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Scrubs: Season 2 DVD Review

Scrubs: Season 2

February 14, 2006

Director: Adam Bernstein, Michael Spiller, Lawrence Trilling, Will Mackenzie,
Starring: Zach Braff, John C. McGinley, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, Ken Jenkins, Judy Reyes, Neil Flynn, Sam Lloyd, Robert Maschio, Christa Miller, Aloma Wright,

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DVD Review

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. With the exception of monkeying around with the theme song (slowing it down to squeeze in more cast credits – it lasted two episodes), Bill Lawrence and his writers maintained the formula that made their sitcom Scrubs a surprise hit in its first season.

Dr. Kelso (Jenkins) is still a pain-in-the-ass, intimidating the young doctors and giving Dr. Cox (McGinley) grief at every opportunity. Turk (Faison) and Carla (Reyes) became an item and got engaged. J.D. (Braff) and Elliot (Chalke) finally have sex and deal with the ramifications of being intimate with someone you work with on a daily basis. Jordan (Miller), Dr. Cox’s pregnant ex-wife, moves back in with him without telling him that it’s his baby. However, once he finds out and the enormity of it all sinks in, his character softens a little. But don’t worry, he still finds time to torment J.D. with some incredibly creative insults only this time around he’s learned to stand up for himself every so often.

If the first season was about the characters getting used to the hectic pace of their jobs, then this season explores the dynamics between couples. For example in “My Monster,” how saying the wrong thing can totally ruin a mood or how we take our significant other for granted.

Now that J.D. and his friends are second year residents, they have a bit more confidence and this is addressed in “My New Coat,” when they get too cocky and are quickly brought back to reality. Even the janitor (Flynn) continues to taunt J.D., constantly keeping him in check like when he mocks his new doctor’s coat.

J.D.’s big brother (Tom Cavanagh) shows up in an episode. J.D. clearly idolizes him only to realize that his life is a mess. His brother still lives at home and is a bartender. Seeing it from this perspective, J.D. doesn’t feel so bad about his own life. Another memorable guest star is Ryan Reynolds who shows up in the season finale as J.D. and Turk’s college buddy and does his best deadpan, Chevy Chase impersonation.

The cast works extremely well together and by season two they have become a well oiled machine. The interplay between them is well done, especially with Braff and Faison who perfectly capture the dynamic between best friends. The dialogue still flies fast and furious with a nice mix of zany comedy (with many laugh-out-loud moments) and the occasional poignant scene to keep things interesting. Scrubs excels at switching moods suddenly. One moment you have a goofy pratfall or gag and in the next, a serious life or death issue. Joke for joke, this show is one of the funniest sitcoms out there and this season is a great snapshot of just how good it really is.

Special Features:

The first disc features an audio commentary on “My Overkill” with creator Bill Lawrence and actors Zach Braff and Donald Faison. These guys joke with each other and laugh at all the goofy jokes in this spirited track. Lawrence points out that the network hated this episode because they thought it was too artsy (?!).

There is an audio commentary for “My Case Study” by Lawrence and actor Ken Jenkins who admits that he only gets 50% of the jokes he says on the show. The two men recount several amusing anecdotes making this episode and the show in general.

Also included is an audio commentary on “My First Step” by Lawrence and Faison. They point out continuity errors and generally have a good time talking about the show.

“A Rare Condition” takes a look at the making of the show. It’s easy for the cast to get and stay in character because they shoot in an old abandoned hospital. It also keeps the network off their backs. Various aspects, like production design, costumes and stunts are explored.

“Johnny C. Keeps Talking” features veteran character actor John C. McGinley talking about how he got on the show. Originally, he turned it down three times despite being offered a lot of money and going through a messy divorce at the time. He describes his character as a “hard-ass with a heart of gold.”

The second disc features “Alternate Lines, A Second Opinion” that shows multiple takes of scenes and demonstrates how cast members like Neil Flynn and John C. McGinley are brilliant improvisers.

“Stunt Casting” is all about the guest stars that appear in this season. There are three different kinds: pop culture celebs, friends of the show and stunt casting, people, like Heather Locklear, who will garner decent ratings just from their presence.

There is also an audio commentary on “My Sex Buddy” by Lawrence and actress Sarah Chalke. She recounts anecdotes about making the episode while he talks about how the network wanted him to try and make her look sexier.

Also included is an audio commentary on “His Story” by Lawrence and actor John C. McGinley. This was the first time the show was told from another character’s point-of-view. They touch upon how ultra-conservative and religious guest host Rick Schroeder is.

The final disc starts off with a featurette entitled, “Musical Stylings” that explores the role music plays in the show. It enhances the mood of a scene, like being used for comedic effect or for a poignant moment.

“Secrets and Lies” shows some of the challenges cast and crew face shooting the show every week, like the noises in between takes that make it hard for the actors to rehearse their lines.

“Scrubbed Out” includes deleted scenes for eight episodes.

“Practice, Malpractice” is a funny montage of bloopers, pratfalls and blown lines.

“J.D.’s Mojo” is all about the emphasis on sex and relationships in this season.

“Imagination Gone Wild” examines the odd, goofy dream sequences that J.D. has.

Finally, there is an audio commentary for “My T.C.W.” by Lawrence and actress Judy Reyes. More anecdotes and jokes are told in this fun track.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance

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Rating: 88%

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