Our results on the Scrubs personality test – I’m Dr. Cox and Veronica is J.D.

This may seem odd – a television list from me.  But I have several reasons for throwing it in here.

1 – I wanted a piece between the two Top 100 Novels pieces.

2 – I had no For Love of Books pieces ready.

3 – During the first few years that we lived in Boston, Scrubs was very much an everyday part of our lives.  I usually worked at night and so we couldn’t get into regular shows, but Scrubs was airing sequentially on Comedy Central in the late morning.  Even before we started checking out the DVD’s (and later, buying them), we were able to watch the whole show, from start to finish.  During our time in Quincy and our first two years in Arlington, during all the time that I was toiling at Borders, it was one of the few things that Veronica and I could do together.The list, by the way, is in series order.  And there are SPOILERS on the episodes, especially the videos.  You have been warned.

#1  –  Season 1, Episode 4  (My Old Lady)

One of the things that Scrubs did so well was using music.  It wasn’t just a commercial for hit pop songs.  It could find older songs as well and it figured out to how to use them as well as any show I have ever watched.

In comic books, the fourth issue was always a big deal.  It dates back to a few big things in the early 60’s – the re-appearance of The Sub-Mariner in Fantastic Four #4, the return of Captain America in Avengers #4, the first appearance of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in Uncanny X-Men #4, the addition of Green Arrow in JLA #4.  So I look at a fourth episode as a chance for a show to wow me and Scrubs really does it.  The episode deals with three patients, with each of the three young doctors (J.D., Turk, Elliot) all dealing with one and the knowledge that 1 out of 3 patients in hospitals die.  But then we get to the end and we see how well the show has set us up – that it can be serious as well as having its flights of fancy and that its songs can make us cry as well as laugh.

#2  –  Season 3, Episode 13  (My Porcelain God)

Scrubs was created by the same guy, Bill Lawrence, who had created Spin City.  As a result, over the years, nearly every major actor from Spin City made an appearance on the show at some point and those episodes were almost always great.  The two parts with Michael J. Fox were especially enjoyable.  The ending to this one was another reminder that while Scrubs was a great showcase for independent music in the early part of last decade, they also could showcase other music.  Here, we have “A Murder of One”, the last track from August and Everything After, the Counting Crows debut that was a staple in college for pretty much everyone I knew.  It also has one of the most bizarre Scrubs gags – the roof toilet.

#3  –  Season 3, Episode 14  (My Screwup)

This is the return of Brendan Fraser as Dr. Cox’s brother-in-law (and best friend).  For a while, I wasn’t real fond of Fraser.  But then he did that double duty of solid performances in Gods and Monsters and The Quiet American, able supporting the brilliant performances by Ian McKellen and Michael Caine and I realized he could be pretty good.  He’s very good in the two-part episode in the first season where he appears.  I won’t mention what happens in this one.  If you’ve seen it, you know what happens.  And if you haven’t, well, it does such a good job with it, you really should watch it.

It also does a phenomenal job with the song “Winter” by Joshua Radin.  It is a reminder that many of the songs I listen to from the last 10 years I heard first on Scrubs and I currently have three full mix CD’s I have made just of songs from Scrubs and with pretty much every single song I can tell you exactly what is going on in the episode where the songs is being played.  I might, if another instant list is necessary down the road, do a top 20 list of uses of songs in Scrubs.

I’ve timed this badly, in that my #2 and 3 choices are airing on Comedy Central as I write this and so you will have just missed them.  But all of the seasons of Scrubs are available in the Watch Instantly on Netflix.

#4  –  Season 5, Episode 7  (My Way Home)

If you have read any of my film stuff, you know how much I love The Wizard of Oz.  This episode is a love poem to the film, complete with cranking up the colors, bizarre references that you won’t realize the first time (J.D. begins the episode by cranking up the Toto) and an absolute pitch-perfect ending.  There are many ways to sing “Over the Rainbow” and most of them are great, but my favorite is IZ’s version.  Ted and his Worthless Peons end this episode singing it in exactly that style, a beautiful version of a beautiful song and a perfect long crane shot to end the 100th episode.

#5  –  Season 5, Episode 9  (My Half-Acre)

This was actually the episode that totally made me a Scrubs fan.  It was a complete accident.  I had the habit of putting Thomas down for a nap (not that he took one) just in time to watch the morning rerun of the previous night’s Daily Show.  I would often catch the last couple of minutes of Scrubs before Stewart came on, but usually didn’t care.  I started watching this one right when the video kicks in and for some reason, the air band playing of “More Than a Feeling” completely won me over.  It made no sense to me at the time (because I hadn’t seen the rest of the episode), but it was just perfect.  Later, after getting a chance to actually watch the whole episode, I loved it even more.  So, yes, the show that has introduced me to so much new music, actually won me over by playing a song that I have been a fan of since I was about 10 years old.