Scrubs : Seasons 1-4 Reviewed.
Season 1 (2001-2002)
I decided to do these reviews after watching episodes of season 4 and from memory it hit me that season 4 was dramatically different from the earlier seasons. so i pop in season 1 and begin my marathon to attempt to prove this point. the first episode establishes the characters well, and as it goes on, the characters stay very strong and in some senses are better than they are now in the 4th season. JD's Narration is more heartfelt, feeling stress of the hospital. That brings up another key point of the first season. Speaking as someone who has been hospital fair few times, this season, even for its first season catches the atmosphere brilliantly. The busy days and lazy nights. In the milestone episode, My Old Lady, you get great feel for this. How the hospital seems very busy in the day, yet at night is both chilled out, yet totally awake at same time. thats what recent seasons have lost, its more about out of this world whacky situations and less about working in hospital. This season doesn't cheap out on laughs either, they come thick and fast. The side Characters (Ted, todd ect.) provide great laughs and compliment the rest brilliantly. Though JD's inner thoughts haven't quite hit their comedic stride as they do later, there are certain moments of the genius that will follow. Guest Stars in first season include John Ritter, Sean Hayes, Fred Stoller, Nicole Sullivan & Brendan Fraser all bringing something different to the mix. Brendan Fraser stars as brother in law and best friend of Dr.Cox, Fraser seems to blend into the comedy style with on effort. Another aspect i enjoyed about this season is the releationships between the characters some of which is lost now. Such as the brilliant Cox / Carla friendship, with the underlining subplot of cox fancying carla. Elloit and Carla's rocky start to their friendship. plus one really interesting one, and one best moments of first season is when JD and Crala fall out because the stress of doctor / nurse relationship and job status affects their friendship. this leads to an excellent scene where carla yells at JD, stating he cares more about being a doctor than friendship and calling him a "Patronising Ass". I think this storyline should of been followed up on rather than resolved in one episode. overall this is a very strong season, alot of atmos than current seasons, drama is higher, comedy is sharp and very funny, a very strong start, loved it more than i did the frst time.
Season 2 (2002-2003)
I call this the "Dr Cox Season" it seems that they picked up on fan feedback from the first season, saw the popularity of Dr Cox and went into his character alot more. Not to say there isn't growth for the other characters, JD in some apsects, but mainly this is where we find out about cox. The main drive for this is the introduction of his wife and hospital board member Jordan. sure we saw her on the first season, but in one or two eps, now shes in alot. She's a great addition to the show, her character is sharp witty, unforgiving and demanding, she's great! Second season covers the cox/jordan relationship, in episodes such as "My Story" we see Dr Cox take the role as narrator, with great results. We have the birth of Dr cox's Son, his trouble dealing with being a father, all combining to what is IMO the shows best finale yet. (though season3's wedding comes close) In terms of the style, theres really not much difference. I noticed in the first season that JD's narration was very heartfelt, especially in first 8 or so episodes, not really funny, just nervous sounding, that has gone. now we have a comedic deleivery, that only gets better. The style of jokes hasn't changed dramatically, just more often now. What scrubs seems very good at doing is making key episodes per season. episodes that push the bar a little further, or are just so well made they stick out from the bunch. some i'd like to mention from season 2 are : My Overkill, My Big Brother, My Philosophy, His Story. sure there are more but they stuck out for me. theres a shift in the Bteam characters, Janitor makes the much needed jump to being a full time cast member, and Bteam characters such as Todd, Ted and Laverne are given more lines and moments to shine. Where i'd say this season dissapoints is that it just doesn't differ enough from the first, not that the first was bad, it was outstanding, but maybe something a bit different would of been nice, however, you'll soon read my opinons change once we get to season 4 :) so in all, Season 2 was a solid, polished, story driven season, that i think maybe more than anyother felt like a complete season.
Season 3 (2003-2004)
Season 3 is very important in the direction the show is going to take in further seasons. It opens very well with JD dancing and singing along to "faith" by George Michael, untill turk tells him to put something on that rocks, hence his switch to U2. This starts sets a very fun, natural tone that really is great and does indeed set the tone for the rest of the season. With the re-introduction of Sean (in 2 episodes of season 1, had longer hair). Sean is actually one of the best aspects of season 3, really blends well into the style and provides some of Season 3's big laughs. Though season 3 isn't all good. From the get go, you can tell scrubs has changed, from the bright sets, to the actors appearences. i may be out of my depth here but i account some of the changes, especially those in Zach Braff's appearence to the fact they are picking up more notoriety as famous figures and actors, and therefore the show is flashed up a little, maybe in an attempt to compete with some of the glossy shows out today. however i think this, if that is the case, was a mistake. scrubs is set in a hospital and therefore that should come first, the atmosphere of a hospital, not that of a TV set (though scrubs is filmed in a actual former hospital) much of it now looks more like a set, in my view, a negative move. The style of comedy becomes more whacky and out there, JD's character becomes increasingly geeky and goofy, a move i approve of, as i think this is where Zach shines in terms of comedic performance. Now, i think it would be a sin if i did this review without mentioning the episode, My screwup, right? well its everyones favourite, and with all good reason. I don't want to give away the episode for those who have not seen or are new to scrubs. However i will say that it is one of the finest written, planned out, heartbreaking and funniest episodes of anything on TV. Also features the return of Brendan Fraser, and its like he never left, his character hasn't missed a step. The guest spots of Michael J Fox and Tara Reid are also very wellcomed. Though for all its good parts, it does feel that its lost is objective slightly in this season, more fragmented than season 2, without the story of Brendan frasers character, it might be as whacky as season 4. The ending is pretty sweet with Carla/Turk's wedding, overall a good season that is funny as anyting they have done, but let down by the glaring fact that the show was picking up popularity and leaving behind its impact and some of its storytelling (excluding my screwup of course)
Season 4 (2004-2005)
We've entered the Twilight Zone. Season 4 is the craziest season yet. everything seems to of taken an almost cartoonish nature. If you thought the sets were bright in season 3, you'll need sunglasses now. The Bteam characters have become mere caricatures of their former selves. Janitor possibly being the only one true to the original character. I think the worst offender is Jordan. Jordan used to be this strong character and a figure of terror for the other characters. Now has become just someone who makes a joke about cox from time to time while having a stupid running joke or bstory. Molly Clock, though funny from time to time, doesn't seem to mould into the cast aswell as previous guests. however, for all its short commings, for whacky humour , its possibly the finest example yet. The Turner and Hooch runner was very funny, JD/Turks friendship as always provides great laughs, JD's inner thoughts are on top form, and provide some of funniest moments yet. Though i can't help but think they went to far with this season. there are some steller episodes and Colin ferrel pops in for guest spot and steals the show to make possibly the best episode of the season. all in all, a very funny season, possibly the funniest, but not at all emotionally effective, side characters become a joke but i guess i'm just picking. I Like Season 4, but i like Season 3 better.