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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:TV

SCRUBS – Season 8 (Overall impressions)
Produced by ABC Studios
Gareth M Bryant

The hit US comedy is back for its final (or at least Zach Braff’s final) fling, but does season 8 compare to the brilliance that is seasons 1-7?

When I sat down ready to watch the season premiere, I had that nervous-excited ‘first date’ feeling in my stomach. It took all my willpower not to go for a jumping-hug towards the TV when the theme tune started. ‘Welcome back old friend.’ I’d say as I pressed my cheek to the warm glow of the screen and the blurred image of Zach Braff. But, as I was not alone I decided it would be better to contain myself.

If Friends and ER had a baby, but Friends had drunk a lot during the pregnancy, Scrubs would undoubtedly be their child. But for those yet to see it, here is the basic rundown. JD (played by Braff) joined Sacred Heart Hospital with college buddy Chris Turk (Donald Faison) for their internship. Under the guidance of the slightly more than grumpy Dr Cox, JD learns valuable life lessons that show Dr Cox as his (reluctant) mentor. He must also deal with the drama of an on-off relationship with Dr Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke) and confrontations with the unhinged janitor (Neil Flynn).

In the first episode of this season, the team find themselves with a new chief of medicine after Dr Kelso retires. While he finds himself spending his retirement in the aptly named ‘Coffee Bucks’, Dr Maddox steps in to take the reins. At first it seems like she is finally the chief of medicine they have all been waiting for. But the character shows a robotic side when dealing with the patients of the hospital as ‘Cash Piñatas’ (to a far greater extent than Dr Kelso ever did). It’s refreshing to see Courtney Cox play a character very different to the one we’re all accustomed to. She, as Maddox, brings about some changes in the hospital that make the team long for Dr Kelso to return. JD is also now sporting a ‘beard’ if it can so be called, of which Dr Cox brings up in one of his usual JD-directed insults. What’s interesting is to see JD in the position Dr Cox was in 8 years ago. He approaches his interns in a very different way, and yet utilises a lot of the things Dr Cox taught him.

We’ve followed all of the characters through various transitions and difficult situations to reach the places that they stand at now. Turk and Carla have a second baby on the way as do Dr Cox and Jordan. Bob Kelso finds himself an unlikely best friend and Ted even finds himself a girlfriend. Each of them have really become the foundations to an amazing series and each character is vastly different from the other. Because of this it’s easy to relate to all the characters at one time or another. That same thing holds true throughout not just the first episode, but entire season.
Scrubs season 8 certainly looks like a finale (even if it isn’t) and a lot of loose ends get tied up. The final episode will have you laughing and crying if, like me, you have followed the series through its journey. The show has evolved from a mild comedy-drama to something that is both brilliantly funny and yet turns around with a deep message that can often tug at the heart strings. But if you want to see exactly who ends up as chief of medicine and what situation JD and Elliot find themselves in, or you want to see if we ever find out the janitor’s real name, you will have to tune in and watch the rest of the series yourselves.
Gareth M Bryant Oct 2009

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