Last November, I wrote a pretty scathing review of the seventh season of Scrubs. It pained me to watch one of my favorite comedies devolve into the mess it had become, but I tried to remain positive. I ended my review with the hope that the writers would find a “new level of creativity that has been long missing,” and that they “remember to be funny while they are doing it.” Well, I am thrilled to say that they succeeded on both counts.
A large part of this improvement can be attributed to all the new characters. This season found a new group of interns joining the Sacred Heart staff, and in a perfect example of a show coming full circle, the characters that began the show as interns eight years ago must now train the new batch. As well as providing a thematically perfect season, these new additions also proved to be a hilarious group of comic foils for the leads to play off. All the interns were cliched stereotypes on the surface (the tough one, the peppy one, etc.), but there was a depth to them that was unexpected and thoroughly entertaining. As the season went along, they became real characters, and I found myself just as involved in their stories as those of the leads.
Now don’t get me wrong, this season isn’t perfect. Every year, Scrubs has a gimmick episode (the musical, the sitcom, the fantasy, etc.) and this season found the gang in the Bahamas. This two-part episode was painfully unfunny, and although it tried to acknowledge the ridiculousness of the situation with several references to a similarly themed Brady Bunch episode, the whole thing fell flat. Coming right in the middle of the season, it didn’t fit with the rest of the year.
One of the longest extras on the newly released Season 8 DVD is a documentary about the filming of this “very special episode” in the Bahamas. They acknowledge the ridiculousness of the whole premise, but seemed to genuinely think they were making a hilarious episode. They weren’t. Interestingly, the biggest feature on the Season 7 DVD was also a documentary about their gimmick episode (a Monty Python-esque fantasy), and it too was pretty bland. While I love the show, the DVD extras could definitely be more compelling.
Having said that, I did enjoy the Webisodes included on the disc. They feature the interns (in case you can’t tell, I really like this group), and while they do include cameos from the principal cast, they also showcase the ability of these characters to carry their own show. There are rumors about a possible spin-off, and I really hope we get that show someday.
The DVD also includes some mildly funny bloopers, deleted scenes, etc. Overall, it’s a solid set, but I thought this great season deserved a better release. I should also note that the Season (series?) finale is one of the most perfect endings to a sitcom I have ever seen. I don’t want to give anything away, but it is a beautiful ending; artistic and emotionally satisfying. It gives closure to all of the main characters in an incredibly moving way. Any desire I had for another season was immediately removed after this, and I really hope that we get to remember seeing these characters for the last time in this perfect ending.