Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2006.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).


Posted 14 December 2006

Both Dan and David have told me that "Scrubs" would be a good replacement for "Arrested Development", although I was skeptical. I bought the first season on DVD and got a copy of second season from a friend, and after watching both I just can't stand to watch any more.

Most of the show is composed of gimmicks and annoying habits that apparently pass for humor. Let's look at Doctor Cox, the mean-spirited doctor that occasionally offers crucial insights to help the interns-cum-doctors grow. When the writers know he's about to say something funny, they have him whistle loudly to get everyone's attention. When the writers aren't sure how to end one of his monologues, they have him say "Oh dear GOD" in exasperation in a last-ditch effort to salvage the joke. They need to infuse him with a little originality.

Zach Braff is equally annoying, partially as a character, and partially as an actor. His character's thoughts narrate much of the story, but when he's about to say something important, he consistently thinks of the right thing to say, and says the wrong thing instead. The episodes would be about ten minutes long if his character would ever say what he was actually thinking. Further, he sleeps with everything that moves (or tries to). The writers ensure that he never, ever initiates; he'd look like a womanizer! Thus far he's slept with Dr. Cox's ex-wife, the cute doctor that he works with, someone who slipped and suffered a head injury, and...oh yeah, the wife of a guy who was in a coma!

Don't freak out, though: he waited until the coma guy died before he slept with the guy's wife. She pulled him into an empty room in the funeral home after the service.

The point is, the writers of "Scrubs" don't have my respect. They come up with humdrum plotlines and throw in repetitive gags to avoid writing anything of comedic substance. They've managed to frequently come up with some funny one- liners for their characters, but if I wanted funny one-liners I could watch "Martin" or "Moesha". A successor to "Arrested Development"? Please.

I give "Scrubs" 1 out of 5 stars. On the one hand, it was billed as a good substitute for "Arrested Development", and now I'm out $40 for the first season DVD box set. On the other hand, some of the things the hospital janitor does are funny. Plus, it's got a good theme song.