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Scrubs: The Complete Sixth Season
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 10/30/2007
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 10/24/2007
How do you act when you know that no one is looking? Differently than when you're around others I would imagine. You may sing to yourself, talk to yourself, pick your nose -- there's a whole world of things. Now, imagine that you had a television show, but you had the feeling that no one was watching. Would you make a bland, vanilla show? No, you'd make a completely wacky, crazy show. I don't know for a fact that this was what was going through the minds of the people behind Scrubs, but the show's sixth season reveals a program which is going for broke and forcing the viewer to question, "What the heck is going on here?"
(Author's Note: I can't discuss the details of Season Six without giving away from things from the prior seasons. So, if you're like me and freak out when you come across Scrubs in syndication and you don't know if it's one that you've seen or not, please read with caution.) Scrubs takes place in Sacred Heart Hospital and follows the life of Dr. John "J.D." Dorian (Zach Braff), who came to the facility as a resident and stayed on as an attending physician. J.D.'s best friend is surgeon Dr. Christopher Turk (Donald Faison), who is married to nurse Carla (Judy Reyes). J.D. is also friends with Dr. Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke) with whom he's had an on-again/off-again romance. (This actually ended when J.D. told Elliot that he didn't love her.) J.D.'s superior is Dr. Perry Cox (John C. McGinley), an intense man who is convinced that everyone around him is incompetent. J.D. is constantly being harassed by the hospital's insane Janitor (Neil Flynn).
As Season Five came to a close, Sacred Heart had "baby fever". Turk and Carla were expecting their first child. Dr. Cox and his ex-wife Jordan (Christa Williams) had learned that they were going to have a second child. J.D. had just began dating a new doctor, Kim Briggs (Elizabeth Banks), when she suddenly found that she was pregnant. As Season Six begins, J.D. and Kim must decide what they are going to do. Meanwhile, Turk and Carla are preparing for the arrival of their child and Carla has to consider whether or not she wants to return to work. Seeing everyone around her moving on with their lives, Elliot contemplates whether or not she should get serious with her boyfriend, Keith (Travis Schuldt). As they struggle with these personal issues, the employees of Sacred Heart also try to ensure that all of their patients are healthy.
Judging by that synopsis, Season Six of Scrubs sounds fairly straightforward. Actually, it sounds as if it's veering off into soap-opera land. Granted, the storylines in this season stick to real-world, and often very serious topics. (Things like abortion and post-partum depression are dealt with.) But, outside of that, it's anything goes for this show.
Scrubs is a show which has always been known for its whimsical and silly nature. The show's trademark move lies with J.D. daydreams, in which he imagines incredibly weird scenarios, sometimes involving obscure celebrities, or more often, depicting he and Turk in some homo-erotic outing. The show has also a love for quirky characters and slapstick humor. For Season Six, all of these attributes where turned up to 11, as the show seemed to have no internal censor. J.D.'s daydreams seemed to be even more plentiful than ever and they were stranger than before. This season did present some serious topics, but the show seemed to work even harder to juxtapose these stories with bizarre and idiosyncratic ideas such as J.D. being taped to the ceiling of the cafeteria, Janitor walling himself inside of a luxury suite, and a delivery man who is addicted to speed-metal. At times, it felt as if plot-line was introduced just so a very odd joke could be told.
So, it seems very strange that what most would consider the most unusual episode left me cold. Season Six saw the premiere of "My Musical", a musical episode of the show. In this episode, a patient is admitted to the hospital after fainting, and she instead of hearing people speak, she hears them sing. Thus, the entire cast is singing and dancing. I don't know if it was because this scenario really paints the writers into a corner or because the songs weren't that good (most of them sounded like "Grease" knock-offs), but the episode left me flat. Maybe I'd been spoiled by the "Once More with Feeling" episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, but this show did nothing for me and I found myself wanting to fast-forward. Not only that, it put some of the on-going story arcs on hold. I would have preferred more quirkiness than this show.
Despite that stumble, Season Six of Scrubs was still entertaining. The show continues to prove that comedy and drama can mix as the series features some laugh-out-loud moments (my favorite being a jab at Basic Instinct 2) and some incredibly sad moments (when a regular character dies). If nothing else, this season stood up and grabbed my attention with all of its zany antics. Considering that there was a question of whether or not the show would return after its sixth season, I can't wait to see what Season Seven has in store.
Scrubs: The Complete Sixth Season is triaged on DVD courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. The three-disc boxed set contains all 22 episodes from the sixth season. The shows are presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. (This show wasn't widescreen?) The video transfer looks good, as the picture is fairly sharp and clear. There is some mild grain at times, but otherwise the image is free from any source-print defects. The colors look good and the image is never overly bright. I noted some mild video noise in some shots, but otherwise, the video rivals digital broadcast quality. The DVDs have a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. This track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are fine, especially when incorporating off-screen sounds. The surround sound effects come into play mostly during crowd scenes or from musical cues. I didn't note much in the way of subwoofer effects.
The Scrubs: The Complete Sixth Season set contains a mixed bag of extras. Every episode contains an AUDIO COMMENTARY, featuring various actors, writers, producers, and directors. As one would expect, the quality of these talks varies wildly. The remainder of the extras are on Disc 6. "My Making of: 'My Musical'" (11 minutes) gives an overview of the musical episodes and features comments from the composers and the choreographer, as well as the cast. Nurse Carla tells us how she got the role, comments on her character, and lists her favorite episodes in "Judy Reyes Keeps Talking" (7 minutes). "The Third Tier" (8 minutes) examines the show's characters who wander in and out of episodes such as the security guard with the hook-hand. "The Debra and Stephanie Show" (7 minutes) has writer Deb Fordham and actress Stephanie D'Abruzzo discussing the musical episode. The DVD contains 12 DELETED SCENES which run about 16 minutes, as we see the "as aired" scene and then we view the alternate footage. We got something similar in "Alternate Lines" (15 minutes) as we are treated to 13 scenes in which the actors went "off script".
Review Copyright 2007 by Mike Long