breakdown on set.

Audio Commentaries : – Audio commentaries for every episode are available by an assortment of writers, directors, producers, cast and other crew.

Browse Doctors : (4:26) – A look at the actors/doctors in the ‘real elevator at the fake hospital’ from a camera set up in there.

Final Thoughts

Scrubs is still a thoroughly enjoyable show though it has traded exultant quirkiness for more heart and dramatic indulgences. This abbreviated season of just 11 episodes (due to the writers strike), still contains these great characters with enough flights of fancy (the live action arcade game moment, for example) to set it far apart from any other sit-com on television (with, perhaps, Family Guy being an exception). The ‘Fairytale’ episode, one of a couple directed by Zach Braff is an excellent example of what this show represents and excels at, full dedication to daydreams and drama. Still very much recommended.

Overall Score - out of

Neil Middlemiss
Kernersville, NC
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
My DVD Collection

#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Clay_E


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Posted November 18 2008 - 05:42 AM

Very disappointed to see that "My Princess" is as out-of-sequence on the DVD as it was when it aired. I thought I remembered Bill Lawrence complaining about this out-of-sequence airing at the time, and his saying that this would be corrected for the DVD, but I guess I'm mistaken.
"Half of the time we're gone and we don't know where."

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