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With: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, Judy Reyes, Ken Jenkins, John C. McGinley, Sean Hayes, John Ritter, Brendan Fraser
Written by: Bill Lawrence, etc.
Directed by: Zach Braff, etc.
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 22
Date: 02/10/2001

Scrubs: The Complete First Season (2001)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Docs of the Day

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Scrubs: The Complete First Season on DVD.

I never watched "Scrubs" on television because, frankly, who cares about the 4000th hospital show to hit the airwaves since the success of "ER"? But within moments of firing up the new 3-disc "Season One" DVD I realized that I had been in error. This is not only a brilliant show, miles away from "ER," but also the most brutally funny TV show since "The Simpsons" or "The Tick" (and no laugh track!).

Zach Braff, who recently went on to fame and acclaim with his feature directorial debut Garden State, stars as J.D., a new medical intern at Sacred Heart Hospital. His best friend Turk (Donald Faison) is a surgical intern. They quickly befriend another intern, a cute neurotic blonde, Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke) and a feisty, seasoned nurse Carla (Judy Reyes). Turk and Carla begin dating immediately, but the insecure J.D. can't quite get things together with Elliot.

The interns are constantly buffeted back and forth between the smiling, but sinister Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins) and the cranky, poisonously sarcastic, but good-hearted Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley).

"Scrubs" establishes a non-realistic atmosphere almost immediately with its "Ally McBeal"-type cutaways, in which the audience members as well as the characters see their most bizarre fears and fantasies played out. Add to this an astonishingly acerbic wit as well as odd, Generation X-era pop culture references (Red Dawn, anyone?), and you get a show that needs to be rewound so that you can hear the lines you laughed over.

After a few episodes, "Scrubs" attempts to push the emotional buttons with several dramatic story arcs, and this mostly works, thanks to the extraordinary quality of acting and the excellent chemistry the characters generate. Supporting characters are handled with equal care, as well as a roster of impressive guest stars from Sean Hayes to John Ritter and Brendan Fraser.

"Scrubs" contributed to one of those lost weekends during which my wife and I compulsively devoured "just one more" episode after another. I was genuinely sorry to finally reach the 24th and final episode in the box. I wonder how long we have to wait for season two?

DVD Details: Buena Vista's three-disc box set comes with a "collectible x-ray." Extras include: behind-the-scenes featurettes, audio commentaries on selected episodes, a music video for the theme song, interviews, "favorite moments," outtakes and deleted scenes.

DVD Details II: Buena Vista released The Complete Second Season (2002-03) in November of 2005. Predictably it's not quite as inspired as Season One, but it keeps up the level of energy very well. In this season, Turk proposes to Carla and Dr. Cox's ex-wife Joran (Christa Miller) is pregnant. Guest stars this season include Heather Locklear, David Copperfield, Alan Ruck, D.L. Hughley, Dick Van Dyke, Eric Bogosian, Rich Schroder, Jay Leno, Jay Mohr, Amy Smart and Ryan Reynolds. Colin Hay sings his lovely accoustic "Overkill" in the first episode. Extras include the usual bunch of featurettes.

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