A salute to "Scrubs"
Tonight is supposed to mark the final episode of the series -- at least with the cast as it has stood for eight seasons -- seven on NBC, one on ABC. However, creator Bill Lawrence is officially engaged in discussions with ABC about bringing "Scrubs" back (the network apparently likes it as a lead-in for "Better Off Ted,") possibly with a new staff and an "ER"-like approach of having familiar faces appear in spot duty when available.
Tonight's episode -- "My Finale" -- is set to move J.D. (Zach Braff) away from Sacred Heart Hospital forever, so it would appear he's definitely a goner. Donald Faison (Turk), John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox) and Neil Flynn (The Janitor) are tied to other pilots, and Judy Reyes (Carla) apparently has also moved on. Only Sarah Chalke (Elliot) is rumored to be a full-time returnee of "Scrubs: The New Generation" with interns like Sunny (Eliza Coupe, who plays Denise, is also filming another pilot) as possible centerpieces.
As to whether "Scrubs" should come back in another form ... well, I don't think there's a pristine legacy that risks being destroyed (seasons 5-7 were pretty awful), so I'm ambivalent about a renewed effort. Lawrence appears willing to create a new show out of new characters, and if it isn't any good, well, I simply don't have to watch. It's a decision I already made when J.D.'s baby drama began steering the show.
On an ABC message board, Lawrence wrote, "The things I promise: If ’Scrubs’ comes back, it will not be the same show, thus cheapening the finale. It will not be a lame imitation of the original. We will work our butts off (Yes, I will work on it, too — I’m too much of a control freak to totally let it go) to make it new and interesting and surprising and different. Don’t get me wrong, it may still (expletive). But if it does, it will not be a fizzle. It will (expletive) in a truly grand, disastrous way. Just give it a chance, AND THEN be outraged and hate it.”
Sounds fair to me. Lawrence has earned it.
Anyway, tonight's episode will feature more than 50 past guest stars (Colin Hay? Michael J. Fox? Carrot Top?). And geez, if J.D. can’t score that fatherly hug from Dr. Cox he’s long dreamed of, he at least better learn the Janitor’s real name.
Here are a few random favorites that popped in my head while thinking about the show. No coincidence that music is involved. "Scrubs" always made a point of picking superb tunes for scenes, whether the Old 97's, Sebadoh or Guided By Voices. The original stuff (Worthless Peons, anyone?) was always pretty classic, too.
Anybody have a favorite moment to share? A favorite character? I give my nod to J.D.'s screw-up brother, Dan, played by Tom Cavanagh. Guy always cracked me up.
"Scrubs" airs at 7 p.m. on ABC.
-- Thomas Rozwadowski, firstname.lastname@example.org