Scrubs was a funny show. It may not have been the funniest show on television, but it was still funny enough to make me chuckle at least once per episode and that is something which is very difficult to do. However, the comedy aspect of Scrubs wasn’t the only thing that kept me coming back watching the show faithfully episode after episode. From the get go Scrubs managed to walk a very thin line, constantly shifting between comedy and drama and it did this quite well for several seasons.
For eight seasons the main character of Scrubs was John Dorian or J.D. for short. J.D. started the show as a doctor in his mid twenties interning at Sacred Heart a fictional hospital located somewhere in California. Within the first couple episodes of the show J.D. quickly established himself as an eccentric goofball who spent half his time in his own head concocting hilarious and often completely random fantasies which those of us as fans enjoyed throughout the duration of the series. These fantasies became a staple of the show, but it wasn’t so much the laughs that came from these fantasies that kept us watching but the way in which J.D.’s fantasies offset the often serious issues with which the show was dealing with.
One of the most unique aspects of Scrubs was that it dealt with death, a lot. It dealt other serious issues as well, but often death was the shows one constant nemesis and throughout each episode J.D. or one of the supporting characters would face death, disease, depression or countless other issues that hospital staff deal with head on. Every episode would end with a monologue from J.D. where he would address these issues. Sometimes J.D. would have some sort of resolution for the problems which ailed the character whether it be relationship, hospital related, or otherwise; but more often then naught there would be no true solution to a problem J.D. was facing, instead we’d find him coping with these issues in the best way he could.
As I watched Scrubs, my devotion to the series grew with a vigor. I watched boxset after boxset (yes, we do live in the era of DVD boxsets and Netflix), and by the time that I had finished watching the first five seasons of Scrubs I felt that I had a television character to relate to in John Dorian. Here we had a character who struggled from insecurities. He had a dead beat dad and a dead beat brother. His constant need for recognition from Dr. Cox stemmed from needing a more prominent father figure in his life. He had trouble holding down a relationship. He was finicky and a tad effeminate. He had a passion for what he did and struggled with the grave realities of it everyday. His friendship with Turk was a bromance that we should all be so lucky as to experience one day. Within the timespan of those five seasons J.D. had managed to bang Sarah Chalke, Mandy Moore, Amy Smart, Roller Girl (well not really, but he made out with her so kinda), and other hotties who I straight up don’t recognize. It was incredible how much I had grown to like this character in that time.
Man, I really did love that show. I just kept coming back for more. Scrubs had a great cast of characters, great guest stars, funny fantasies but above all those things that show had a great main character. However, by the time that the sixth season rolled around the quality of the show began to dip. Few shows can run for more then four seasons without seeing a drop in quality and Scrubs was no exception. By the sixth season of the show almost everything had become a running gag. Dr. Cox’s rants, The Todd’s questionable sexuality, everything the Janitor did, it was all the same rehashed joke again and again. By that point the show had really run its course and no where was it more evident then in the character of J.D. whose character had been reduced to an idiot who really wanted a hug. That was basically it. He ‘eagled‘ and hugged. What a shame.
You see, I’m bringing this all up because Scrubs was cancelled recently. I’m not sure if anyone really watched any episodes of the ninth season/spin off, but it was a somewhat of a painful experience. I’m not blaming my pain on any of the new characters introduced in this season (even though one of them was really, really bad) but instead I’m blaming J.D. for my pain. Zach Braff guest starred as J.D. on the first six episodes of the the spin-off. It was difficult to watch if anything. All of those quirky things about J.D. that we had learned over the course of the original series had been reduced to annoying running gags. By the end of the sixth episode I was so very, very glad to see him go. This is something I could never have imagined myself saying when watching some of the earlier seasons. At that point I just wanted to see if the new kids could hold up on their own. Apparently, they couldn’t.
At this point I may just sound like I’m whining. It sounds like I’m complaining because such a likeable character isn’t what I remembered him being. Maybe you liked the new the J.D. from latter seasons of the show. I know that personally I couldn’t stand him. It’s just funny how TV will just do that to you after. You’ll get drawn into a show, love it for a while, and then be disappointed by changes as the show evolves (or devolves in this case). It was such a shame to see J.D. go from a character to a shell of a character, but these things happen. I know that the J.D. I loved and related to may be gone, but he stills exists somewhere. I just gotta look for him.