ABC Studios // 2008 // 414 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 23rd, 2009
"Licked by the janitor."
While it's technically not the last season of Scrubs (it's coming back in December for a ninth season), this is the last incarnation of Scrubs as we know it. But it leaves the way it came in: goofy, funny, and sporadically touching.
Season Eight opens with the revelation that the one-time "scrubs" now have scrubs of their own. J.D. (Zach Braff) and Elliot (Sara Chalke) babysit the new students, while Doctor Cox (John C. McGinley) berates them relentlessly. Meanwhile, Turk (Donald Faison) and Carla (Judy Reyes) have a big announcement about the expansion of their family, Sacred Heart welcomes a hot, but crazy new boss (guest star Courtney Cox), the Janitor meets the love of his life, and Dr. Kelso can't let go.
Two Blu-ray discs and 19 episodes later, you have your first ever high-def set of a very funny show.
Though I haven't really put my money where my mouth is -- Scrubs is indeed funny, but my familiarity with the series hearkens back to a Season One purchase a long time ago...and that's about it. For some reason, the show never made it into the Johnson family rotation, nor did we indulge in other DVD releases. Eight years later, here we go for what is essentially the final season.
My breakdown in quality-show-supporting discipline aside, this really is a funny show -- weird, unorthodox, and a refreshing break from the typical three-camera setup. Six seasons have passed since I had last tapped into the Scrubs universe and (thankfully) leaping back into Season Eight was surprisingly effortless. I'm sure I missed out on a whole lot, like Elliot and J.D.'s romantic whirlwinds, Turk and Carla's road to domestic bliss, and Dr. Kelso's retirement. Also, J.D. has a baby son with Elizabeth Banks. Huh.
The big twist to this season is the addition of the new interns, who are hit-and-miss, as far as what they bring comedy-wise. The butch, callous girl who J.D. affectionately refers to as "Jo" (from The Facts of Life) and Aziz Ansari's disinterested intern are the high points, but the other peripheral characters aren't as memorable.
This is the headliners' show, and they're money. Braff sometimes comes off as too spacey, but he's still the funniest guy on the payroll...though I will entertain arguments that McGinley deserves the top spot. His Dr. Cox is awesome. In fact, the writers throw him some weightier stuff to run with, including moments with his family, ex-wife, and patients that works effectively in juxtaposition with his typical Alpha schtick. The storylines are amusing, highlighted by a two-parter in the Bahamas featuring a cursed Tiki Doll, and a heavy-duty finale which certainly feels like a series good-bye and not a lead-in to the ninth installment (which creator Ben Lawrence has admitted won't look much like the seasons that preceded it).
The show is served well in high-definition. Its 1.78:1 transfer is pristine, boasting a hugely noticeable kick in resolution, top-shelf colors, and detail work. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio matches up well the high-performing video work, totaling in an excellent A/V presentation. Extras: episodic commentary, deleted scenes, bloopers, Scrubs: Interns webisodes, alternate lines, a nice documentary on the Bahamas arc, and an underwhelming Blu-only segment on Cox's series of female names for male employees. This set also features SeasonPlay, which is pretty awesome. After you create a profile name, the player keeps track of where you are in the season and picks up exactly where you left off. It's a simple concept, but convenient and sort-of-awesome.
A funny array of episodes that's essentially bidding farewell to a nifty series. The Blu-ray set is the way to go.
500ccs of Not Guilty, stat!
Review content copyright © 2009 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ABC Studios
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 414 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Episode Commentaries
* Deleted Scenes
* Alternate Lines
* Gag Reel