Scrubs


The Husband:

While we, the children of Saint Clare, have found the time to write about many of the biggest shows on television (and even some small ones), there is only so much time and energy we can spend on this site. The truth is, we watch a whole lot more than what ends up on the site, and since I watch most of these on my own and yet never find the ability to write about them, their absence is mostly my fault. But no matter. For those that fall through the cracks, I have here a grab bag of the 30+ shows I watch in addition to whatever ends up on the site. These are the ones that slipped through the cracks. And hell, I’m sure there are more I’m forgetting (and also not even bothering writing about, which tend to fall under instructional/educational stuff like anything on Discovery), so if you think I’ve forgotten something, please let me know. (And no, I don’t watch any CSI or L&O shows, so don’t even try to get all up in my grill.) Here they are, the missing shows of the 2008-2009 television season, in alphabetical order.

24

I really should have written at least some criticism on this season, but work piled up and I simply didn’t have the time. It started off as the most intelligent season with some of the most compelling political questions being thrown around (welcome to the show finally, “debate on torture”), but by the fourth time Tony twisted his alliance and Jack was infected with the disease, I kind of stopped caring. Great first half of the season, though, and I think Renee is the best new character in a very long time.

Adult Swim (Xavier: Renegade Angel / Superjail! / Squidbillies / The Drinky Crow Show / Metalocalypse / Delocated / Robot Chicken / Etc.)

Thank you, young people of Adult Swim (who I have spent some time with, don’t forget) for freaking my mind week after week, and giving alternative comedy a major boost in America. And for freaking out my wife.

A beacon of normalcy in a world of wackiness.

A beacon of normalcy in a world of wackiness.

Better Off Ted

It took me a couple episodes to latch onto the tone, but once I did I simply couldn’t get enough from this latest product of the mad mind of Victor Fresco. Check out some episodes online, then watch Andy Richter Controls the Universe (his previous show), and I guarantee you some of the oddest network comedy in a very long time. I still think Portia DeRossi is trying to hard, though, and should take a page from the book of Fresco mainstay Jonathan Slavin.

Castle

Bring it on, Nathan Fillion. Hypnotize me with your nostrils and your addictive but borderline-stupid mystery writer-cum-detective series. (Although how weird was that Judy Reyes episode? What the hell, Carla Turk?)

The Celebrity Apprentice 2

So sue me, I liked Joan Rivers. And the addition of the phrase “Whore Pit Vipers” to the television lexicon.

Celebrity Rehab (Sober House) with Dr. Drew

So help me, I can’t stop watching. It’s just a disaster. I will say, though, that I like the drama in the rehab far more than the sober house, as the latter seems to exist simply to destroy any progress the celebrities made in rehab. And now having seen all three of his seasons of Taxi, Jeff Conaway’s fall from grace is fishbowl television at its finest.

Dating in the Dark

Really fun, actually. I hope it gets a second season. I also hope that more matches will be made, and that people stop being massive failures.

Dirty Sexy Money

Everything I needed to say about the failure of the second season of this show can be found on this blog, and it ended its truncated run by turning itself inside-out by revealing that the show’s central mystery, who killed Peter Krause’s father, was a bust since he wasn’t dead after all. What the hell, Dirty Sexy Money? Oh well, your cancellation made room in Krause’s schedule for the much anticipated (by me) adaptation of Parenthood coming to NBC mid-season.

The Goode Family

It took a few episodes to find its footing, but by the end of its sped-up summer run, I was a major fan of the latest Mike Judge effort. (R.I.P. King of the Hill.) Vastly misunderstood by viewers who only watched the first episode, it, just like KOTH, found a middle ground between conservative America and liberal America and found the ability to make fun of both without drawing blood, choosing to love instead of hate. Some of the voice cast was misused (why was my beloved Linda Cardellini in the cast?), but as a Berkeley native, I had a blast relishing in mocking the stereotypes of my own people while rediscovering what it is I love so much about them. The bull dykes were also two of the most original characters of the season.

One Earth isn't just a grocery store, it's a way of life.

One Earth isn't just a grocery store, it's a way of life.

The Great American Road Trip

Any show that has two contestants debating over which is more correct, “y’all” or “youse,” gets major points in my book. A nice and forgettable summer trifle after a long, way-too-hot day. Silly, yes, but I can’t say it was bad. And it was a definite improvement over the similar family-based season of The Amazing Race. (I’m sure The Soup is really grateful for this show, too.)

Heroes

Oh god, kill me now. Volume 4 was a marked improvement over #3, for sure, but I just don’t care about anybody anymore. And yet I feel that I need to keep watching. It’s too late to give up now. There was one great episode this season, though, and that was the flashback one surrounding Angela Petrelli’s stint at a mutant internment camp. Why can’t they all be this good?

Howie Do It

Yeah, I watched it. Shut the fuck up. About one-third of it was funny, and as I watched it on Hulu at work, it’s not like I wasted any of my own time. Howie Mandel is savvier than you think, but I wish he would return to his wilder roots.

How’s Your News

This Parker-Stone produced MTV show revolving around reporters who are developmentally delayed confused the hell out of me initially, but once I realized there wasn’t a mean bone in its body it became a warm bit of fun. I want a second season, dammit. These are some of the most joyful television subjects I’ve ever seen.

I Survived a Japanese Game Show

Better than the first season, but I’m still glad I only watch this online while doing something else.

In the Motherhood

Worst opening credit sequence of the year. Some pretty funny material hidden underneath unfunny slapstick. Horatio Sanz got thin. Megan Mullally couldn’t find a rhythm. I still think Cheryl Hines is oddly hot.

Lie to Me

I unfortunately didn’t start watching this until July, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long. While gimmicky to a fault and not nearly as intelligent as it pretends it is, this Tim Roth vehicle about an FBI specialist who studies the subtleties of the face (OF THE FACE) is clever, compelling and well drawn. I’m not sure about the addition of Mekhi Phifer’s character, but we’ll see how it works out next season, especially with Shield creator Shawn Ryan at the helm of season two.

Life

This cancellation reallllly hurts. One of the unsung gems from the 2007-2008 television, this, the smartest network cop show in recent memory, took its great season one energy and hit the second season with all it had and came up with a compelling, hilarious, devilishly clever and gleefully violent run that was only marred by a major cast shift during the final few episodes. (I’m looking at you, Gabrielle Union. Your presence was what I like to call a massive failure.) A Zen-obsessed cop recently released from prison after serving over a decade for a murder he did not commit, this show had the best cases of them all. It also gave me one of my favorite hours of television of the year in an episode that revolved around a seductive assassin, fertilizer and pigeon aficionados. And at least the major serialized storyline (who framed Damien Lewis and why) got paid off in a major way thanks to the ever-reliable Garret Dillahunt.

lifeshot

My Boys

Putting PJ and Bobby together was a great idea, but your nine-episode seasons are too short to gain any momentum, and the spring training season finale was a bust.

Nitro Circus

Moronic glee.

Numb3rs

Man, did they put Charlie through the ringer. First, he nearly gets his brother killed with a miscalculation on his part, he questions his own validity as a mathematician and then Amita gets kidnapped just as he decides that he wants to marry her. Otherwise, another fine, if somewhat uneventful, of this show that never captured the glory of its über-nerdy first season. Also, thanks for all the great guest star work, but sometimes it gets laid on a little too thick, such as in “Sneakerhead” which brought together Bruno Campos, Patrick Bauchau, Dr. Edison from Bones and Eve. (And points for making the Liz Warner character actually bearable. I fucking hated her in season 4.

Privileged

So apparently the CW thought that their best idea ever was to get rid of this show, the smartest show on the UPN/WB merger since the Buffyverse, one that was technically pulling in bigger numbers than 90210, one that was a delight to watch and deeply addictive, and make room for what is sure to be one of 2009-2010’s worst new offerings, Melrose Place. I gotta tell ya, this cancellation hurts. While I wrote recaps and reviews of the episodes way into its freshman (and only) season, the looming axe, as well as a more heavily serialized structure, turned me off from writing on the final stretch of episodes, and I told myself that I’d only recap them if the show came back. Lo and behold, another Joanna Garcia vehicle has gone down the tubes. I’ll miss you oh so dearly, Ms. Too-Smart-For-The-CW Palm Beach satirical melodrama known as Privileged.

I hate to say this, guys, but I think Robert Buckley might be a showkiller. And that's sad, because he's so damn pretty.

I hate to say this, guys, but I think Robert Buckley might be a showkiller. And that's sad, because he's so damn pretty.

Rescue Me

I thought it was a great season, and thanks to an extended number of episodes (it didn’t air in 2008 thanks to the writer’s strike), the show was able to focus much of its energy on pages-long dialogue-happy battle-of-wits in nearly episode, which to be is melodrama heaven. Gone is the maudlin tone, returned is all the comic energy, and the stories seem to actually progress instead of just flopping around like a dying fish. Leary and Tolan deserve major praise for bringing the show back up to snuff. And now having seen all of Newsradio, I love any chance I get to watch Maura Tierney, although I’m still not going to watch ER. (I am proud to have only seen three episodes of that show ever, being a Chicago Hope fan.) Special shot-out to the Sean cancer storyline, if only to allow Broadway actor Steven Pasquale (husband of Tony winner Laura Benanti) the opportunity to belt out some songs in a handful of hallucination scenes.

Samantha Who?

One of the biggest upsets of the last two years was the rise and fall of this light-hearted, occasionally gut-busting amnesia sitcom that started off the talk of the town, only to waste away its final episodes after the conclusion of the actual television season. Ending on a shitty cliffhanger (Sam’s parents are getting divorced, so Mom is going to live with you and your formerly-estranged-but-now-love-of-your-life lover), we nevertheless found out who caused the accident that brought about Sam’s amnesia, Jennifer Esposito finally made it with the towel boy, and Melissa McCarthy continued to be one of the brightest stars of the year.

Scrubs

Like Privileged, I hesitated to continue writing due to the threat of its cancellation, but now it’s continuing on into yet another season (albeit with some major changes), so I really have no reason to stop writing about it. But let’s just say that while the hurry-up to conclude its many disparate storylines often felt rushed (those two Bahama episodes felt especially odd), the conclusion to J.D.’s years-in-the-telling tale was a lovely way to conclude the season. (No props for the awful awful Peter Gabriel song that accompanied his final walk down the hallway, as laughably bad as it was when I heard it in the remake of Shall We Dance?)

The Shield

I don’t have to tell you how amazing the final season was. Watch it. Seriously. You owe it to yourself to experience one of the hardest hitting cop shows of all time. Like The Wire, a Greek tragedy hammered into modern-day policework with some of the most finely drawn characters around. And oh man, did those final three episodes pack a major punch. Ouch, indeed.

Southland

Quite a bit like The Shield, really, had it followed Michael Jace’s beat cop instead of the Strike Team. A little too dour at times for me to really give a crap, and the sprawling ensemble needs to be cut down (which is what I hear it’s doing for the second season), but this L.A.-centered procedural has a lot going for it, not least of which its pitch-perfect direction. (I especially dig the long shots, including my favorite, which involved a cabin and a K9 unit bringing down a perp.)

Way better than dating Marissa Cooper.

Way better than dating Marissa Cooper.

Surviving Suburbia

A sitcom in serious need of finding one tone and sticking with it, this sometimes-sweet-sometimes-brutally-cruel suburban comedy worked as well as it did because of Saget as well as G. Hannelius’ performance as the precocious daughter. Still, all the jokes about disabled people, pregnant teenagers and strip clubs really didn’t mesh together with the clichés of the genre.

Survivor: Tocantins

I love Survivor, but this was one of the most boring seasons in its ten-year run. I don’t think I gave a shit about one person, and I simply couldn’t find anything compelling to write about. A waste of a good location.

True Beauty

The right person won, the losers got (mostly) schooled in this trick show designed to expose the douchery involved in modeling, Ashton Kutcher made another heroin-like show, and I concern myself for months with how they can pull the trick off a second time in the next season.

The Unusuals

When grading a cop show, I tend to focus on three things — the tone, the characters and the cases. A bizarre, pessimistic yet comedic take on all those wacky cops we’ve seen throughout the years all thrown together (one is deathly afraid of…death, one has a brain tumor, one talks in the third person, one is a closeted socialite, etc.) pushed into some remarkably dark territory, The Unusuals had tone and characters down pat, but suffered at the hands of some DOA storylines. But oh man, did the tone ever make up for most of the show’s shortcomings. Great ensemble cast, too, although I would have recast Eddie Alvarez.

Rather unusual.

Rather unusual.

Worst Week

A breezy and often hilarious slapstick comedy based off of a British hit, it could never regain its momentum after moving away from the initial “week” of the title. Kyle Bornheimer is a true find and made the more unbearable misunderstandings and embarrassing moments of the show (of which there were many) all the more palatable. I’m not the biggest fan of comedy based around humiliations, but this show found a likeable ability to have its characters not completely despise each other at every moment. This was, to say the least, very refreshing. Big points for giving me the biggest network TV laugh of the year (when Bornheimer wakes up his brother-in-law only to be thought a murderer) but major negative points for pushing back a major character-based episode into a weekend spot months after the show had already ended its run.

The Husband:

As I’m sure you’ve all heard, it has been announced that this is Scrubs’ final season, and while that does not eliminate the chance of any spinoffs, I think it’s the best thing to do. Even at the height of its quality, I’ve never wanted for Scrubs to wither away in any form, and this pretty top-notch (although low-key) season is a great way to go out with dignity. Likewise, these are the last two episodes before mid-March, where they will shift to Wednesday night – goddamn, even when they’re saved by another network they’re still shifted around the schedule – and go back to airing only one episode a week. That last bit is fine, because while back-to-back episodes makes for a happy TV-watching night, to me it makes the episodes feel a little less important, like I’m only watching half of a story even when it’s very clear that the episodes are separated. I just think that in its final year, it’s okay to stretch out the awesomeness.

Onto the episodes. Up first, “My Absence.”

Due to some of the budgetary cuts for this season here on ABC, J.D. was completely off-camera the entire time, although while he was on vacation he was still in constant communication with the good people of Sacred Heart via cellphone. Most of the time he was simply going through the day with his girlfriend Elliot, but requests at one point to be stealthily placed in Dr. Cox’s pocket so he could hear his hero working.

But the big story – or as it would seem to Turk – is that Carla is pregnant again, but Turk is unhappy that she already has told too many people, and thus robbing him of the glory of spreading the good news on his own and getting extreme amounts of congratulations. Unfortunately, this is their second child, and Turk finds out that people only care about your first child. Second? Whatever. Even the hyperactively giddy J.D. can’t muster up much for his best friend over the phone, so Turk decides to lie to Ted’s new girlfriend Stephanie Gooch (welcome back, Kate Micucci, distant college acquaintance of mine) just to get the pleasure of a new ukulele song about first-borns. But when Gooch finds out the devastating truth behind the lie, she flips her lid. Nobody messes with the Gooch, and clearly, Ted is the bitch in their relationship.

What else? Denise the intern “likes fatties,” Dr. Cox’s middle name is Ulysses, Ted’s sperm have no tails, and the show does very well even when Zach Braff is nowhere in sight. I know quite a few people who would have given this show a chance long ago had Zach Braff not been on the show (thankfully, at least two acquaintances have given over and loved the show even with his presence), so maybe this sole episode shown to them might make them realize that the show is great because of its ensemble, and that the stories get spread out fairly evenly among them.

Some good quotes:

  • “Blood splash on my scrubs looks like a tiger!” – Turk
  • “I will try not to drill anymore farts into it.” – Kelso on cafeteria chair J.D. sat in
  • “That’s why you should never trust a camel.” – J.D. (on phone) fantasizing

The second episode, “My Comedy Show,” was a little more classic early-season Scrubs, as J.D. and Turk put on their annual (and annually unfunny) hospital sketch show. How bad does it usually go? We get one flashback where Laverne, amused by Turk’s impersonation of her but infuriated by J.D.’s performance as Jesus, puts a beat-down on that white honkey.

But this year is going to be different, as we have a new batch of interns who are getting the most amount of screentime since s1 when our main characters were interns, and the show is going to go off without a hitch. (Or a Hooch. Hooch is crazy.) Everyone at Sacred Heart takes their lumps (Kelso, who has finally moved away from Coffee Bucks and is now just randomly chilling around the hospital he used to run, is especially amused), but Dr. Beardface doesn’t like the caricature of him (simply a giant piece of cardboard with white fluff covering it all), and J.D. and Turk are devastated when the two people playing them kiss and get a big laugh.

So what’s a bromantic pair to do? Unfortunately, they are forced to tone down the Public Displays of Affection at work so they can be taken seriously again. How long does this last? Not even to the end of the episode, where they embrace, J.D. yells “eagle” (apparently coined one the day when they met David Caruso and somehow a ferris wheel was involved), and “Guy Love” plays on the soundtrack.

This baby? Made entirely of chest hair.

This baby? Made entirely of chest hair.

Meanwhile, the Janitor wakes up in the hospital living room only to see Carla pull out a very long hair from her…chest region, but when she convinces him that he only dreamed it, he comes to think that much of his life has actually all been in his imagination. Neil Flynn is without question the show’s MVP, so to simply see him improv examples of all the crazy shit in his life made the episode.

In Intern Land, the gruff and guyish Denise is paired up with the sunny intern Sunny Day (yes, that’s her full name) on a case involving a teenage girl with an immunodeficiency, and with Elliot’s help Denise continues to learn more about how to deal with patients, how to be social with the other doctors, and when to simply take a break from the hospital and live life.

Other fun bits from the episode:

  • We learn that Elliot has used the baby incubator to heat up sandwiches, often resulting in babies smelling certain ways:
  • “An unlucky few…are ham babies.” – Elliot
  • “That is one long-ass boobie hair.” – Kelso
  • “I have been called the black Wayne Brady.” – Turk
  • “I’ve chewed on that thing, and it’s flatter than day-old beer.” – J.D. re: Elliot’s butt

PBBTTTHHHHHH!

You hear that? That’s the sound of my brain flushing out all the recent episodes of television I had yet to write up. My daytime job’s responsibilities have increased tenfold, and I find myself with just that much less time a day to do the thing that I actually want to do – write about television. I can’t just not write about these shows and leave you all hanging, though, so here’s me dumping out all over the place.

PBBTTTHHHHHH!

These first few have some of the notes I wrote down to coincide with the show, and for some reason or another – oh wait, I know the reason, it’s because I just haven’t been able to find the time – I just couldn’t get them together to form an actual post.

And to make things easy, as each show’s write-up will be very small, I have broken my rule to give them letter grades. However, I will try not to use them in the future.

Scrubs 8.7 “My New Role”

Grade: B+

Dr. Cox has major issues balancing his time as the new Chief of Medicine, so he and Kelso finally repair their relationship that has been seemingly broken for decades. J.D. realizes that he must take the place of Dr. Cox to be a responsible, trustworthy doctor.

Some jotted quotes and other miscellaneous funny things:

  • “It is inappropriate to interrupt an attending when he’s hittin’ it.” – J.D.
  • “Since we’re friends now, I can show you my butt.” – Kelso
  • “Look at me! I can’t touch anything I love without hurting it!” – J.D. with cactus hands
  • “It’s Monday. Monday is bongo day.” – Janitor
  • Apparently, Ted’s never been hugged
  • Disrespecting Nurses Five!
  • On Cox’s Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever List: J.D., Hooch, Jordan

Scrubs 8.8 “My Lawyer’s In Love”

Grade: A-

While Cox learns to balance his time better between his work and his growing family, Ted finds love in a sweet and cute ukulele player who constantly visits pediatrics. Aziz Ansari gets fired for laziness. Special shout-out to actress Kate Micucci, who played Ukulele Girl a.k.a. Stephanie Gooch, who matriculated at the same university as yours truly. She was a grad student during my undergrad years, but I still noticed her around campus and was lucky enough to catch some of her stand-up comedy/performance pieces at our campus open mic room. My favorite was a bizarre puppet show about the meaning of Christmas.

Some quotes and other such things:

  • The Peons (Ted’s a capella group) are now singing 70s standards like Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper”
  • “A capella music is – how to put this delicately – ear rape.” – Cox
  • “Ted, we saw you in the park throwing rocks at old couples.” – J.D.


My Name Is Earl 4.16 “Randy’s List Item”

Grade: B-

After the great two-parter that dealt with Darnell’s ousting from Camden due to the Witness Protection Program and his wife’s appearance on the glorious reality TV show Estrada Or Nada, we’re back to the same-ol’-same-ol’ My Name Is Earl, one with very little forward momentum. At least this week, it’s Randy’s turn as he wins $250 in a lotto scratcher, but is then hit by a bicycle and realizes that, just like his brother, he must pay tribute to karma. This time? He must reunite Earl with two of their old trailer park buddies who became estranged when Randy framed Zeke and Arlo, but as usual things don’t always go as planned, and Randy finds out that his true task is to bring Zeke and Arlo closer together as brothers.

Joy, meanwhile, is constantly and intentionally blowing her family’s witness protection cover because she is not happy with each new location, including being the Gruddlebutts of NYC in a noisy apartment, working at a lumberjack camp (complete with Darnell sporting a sweet beard) and finally living in an igloo amongst the caribou. Joy discovers that the two Witness Protection agents are having an affair, so she blackmails them into relocating them to a great big house in a sunny, palm tree-lined area (where she can presumably take the name Goldilocks “Goldie” Cristal.)

The one great quote from the episode:

“Wanna see my scabs that look like people?” – Arlo

The Office 5.13 “Lecture Circuit Part 1”

Grade: B+

As a result of good sales, Michael is now doing the lecture circuit at other branches of Dunder Mifflin, and Pam acts as his driver/assistant. As usual, his speeches don’t really add up to anything, but Pam makes the trip better when she suggests that they blow off one of the locations and head to Nashua, New Hampshire, to see Michael’s one true love Holly. To be continued, where it will continue to rock my face.

Oh…and who do they see along the way? Karen (Rashida Jones), Jim’s ex-girlfriend and ex-coworker who is now married to a dermatologist…and pregnant. (Preggers OH NOES!)

Back at Scranton, Jim and Dwight, as the new heads of party planning, have forgotten Kelly’s birthday (finally some Kelly screentime, thanks to actress Mindy Kaling writing the episode), but then clash on how to make it up to her. (Dwight’s suggestion? A banner that reads “It is your birthday,” and black and brown balloons.)

Andy, meanwhile, has his eyes on a beautiful African-American client, but he blows what could have become something more when he goes in for a kiss way too soon.

Quotes and other funny stuff:


“Andy: For your information, I’ve been with beautiful women.

Phyllis: Sexually?

Andy: This conversation is over.”

  • The fact that Creed has dated Squeaky Fromme.
  • Michael: “Would a liar bring mini Mounds bars?”
    [Pam joylessly tosses candy at the employees]

AND NOW, SHOWS ON WHICH I WROTE NO NOTES! HAVE FUN WITH THIS TV MEMORY DUMP!

Ugly Betty 3.12 “Sisters On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown”

Grade: B-

As Papi recovers from his heart attack, Hilda guilts Betty into realizing that she has been putting her career before her family. This becomes worse when she is forced to leave her father at the hospital so she can intercept a set of photos that would expose Daniel and Molly’s Caribbean love vacation to her unknowing ex-fiancé (and Daniel’s CFO), who himself is having a secret affair with Wilhelmina. Betty wins in the end, blackmailing fashion TV host Suzuki St. Pierre with her knowledge of his secret – he’s actually a butch heterosexual man with a family and a house in New Jersey – only to be foiled by a gossip rag cover that shows Molly with some faceless hunk standing behind Heidi and Spencer on a St. Barth’s Beach.

I liked Betty’s stuff, and I’m happy she’s moving out of her Manhattan apartment temporarily to be closer to her family, but I’m not sure if I give two shits about the Daniel-Molly-Connor-Wilhemina love square. There’s just very little chemistry.

Ugly Betty 3.13 “Kissed Off”

Grade: C+

Betty has nothing to do this season regarding her love life, and this continues as sexy musician neighbor Jesse moves his way back into Betty’s life, only this time she realizes that he has no concern for or interest in anybody other than himself. Amanda, meanwhile, must find a roommate to sublet Betty’s half of the apartment, and in the end she makes the wise choice and chooses Mark. Now that’s a sitcom set-up if e’er I’ve seen one.

Frankly, were hoping for our own spin-off.

Frankly, we're hoping for our own spin-off.

In the Meade Empire love square, Connor finally – after stalking her for a bit – finds out who Molly’s new beau is, and while some punches are thrown and big issues are discussed, Daniel and Connor learn that they can still work with each other, even if Connor’s ex-fiancée is now banging the boss.

The one quote I wrote down:

“Is it possible that he was just licking guacamole off your chin?” – Amanda to Betty

Private Practice 2.14 “Second Chances”

Grade: C

I remember virtually nothing about this episode, other than that Violet still doesn’t tell Pete and Sheldon that she’s pregnant and is still unsure of who the father is, and that she moves in with Cooper. As far as medical cases go, a woman gives birth while having a stroke, I laughed, and then I felt bad about laughing at a woman having a stroke. And then I felt shame. Then I fell asleep.

You got bored because this isnt Swingtown.

You got bored because this isn't Swingtown.

Grey’s Anatomy 5.14 “Beat Your Heart Out”

Grade: B

An episode with a lot going on but perhaps a little too much.

Now that Denny the Ghost/Grim Reaper is no longer following Izzie around, she can now abuse the interns into giving her medical tests to find out what the hell is wrong with her, but all they find is that she’s anemic. Dr. Bailey, meanwhile, really does not want to work in pediatrics anymore after the emotion-sucking experience of that sick kid with the bowel problems and his near-death, as well as her own son’s medical issues, but is then convinced by none other than Dr. “Apsergers” Dixon that she perfect for the job because of her intense emotional involvement and willingness to break the rules.

Dr. Arizona Robbins kisses Callie. It’s like she’s a lesbian magnet.

Where is the gator with gaydar when you need him?

Where is the gator with gaydar when you need him?

Meredith gets Cristina to read more of Mer’s death mother’s journals, and finds out that when Mother Grey and the Chief were having an affair, he was going to propose to her.

Speaking of proposals, Derek is finally going to pop the question (with additional goading from a pregnant Jennifer Westfeldt) to Meredith, but then receives a call from Addison down in Los Angeles, and something is terribly wrong. What is it? Follow me over to the next entry!

Private Practice 2.15 “Acceptance”

Grade: C+

This is why Addison was calling Derek. Her neurologist brother, Archer, is having some major seizures, and while he’s all sure that it’s an inoperable brain tumor, it takes the other doctors of Oceanside Wellness – who are not neurologists, mind you – to discover that it’s actually brain-eating parasites he caught while on his book tour.

As usual, Cooper gets the best story. This time, a seven-year-old girl who has had many operations (and more to come) as a result of a horrible car accident is abandoned at Oceanside by her parents, who can no longer afford to keep her and care for her. Cooper tracks the parents down at a relative’s house, but instead of guilting them into taking the child back, he realizes that they don’t deserve her. The girl is taken by child services (sad face), but maybe, just maybe, they might be better able to take care of her. Healthcare is a big deal, people, and the sooner you realize that we as a country should be willing to pay more for it via taxes the better of we’ll be. (There’s my sporadic political activism at work, which I will now turn off.)

Violet finally tells Pete and Sheldon about her pregnancy and that she will be keeping the child. I don’t remember what they said in response, but I know that neither of them particularly wants children.

And hey, this was advertised as a crossover episode along with Grey’s, and yet only the final minutes of each had anything to do with each other. Next week is the major crossover, and I wish ABC was more honest about this. Damn grubby ratings-grabbers.

We will have more TV Memory Dump tomorrow! And then perhaps we can return to our regularly scheduled write-ups from moi, the Husband.

The Husband:

After a week off due to, what else, the inauguration, Scrubs is back with two new episodes. (It’s tough for me when this show misses a week. I’m so used to it on the verge of getting canceled year-after-year on NBC that even now that it’s on ABC, its absence gives my stomach that sinking sensation. Hopefully that’ll wear off soon.) And while I’m not entirely positive about a potential spin-off and/or continuation of the series with a whole new set of interns, I do appreciate getting to know them in such depth this season. It’s sort of a more confident but mildly less funny version of Scrubs’ first season, and that’s a nice approach for this show.

8.5 “My ABCs”

In the first episode, J.D. begins imagining Muppets everywhere for no reason other than the show is now on ABC (and Muppets are awesome), being yet another fantasy that mirror his own id. These rascally creatures aren’t in the episode enough for my tastes (put any kind of Muppet show or movie on the television and I will sit and watch until it’s done), merely making cameos, but it did lead to such gems as The Todd’s new “Grover Five,” The Janitor finding a new friend in Oscar The Grouch (although he cannot, unfortunately, keep his eyes open as long as the Grouch) and J.D. posing the following question after Elmo hits on intern Denise.

“What is Elmo? A seal?” – J.D.

In the real central stories, each of our main doctors starts mentoring their respective interns. Elliot gets the two-faced kiss-ass Katie, Turk takes on the immature and lazy but bright Ed and J.D. continues his quest to make the cold and cruel Denise have more empathy for her patients. By the end, Elliot realizes that Katie secretly has no respect for her, Turk realizes that he’s being sexist in selecting one of the interns for a special research project (technically, he picked Ed for the project because Ed signed his name in multiple colors thanks to one of those sweet chunky multi-color pens) and J.D. realizes that he sometimes puts too much of his feelings in his work. (Or is that the next episode? The J.D.-Denise drama has been bleeding through several episodes.)

That Elmo! He tickles me so!

That Elmo! He tickles me so!

Other than the Muppet appearances, I don’t know how much was really exemplary about the episode, but I like Scrubs specifically for the fact that it doesn’t always try to strive for the biggest joke, and is willing to sacrifice some of its laughs for drama. I like Denise, I like her problems and I like her vulnerability. And while Ed hasn’t had too much to do so far this season other than just be obnoxious, I enjoyed his DJ scratching sounds.

“Sa-sa-sa-syphilis!” – Ed

Some of the other quotes I wrote down from this episode:

  • “It’s a good one! The letter’s ‘J.’” – Turk on Sesame Street
  • “Mark my words. I will zwa you by the end of the day.” – Cox
  • “Denise: I like bangin’ dudes.
    J.D.: I hear that’s nice.”

8.6 “My Cookie Pants”

A more emotionally involving episode that also managed to be far funnier than the previous one, this one finally picks up the J.D.-Elliot relationship and reveals them to be a more mature couple than they’ve been in the past seven goddamn seasons. Now, I’m definitely a J.D.-Elliot ‘shipper, but I will agree with some viewers that it has been far too much back-and-forth with too much of the same neuroses being blamed for breaking them up each time. But in this, where Elliot gets a day off from work where she can bake cookies and thus allowing her to wear her stretchy cooking pants, we see her complete attachment to the hospital, and how J.D. is now in a position to help her become more of a regular person. It’s especially difficult for Elliot to have a day off when she can’t even contact Carla, who is out of the country due to her aunt falling out of a balloon. (Hu-wha?)

J.D. has other issues to deal with at work, and that’s finally getting Denise, however slowly, to stop insulting the patients and telling them that their illnesses are really bumming her out. It’s so bad that J.D. uncharacteristically goes out of his way to insult her:

“I’ll see you tomorrow. If you’re not here, I’ll just assume that demons dragged you down to hell to chew your face off.” – J.D.

Fed up with her, he finally threatens to fire her if she doesn’t shape up, and we as viewers finally see J.D. become a truly confident doctor. No matter where the show goes after this season, this Zach Braff’s final one, so we only have less than 20 episodes to see him finally achieve his goal, which to me is to be as good of a doctor as Cox without all the self-loathing that comes with that label.

And Denise…well…she slowly begins to attain J.D.’s great amounts of empathy for his own patients.

Speaking of Cox, he has finally been offered the position of Chief of Medicine, but after being warned that it’s a soul-sucking, bureaucratic nightmare of a job that alienates one from their family, Cox gets in his own way and refuses the position. After getting a talk from Jordan and also realizing that it’s what he’s wanted for so long (and that Kelso was just trying to warn him and not outright shoo him away from the position), Cox relents and does, in fact, accept the position, fully aware of all of its drawbacks. Cox is finally making decisions as a father and a husband and not merely as a doctor, and that is his path toward redemption.

There were a lot of small gems in this episode, but my favorite (and I’m sure many others agree with me) is this final exchange between J.D. and Elliot.

“J.D.: You look amazing.

Elliot: Even in cookie pants?

J.D.: Especially in cookie pants.”

Other quotes:

  • “Elliot: Stop throwing dirty clothes at me!
    J.D.: Stop saying sexy things!”
  • “These are my muffin slacks. Bam!” – Kelso
  • “Are fraidy-cat’s ears too tiny?” – Cox to J.D.
  • “If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right.” – The Todd on sex

The Husband:

It’s a fairly controversial subject among Scrubs fans. And it’s not only should J.D. and Elliot end up together, but if anybody really care at this point? After seven seasons, the two of them have bounced in and out of love so many times that people have cried foul, and that it’s just not interesting anymore. Me? I think they belong together despite how they set each other off, and I wait with bated breath for the next step in their relationship. Repetitive or not, I like these two cats together, and unlike Meredith and Derek over on Grey’s Anatomy, I am still 100% invested in their relationship.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. What happened last night between the two brand-new ABC episodes of everybody’s favorite hospital-set absurdist dramedy sitcom? Up first, the hospital staff rebels against Courtney Cox’s chief of medicine, Dr. Maddox, as she has been so stingy and evil about how to treat patients (and how doctors cut corners for the good of said patients) that the doctors simply can’t do their job anymore and feel their importance quickly being sucked away into oblivion. As Kelso is using up his retirement time merely sitting downstairs at Coffee Bucks (as is the fired Janitor), J.D. and Elliot create a plan to get him to make the board fire Dr. Maddox, but only if Dr. Cox will apologize for all the mean and hurtful things he has said about Kelso over at least two decades. He relents, and armed not only with the knowledge that Maddox is taking payouts from supply companies but also many of the hospital board’s dirty little secrets, Kelso succeeds in having Maddox fired. She, of course, complies fairly easily, but not without complaining about how much time she’s wasted around Sacred Heart finding a condo and a new school for her child, as well as stopping all the illicit sex she’s been having with Dr. Mickhead.


“Mickead: That doesn’t have to stop.

Maddox: Yes it does. You shouldn’t have to strangle me to maintain your erection.”

Carla, meanwhile, takes Katie the kiss-ass intern to task for lying about all the help she has been receiving from other doctors in treating her patients, and decides not to put up with any sob story Katie might throw her way. Carla is the lioness of the hospital, and she’s heard it all, and no mini-Barbie is going to change that fact.

And as for the Janitor, well, he’s not hired back yet (not until the next episode), but he feels that whatever he did to torture J.D. was always deserved and never just cruelty for the sake of cruelty. One of the reasons J.D. deserved it?

“You didn’t wear the shorts my imaginary wife made for you.” – Janitor

But in the next episode, the Janitor realizes that even if he hasn’t been rehired, he can still pretend he’s the janitor until people simply no longer care. Until he gets a paycheck, though, he gets Ted to unknowingly do all the janitorial work, just to…you know…have the upper hand as usual. (Which reminds me, I miss the Think Tank. Where are you, Nervous Guy?)

It is here, though, that J.D. and Elliot suddenly recapture some of their old spark when they begin to spend more time together just “being friends,” like going to the movies together or going on long hikes. (Or, as Kelso puts it, doing everything a dating couple does except having sex.) When this is brought to their attention, they evaluate their many ups and downs of nearly the past decade, and while they realize that they have both hurt the other one on many occasions, they end the episode walking out of the hospital holding hands and looking toward an unknown future. (But what does Keith think about all this? We don’t exactly know, but I’d like to find out.)

Turk, who spent most if not all of the last episode on the sidelines, gets a nice story involving that continued battle between regular doctors and surgeons. When Turk notices that Cox is the only doctor to hang around an exam room after calling for a surgical consult, he learns that it’s because Cox doesn’t trust him enough to let him be alone with the patient, because he thinks that no matter what the situation, the surgeons will always recommend their own services over things perhaps less slicey-dicey. Turk assures him that he is completely trustworthy, but Cox points out that even the most skilled of surgeons (welcome back, the Todd!) still seems to have some major intelligence issues when it comes to anything but themselves or their beloved cutting. Cox and Turk finally come to an understanding, though, and allow themselves to believe in the other’s abilities and open their mind to other suggestions when it comes to medicine.

If you squint a little bit, it kind of looks like a sausage.

If you squint a little bit, it kind of looks like a sausage.

The second episode was a bit light outside of the J.D./Elliot story, but the large amount of exposition was necessary in order to get Sacred Heart back to its former self, which will get even better once Kelso is allowed back on the hospital floors. The Cox/Turk story seemed to just be a nice but unnecessary variation on several plots Scrubs has already done, and Janitor torturing Ted was nothing new. The first was funnier and more ethically interesting, but they can’t all be four-star winners, can they?

Here are some of the other gems from this pair of episodes:

  • Janitor: You’ve never pictured me as an organism who has sex, have you?
    Cox & Kelso: No.
    Janitor: I understand.”
  • Turk’s grocery list is as follows: “Sausages, sausages and more sausages.”
  • Too mean, psyche.” – J.D. to his id
  • “I’m like Norm in this bitch!” – Kelso re: hanging out at Coffee Bucks

And, of course, two individual quotes that I find even funnier out-of-context:

  • “Ah, that’s why he always asks if I’m uncomfortable around oxen.” – Elliot
  • “Man, that hairy bastard loves funnel cake.” – J.D.

The Husband:

I have pricked up my ears, and I have heard the jubilation across the land. Scrubs has returned, finally in the hands of ABC, who has produced the show for eight seasons now, and gone forever is she from the clutches of a confused and untrusting NBC, who shifted the show…did EW last week tell me it changed schedule at least seven times there? Sheesus.

Despite its truncated previous season (and final one on NBC), quite a great deal happened on s7 of Scrubs. Elliot broke up with Keith mere days before their wedding, J.D. became a father and Dr. Kelso, who had been lying about his age, was forced to retire as the chief of medicine at Sacred Heart.

We up to speed? Good.

Who, you may ask, is the new chief of medicine? Well, that would be Dr. Taylor Maddox (Courtney Cox), who smiles so much that it gives Dr. Cox a nosebleed, and yet just like any other chief of medicine is only truly concerned with the bottom line, bleeding money from those patients with great health insurance and immediately “streeting” those without. But while Dr. Cox hates her and her perkiness with every fiber of his being, others have more various approaches of talking to her. J.D., who whenever meeting a new woman can’t help but imagine them with the wind through their hair in super slo-mo, stumbles in their conversations with such awkward gems as when they were discussing their respective children:

“Did you deliver it vaginally?”

Jordan, meanwhile, takes her own unique approach before becoming friends with the chief, declaring that she is “the chief of slag-smacking.”

What the hell is slag-smacking? And how can I possibly be chief of that?

What the hell is slag-smacking? And how can I possibly be chief of that?

Fortunately, Kelso isn’t completely out of the picture, even though he was out of most of the two episodes that aired last night. Not content with simply being retired, he still frequents Sacred Heart’s coffee shop downstairs, enjoying all the drama and madness of his former staff.

But this season the staff has increased yet again, as a new set of interns walk the halls with their own unique quirks. What seems to be a definite decision to ape the show they previously mocked – it’s strange that Scrubs and Grey’s Anatomy are now on the same network – they have put a very strong amount of focus on these new interns, presumably so they can continue/spin-off the show when star Zach Braff and creator Bill Lawrence (Spin City, Clone High) leave at the end of this season. (And as the entire season completed filming months ago, they are already technically gone.) Of the interns, the two most detailed are Ed (Aziz Ansari from Human Giant and Flight of the Conchords), a stubborn guy who insists upon his coolness, and Denise (Eliza Coupe from…Flight of the Conchords…), who has earned the nickname of Jo in a reference to The Facts Of Life, has terrible bedside manner and, apparently, headbutts “chubsters.”

In the first of two very refreshing episodes (last season did begin to repeat itself far too much), Dr. Maddox is introduced into the hospital and immediately begins shaking things up, the biggest of which is firing the Janitor (who delightfully became so lazy that he got rid of his keyring and just made one key that opens everything, including Ted’s briefcase, which we find out in this episode contains only a smiley face and a revolver). By the end of the episode, everybody becomes aware that Maddox means business, and that things will never be the same.

In the second episode, Scrubs takes a step back and lowers the zaniness for another one of its “death is tough” episodes, joining the ranks of such gems as “My Old Lady” and “My Screwup,” when J.D. and Turk give up their beloved Steak Night (“It’s steak night/We’re gonna eat it right”) become attached to George, an old African-American man (Glynn Turman from, what else, The Wire) who has days to live but has no family to share it with or indicate in his will. J.D., after revealing how he wants to be remembered when he dies (he wants to be stuffed just like Rowdy and live with Turk and Carla) and how he will spend his first day in heaven (swim in the milkshake pool and watch a “lesbian cloud”), tells George that they mock death only because they deal with it every day, and if they gave over to it, they would be completely defeated as doctors. Meanwhile, Dr. Cox finally admits to J.D. that they are equals as doctors after giving J.D. a pep talk about how one should never abandon one’s interns no matter how ignorant they seem.

Scrubs is a special little show, one I didn’t begin watching until spring 2006 when I started Netflixing/downloading the previous seasons. (Just like Smallville and The Shield, I didn’t get into any of the three of them when they started because, as I’ve mentioned, I didn’t even have a television in the 2001-2002 TV season when they all began.) I’m glad I did, because it holds a special place in my heart and in many others as well, an absurd, sweet, character-driven sitcom unlike any other that easily walks the line between comedy and drama. I even love the misunderstood Elliot, who is just too neurotic to simply brush off as “annoying.”

Due to the lack of both Kelso and the Janitor during the second episode, I can’t say that I 100% loved either one of them – the show’s ensemble is its greatest asset – and I also missed the presence of The Todd, who has yet to show up and make some very lame penis pun, but I have to say that the show has regained much of its former glory, finding its laughs in its characters and not the other way around.

Here are some of the other quotes I wrote down during the two episodes:

  • “Ted: I’m a lawyer.

    Maddox: Of course you are, sweety!”

  • “Stop confusing me by being nice to me and giving me phones.” – Janitor
  • “Dude, internment camps are never funny.” – Turk

And my favorite, which is even funnier out of context:

“Haha! Hot dog pen! Count it, honkey face!” – Turk