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Scrubs is a comedy about John "J.D." Dorian, a young doctor who begins his first job at Sacred Heart Hospital in California. The show is narrated from JD's perspective as he learns lessons about how to survive in a touch but rewarding career. NBC 2001-08. ABC 2009-10.


Episode 4 - My Happy Place

26 March 2012

Synopsis: JD and Elliott are getting closer and decide to get back together. Dr Kelso realises he has more time on his hands than he had thought but decides he doesn’t care if people think its sad that he still hangs out near the hospital. The Janitor returns and gets his job back with little effort much to Ted’s enjoyment. Turk wins Dr Cox respect.

The Good: Scrubs is definitely winding down and I have no problem with them putting JD and Elliott back together as a couple. They have good chemistry together and setting them up in a happy home would probably be a feel-good way to send the show out. The writers certainly excavate their long history to demonstrate the fears they both have about getting back together again. They even sneak in some more real feeling characterisation for Elliott. When JD says she is still too hard on herself she replies “No I’m not, I’m just stupid and ugly and have a pig face.” One or two jokes which come from their interaction are nice too. JD posing shirtless is an amusing moment and just about makes sense because he spilt coffee on his shirt.

The Todd being fooled by Dr Cox and glass doors is a fun joke which plausibly plays on his thoughtless existence.

The Bad: This episode more than any of the first four betrays the decision to steal from the show’s past now that they have switched networks. Even without the change it’s plausible that after eight seasons many fans won’t remember some of the jokes and ideas from earlier episodes. But this is still criminally lazy and indicative of writers who don’t have any new ways to tell the same stories. Turk proving himself to Dr Cox is a story ripped off almost verbatim from the episode My Rule of Thumb (310). JD verbally describing the music which plays within the show when someone leave the room is the same self referencing joke he made in My Old Friend's New Friend (401). Dr. Jan Itor makes his return (212) and even JD’s inner voice telling him to kick Elliott is very familiar (303).

The Turk and Dr Cox story is also pointlessly simple. Where as in My Rule of Thumb there was a genuine ethical dilemma and sense of personal feeling on both sides, this story has nothing. The solution to the surgical “problem” is so simple that the story is dull.

The overly touchy orderly is just another in a long line of one-dimensional side characters who behave in implausibly stupid ways. JD’s Oprah joke is about as lame and predictable as possible. Making jokes about how JD visualises everything anyone suggests to him is taking a concept which makes the television show more interesting and making it a literal part of his life thus destroying the believability of it. The Janitor just getting his job back for no reason is lazy, mindless, implausible writing. And even the moral of the story “Do what makes you happy” is such a bizarre ending. In a show which constantly shows what happens when humans eat, drink or do other things to excess it seems a ludicrous motto for the former Chief of Medicine to be pedalling.

Comic Highlight: Turk is pushing down on a patient’s stomach. Someone farts:
T: “It’s alright, that’s perfectly natural.”
P: “That was you.”
T: “Yeah I know but it’s still perfectly natural.”

Diagnosis: If you are a sucker for romance stories and have watched Scrubs for years you may enjoy this. But otherwise this is mostly reruns of bad jokes which weren’t funny when they were first written.



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