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Featured TV on DVD Review: Scrubs: Season Nine

September 26th, 2010

Scrubs: Season Nine - Buy from Amazon

Scrubs lasted nine seasons on TV, which is a long, long time. It obviously has a huge number of fans that watched the show over the years. However, while having been on the air for nearly a decade is a great achievement, the odds that is stuck around at least one year too long are also great. Is that the case here? Yes, yes it is. In fact, one could argue that it already hit "one year too many" a while ago. That said, will fans of the show want to complete their collection? Or is it safe to give this two-disc set a pass?

The Show

First of all, there are massive changes in the basic plot of the show this time around. The old Sacred Hospital is gone, along with much of the cast that worked there. It is now a teaching hospital associated with Winston University, where J.D., Turk, and Perry work. (Also working there is Denise Mahoney (Eliza Coupe) as the student advisor.) A number of previously regular cast members make appearances from time-to-time. (Dr. Elliot Reid, Jordan, Bob Kelso, Neil Flynn, The Todd, Ted, and even Ted's girlfriend makes an appearance. I think the only regular not to appear at least once is Carla.

The show's focus moves to Lucy (Kerry Bishé) a new student at the university that is eager but a little naïve. (Very much like J.D. when he started.) There are a handful of other students, but only two that are technically main cast members. There's Drew, an older student that was previously a med student, but who burned out. And then there's Cole, whose parents are rich and donated a huge sum to the school, so they can't kick him out. He reminds me of Dr. Ed Dhandapani from last season, and that's not a compliment. Highly annoying and every time he was on the screen I wanted to change the channel. At least Dr. Ed left the show after just a few episodes, while this guy lasts the full season.

Despite the major changes in the cast, it still feels very much like the same show with the same plots, for the most part. There are a lot of episodes that feel like they exist mainly to give characters one last chance to say goodbye, but there are a lot of episodes that feel like they are too similar to earlier episodes, just with the new crop of you would-be doctors going through what J.D., Turk, and Elliot went through previously. The difficulties involved in becoming a doctor, navigating the politics of the hospital, relationships, etc.

Season nine of Scrubs feels like an unnecessary sequel to a franchise you once loved. It feels familiar, but it feels like it is just going through the paces. It isn't exactly bad, but it is merely average. But for Scrubs, being average is such a large drop-off in quality that it feels much worse than that.

Also, there was no real series finale, as the season just sort of ended. The end of season eight was supposed to be the end of the show, but they tried to squeeze more jokes out of the series than they should have.

The Extras

Extras include a 6-minute look at the new show, new cast, etc., a 2-minute featurette with the two guards in character, 2-minutes of outtakes, and a lot of deleted scenes with non-optional commentary. Not a lot of extras, but the show only lasted 13 episodes its final season, so that's not much of a surprise.

The Verdict

In my opinion, Scrubs peaked in season four and since then, it struggled to find its voice again. There were some funny jokes sprinkled throughout Season Nine, but for the most part, it felt far too much like just an average sitcom than a season of Scrubs. Additionally, the extras on the 2-disc set are rather light, which further hurts the value of the DVD. If you have the rest of the seasons on DVD, then it is worth picking up. If not, perhaps the Complete Series is worth grabbing? But in that case, it might be smarter to wait for that to come out on Blu-ray.

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