Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3, 2009

Last season, the finale of Scrubs was billed as the final episode of the series. When one of my favourite shows comes to an ultimate end, it’s always bittersweet to see it go, and Scrubs was definitely near the top of my all-time list. The finale last season was very emotional, and I felt that it was an appropriate send-off for a great series. I was surprised a couple of weeks later at the surprise announcement that Scrubs would indeed be back for a ninth season, although the location and some of the cast would be different. Instead of the same cast and their adventures at Sacred Heart, the show would now take place at a medical teaching facility, and focus on the new students, with the established cast members as recurring roles…and a couple of them as series regulars as teachers.

I was lukewarm on the idea, since the blueprint had worked so well for eight seasons. When I watch a TV show regularly, I get invested in the lives of the characters, and feel like I know them. That’s the way it was with Scrubs. After 8 seasons, I knew the characteristics of J.D., Elliot, Turk, The Janitor, and everyone else. Now, I had to learn and meet all these new characters? I just wasn’t sure.

The new season premiered this week, and I have to say that I was quite pleasantly surprised. While it is a completely different feel with the new setting, and focus on the new students, I think they’re doing a good job in the opening episodes (there were 2 on Tuesday night) of integrating the old with the new to allow for a smoother transition for the regular viewers. It was nice to see Bob Kelso, and some closure on what happened with The Janitor, as well as more of Dr. Cox’s fantastic rants.
While J.D. and Turk have always been the heart of the show (and I would argue the key relationship in the entire series…even above J.D. and Elliot, but that’s another post for another day), it was great to see their dynamic together once again. I like the addition of Eliza Coupe’s Denise as a regular character. Her sarcastic and sardonic attitude reminds me of Dr. Cox from the early episodes, without the animated antics.
I was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed the new characters, especially the new focal point, Lucy Bennett. I could tell right from her first scene that she was going to be “the new J.D.”, and it reminded me of Zach Braff’s character from the very first episode. They did a great job of calling back to that and giving the fans something to remember. The moment that J.D. offers to help her because he sees himself in her was a great scene. I like that they’re going to continue the ‘internal dialogue’ with her for this season, as it has been with J.D. up to this point.

I was hesitant, but it impressed me. I’m looking forward to more episodes.

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