I’m no super-fan : A Scrub is a guy who thinks he’s fly. Also known as a “Busta”. This week saw the cast of [scrubs] reunite and it wasn’t long before talk rolled round to the subject of a reboot. We take a look at the legacy left behind by the series and try to work in as many TLC lyrics as humanly possible.
Airing in 2001 [scrubs] was a medical sitcom which followed the wacky day-to-day adventures of the Sacred Heart Hospital staff. Presented largely as an ensemble story the bulk of the series was centered around J.D. (Zach Braff) a young medical student with an overactive imagination and vast pop culture knowledge.
The show’s strengths lay in its cast of compelling characters. Once that framework was in place the writers were able to tell engaging stories. They were able to swing effortlessly between themes of slapstick and fantasy, before sucker punching the viewer with heart-wrenching realism and emotional blackmail. As a format it worked wonderfully.
The fantasy cutaways were well executed within the confines of the plot and not as tedious as the likes of Family Guy‘s telegraphed “this reminds me of the time….” interludes. They provided an insight into JD’s inner most thoughts that his narration alone could not provide.
It’s fair to say How I Met Your Mother not only nestled into a groove cut by this show, but also the trench of endless repeated episodes that (happily) The Goldbergs is currently filling.
Much like its medical-sitcom cousin M*A*S*H, the [scrubs] light began to flicker toward the end of its run. With M*A*S*H it was a stark deviation from the beloved format and a somewhat preachy output in its direction. [scrubs] faltered but had a strong finish in Season 8 and was soft rebooted for a “season 9” with a somewhat watered-down effort. Upon its cancellation the statement was issued :
“Many of you have asked, so here it is: it appears that ‘New Scrubs’, ‘Scrubs 2.0’, ‘Scrubs with New Kids’, ‘Scrubbier’, ‘Scrubs without JD’ is no more. It was worth a try, but alas… it didn’t work.” – Zach Braff
The cast reunited for Vulture Festival this week to answer questions and share stories from the set. When quizzed about a possible reboot show creator Bill Lawrence commented :
“I would do anything to not only get to work with not only this group, but the writers, and do it again,”
and that some reboots just
“feel like a money grab.”
“If we ever do it, we’ll do it as a short little movie or something else.”
This was an idea that Braff had voiced on numerous occasions over the years since the show ended.
You all know my go-to stance on reboots by now. This show in particular had a fantastic run. Up until the 8th Season its fair to say that the writing was on point. The first 8 seasons were “looking like class” with the 9th “looking like trash”.
But given the current climate – it’s not a good time for comedy. [scrubs] could not work with today’s audiences. J.D. was never an adequate role model for young men but I firmly believe there would be protests over his depiction today. The shows jokes would be deemed offensive. The representation : inadequate. The message : oppressive. The scripts : devoid of social justice and lacking in diversity of identity. It could never work in this time without being a completely lifeless tribute.
No. I don’t want no Scrubs (reboot).
Here’s a few choice clips from the show :