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Case Number 11434

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Scrubs: The Complete Fifth Season

Buena Vista // 2006 // 530 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // May 22nd, 2007

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All Rise...

Listen up Delores, if you are even seen with one more appletini, Judge Ryan Keefer will start yelling gibberish at you until you cry in shame and return to your Sweet Sixteen party.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Scrubs: The Complete First Season (published July 13th, 2005), Scrubs: The Complete Second Season (published June 7th, 2006), Scrubs: The Complete Third Season (published May 29th, 2006), Scrubs: The Complete Sixth Season (published October 30th, 2007), Scrubs: The Complete Seventh Season (published November 13th, 2008), Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season (published September 2nd, 2009), Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season (Blu-Ray) (published November 23rd, 2009), and Scrubs: The Complete Ninth And Final Season (published October 6th, 2010) are also available.

The Charge

"As you all know, Sacred Heart is dealing with a mountain of malpractice lawsuits, courtesy of bumbling interns, clueless doctors and hack surgeons, or, as I like to refer to them, 'you people.'"

Opening Statement

The gang at Scrubs celebrated two milestones in its fifth year of existence; not only were they going to broadcast their 100th episode, but they were in their fifth season, which was a milestone in and of itself. So when it came to Season Five, how does this one stack up to the rest?

Facts of the Case

To sum up the cast of Scrubs, you've got medical attending Doctor John Dorian, a.k.a. J.D. (Zach Braff, The Last Kiss), his friend and aspiring surgical resident Christopher Turk, a.k.a. Turk, or Turkelton (Donald Faison, Clueless), his wife and head nurse Carla (Judy Reyes, Bringing Out the Dead), and their best friend (and occasional J.D. booty call) Dr. Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke, Roseanne). The gang works at Sacred Heart Hospital, where Dr. Bob Kelso (Ken Jenkins, The Sum of All Fears) presides as Chief of Medicine, and frequently clashes with a longtime veteran doctor in Perry Cox (John C. McGinley, Platoon), who's married to the caustic Jordan (Christa Miller, The Drew Carey Show). So in the hope of being as brief as possible to cover the show's 24 episodes during the 2005-06 season (which are split over three discs), they are:

Disc One

• "My Intern's Eyes"
A medical intern's first day, seen through his eyes. Sure, this one is notable for the debut of Keith, but wasn't this episode done a couple of decades ago by the folks at M*A*S*H*?
Grade: C+

• "My Rite of Passage"
Dr. Cox' wife Jordan stumbles when she makes a decision that costs her some face at the hospital. And J.D. feels a bit awkward when his interns patronize him because "he's the boss."
Grade: B

• "My Day at the Races"
In honor of his 30th birthday, J.D. tries to accomplish a series of tasks designed to keep him in a young frame of mind. Turk is also pressured to operate on a patient who wants to be sedated by hypnosis.
Grade: B

• "My Jiggly Ball"
The first freaky Elliot incarnation is spotted, with a hybrid between her and Turk. And everyone tries to find out if Kelso will do something nice in the hospital while trying to decide how to get a rich patient into an experimental study. Elliot manages to return to Sacred Heart after working at a different hospital early on in the season.
Grade: B+

• "My New God"
Dr. Cox' estranged sister Paige (Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm) comes to town for his son's baptism, and the two pick up where they left off. Plus, the janitor punks J.D. using some rather elaborate tactics. It's an interesting prayer vs. medicine debate, but the Turk-Carla pregnancy story got better due to "angry sex."
Grade: B+

• "My Missed Perception"
Aside from a cameo by Gary Busey (Lethal Weapon) and the quest to have a staff picture, the only other event to speak of is a battle between Doctors Dorian and Cox over attention for a patient, including Cox' imaginary warning light whenever J.D. bothers him. And pay attention to the beginning of Dr. Acula.
Grade: B

• "My Way Home"
In episode number 100, J.D. institutes the Dante line of defense when he's called into the hospital on his day off. But instead of Clerks, it becomes more of a tribute to The Wizard of Oz, which was a nice change of pace for the show to experience.
Grade: B

• "My Big Bird"
After a pretty funny opening sequence where J.D.'s scooter is shot by the police, the real story is that Elliot, Carla, Turk and J.D. have to attend a debriefing session on the sudden death of a patient they came into contact with.
Grade: C

• "My Half-Acre"
J.D. thinks he might have found the perfect girl in Julie (Mandy Moore, American Dreamz), but the better story in this episode is the formation of the air band that Turk fronts. Oh, and the Elliot-J.D. hybrid is also good too, not to mention "saltine."
Grade: A

Disc Two

• "Her Story II"
J.D. introduces Julie to his friends, while Carla has a crisis about her age when a younger nurse comes aboard. J.D. thinks that Julie is too good to be true, and starts to overanalyze things in the relationship. Best episode of the season, which isn't saying too much in retrospect.
Grade: A

• "My Buddy's Booty"
Even though bumming from the Julie breakup, J.D. becomes a closer friend with Elliot. And when the two go out on individual booty calls, things get interesting when Elliot hooks up with Keith. And surprisingly, the janitor and Cox develop a friendship in their hatred of J.D.
Grade: B

• "My Cabbage"
J.D. decides to torment Keith, largely because of his relationship with Elliot. However, it backfires on him when another one of his interns performs poorly and Keith turns out to be a stellar intern. There is a pretty good dream sequence of Turk confusing his soon to be child with a pumpkin over the course of years, but aside from that, the ending is a bit of a downer.
Grade: B

• "My Five Stages"
A longtime patient of the hospital is finally about to die, and a rather unorthodox grief counselor (Dave Foley, The Kids in the Hall) bristles Cox and J.D. with his tactics. It's pretty focused on this one topic, but it's a good one.
Grade: B+

• "My Own Personal Hell"
Carla gets annoyed that Turk spends so much time with J.D. (which is the pet storyline since Carla and Turk got married). In the meantime, Elliot's interns start to feel that she is giving preferential treatment to Keith.
Grade: B

• "My Extra Mile"
J.D. and Cox conflict over how to approach taking care of their patients. J.D. is a firm believer of going above and beyond for his patients, until he finds something he might not want to do. Turk and Carla continue their attempts to have a child, bringing in more specialists to find out why it's not happening. It's not too bad, but it could have been better.
Grade: B

• "My Bright Idea"
Carla finally finds out that she's pregnant, but the problem is that she throws the pregnancy test away before it gives her the good news, which Turk finds out and wants to tell everyone about it. When Carla tells Turk, she wants to tell the world, Turk has to scramble for cover.
Grade: B+

• "My Chopped Liver"
J.D. tries to spend some more time around Turk, while Cox and Jordan double date with Elliot and Keith, and Keith uses the information on Cox to the advantage of the rest of the interns.
Grade: C+

• "My New Suit"
J.D.'s brother Dan (Tom Cavanagh, Ed) comes to town to try and reestablish a relationship with Elliot. Meanwhile, Turk is in trouble for revealing suggested baby names to J.D. What happened in this one again?
Grade: C-

Disc Three

• "His Story III"
The janitor ruins a video diary that J.D. made to send to his mother and the staff gives him some grief as a result. Meanwhile, Turk makes an attempt to "be black" while Elliot becomes a more demanding taskmaster to her interns.
Grade: B

• "My Lunch"
J.D. and Cox encounter a former patient that they both find a little bit annoying, but they see her in the hospital due to a suicide attempt. Cox takes a personal stake in keeping three perspective transplant patients alive, but he decides to quit Sacred Heart when they all die after the transplants. It came out of nowhere, but it's pretty good.
Grade: B+

• "My Fallen Idol"
The gang tries to console a distressed Cox, but J.D. refuses to take part in the restoration of his mentor. In the obviously lighter subplot, Turk resists the sensitive, emotional leadership of his new surgical boss.
Grade: B

• "My Déjà Vu, My Deja Vu"
J.D. views the happenings in the hospital today and seems to have seen them all before in his five years. The smaller storyline has the staff trying to help Cox with his apprehension since his return.
Grade: C+

• "My Urologist"
J.D. meets a specialist at the hospital (Elizabeth Banks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and becomes instantly attracted to her. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Elliot starts to doubt her relationship with Keith. Hey, more Dr. Acula!!
Grade: B

• "My Transition"
J.D. and Kim continue to grow close. There's a bit of a swerve at the end that took me by surprise, but if you've seen Season Six at all, you now know what it is. Oh, and Jordan tells Cox that she's pregnant again.
Grade: B+

The Evidence

Season Five for the Scrubs cast and crew found them in unwelcome territory for a lot of viewers. At this point, Braff was making movies during periods of the show's hiatus, and the critical reception that he received from his directorial feature debut Garden State might have puffed his skull up just a wee bit. So for the loyal hardcore viewers out there, with Braff's success combined with seeing more and more of the show in syndication, perhaps there was a feeling that the show had "sold out" now that it had achieved some level of popularity.

As one who started watching the show back late in Season Two, I'd say that the show hasn't sold out, but I would say that it ventured into the area of "safe" comedy. The humor seemed to be a little edgier earlier on in its life, and now it just seemed, well, I don't want to say "boring," but the laughs that were in Season Five came from more of the supporting characters than anything else. Was it because the main characters were moving on with their lives? Dr. Cox used to be a hardass, but now was married to Jordan and dealing with issues surrounding their son Jack. And Turk, the Costello to J.D.'s Abbott, had been married for a little while now, so the first half of the season concentrated on him and Carla as they tried to have a baby. Sure, these characters had their moments during the show, but the moments were brief and they just weren't the same or didn't deliver the same kind of bellylaughs like they used to. Because some of the characters had gotten a little stale, it did give series creator Bill Lawrence (Spin City) and others a chance to flesh out more of the supporting characters that fans clamored for. So that's probably why we've seen more of the janitor (Neil Flynn, The Fugitive), Turk's surgical partner "The Todd" (Robert Maschio, Date or Disaster) and the hospital legal counsel Ted (Sam Lloyd, Galaxy Quest).

I've got to give Buena Vista some credit where it's due; they might have waited to release Scrubs on DVD until well into its third season on air, but they have done an excellent job of catching up, as last year's Season Five has just been released for public consumption. But from a supplemental material perspective, there seems to be a dearth of material compared to previous seasons. There are commentaries on three episodes (one of which is an extended "My Way Home" from Braff, which he directed) plus a retrospective on the show to Season Five, and a handful of deleted scenes. And aside from the commentaries, the extras are on the third disc.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

On "must-see Thursday" television viewing, the lack of a proper high definition version of Scrubs sticks out like a sore thumb. It is the only show that I watch that's not in 1.78:1 and could very well be one of the few that's not. I can understand the decision to shoot and air the show in full frame, because the show's style doesn't lend itself to it that much. There are a lot of tight shots that don't allow for it and there isn't the need to bring in a lot of composition to any one shot, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Closing Statement

Fans of the show will no doubt add this to their collection, as they should, as Turk's reaction to Lando Calrissian is worth the price you pay for getting this. But for newer fans of the show, I'd suggest starting off on Season Two or Three to appreciate the arcs of the character relationships a little bit better, plus you might laugh more as well.

The Verdict

Did you ever see the boobies on Lady Justice! Awesome! Not guilty five!

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 88
Extras: 45
Acting: 86
Story: 81
Judgment: 82

Perp Profile

Studio: Buena Vista
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French)
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 530 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Drama
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Extended Cut of 100th Episode
• Selected Episode Commentary
• Easter Eggs

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