The Tv sitcom Scrubs was popular for many reasons; one being the way that it could juggle the hybrid genre of the medical dramedy (Comedy & Drama) scrubs kept in balance; even though there are heavy moments and serious issues, as is the environment of a hospital, it is able to still keep the tone of the show light hearted with the comedic moments and quips that the characters add.
The story line of scrubs was able to balance multiple factors into the show, keeping the stories fresh and interesting while continuing on situations and scenarios placed by precious airings with all the laughs.
One of my favorite episodes is from season 5. Even though I had said in a previous post that I would focus mostly on season 2, I feel that this particular episode is my favorite because of how the story plays out and what happens to the characters in it. The Episode is Episode 21 season 5 called “My fallen Idol”. The episode focusing around the “whole scrubs family” attempting to help one of their fallen, Doctor Cox. This not only tests the others, as they try to not only help their fallen friend and balance their everyday lives, but our main character, J.D, as he comes to the realization that man he idolized as a hero, is human.
The show opens in immediately jumps into the story, you are dropped into sacred heart hospital running into Doctor John Dorian, or as his friends call him J.D, as he does his hospital rounds. Just as every episode the very beginning you, as the viewer, are able to hear just exactly what the crazy man is thinking. You get a sense of the hospital and how it comes to life for each episode. You get a small glimpse at a hospital attendant, whether it be a doctor or nurse, and a quirky patient that either tackles the nurses or makes the doctors miserable. From the moment you episode starts, you are immersed in the look and feel of the hospital. From the scrubs and lab coats, the waiting room, hallways, and operating room you have no doubt where these people are. Everyone has a uniformed look, while having each one detailed to the character and field. For example, J.D always wears blue (medicine), turk wheres green(Surgeon) , and Carla (Nurse) wheres shades of pinks and light purples.
In the opening sequence of every episode it is able to uniquely recap the previous episode and establish the main problem of the next. In the first few seconds, through the internal thoughts of our main character, goes over in his mind what happened last episode/previous events, thus refreshing the audience on what happened before.
“You should always celebrate life because you never know when it’s gonna throw you a curveball. Like with doctor cox; he recently made a decision that any doctor would have made and because of it three patients died” ~The internal thoughts of John Dorian Season 5, episode 21.
In this particular case, episode 20 My lunch , the hospital had three high priority patients, all of whom where on life support and all waiting desperately for organ transplants. When another patient, Jill Tracy a frequent guest character on the show, tragically dies it gives Doctor Cox the chance he needed when he discovers she is an organ donor and he makes the call! But, as drama could have it, Jill Tracy died of rabies and it has infected all of organs who have already been given to the other patients. One by one they die and Dr. Cox believes that it was his decision that caused their deaths.
The next episode, the one this blog post is focused on, is the one where the doctor attempts to deal with his decisions. Each episodes is held in the present, each scene is taking place one right after another or, if announced by our main character, simultaneously while another prior scene already took place. And this episode is no exception. The episode starts off right after episode 20, when it’s been a few days since and the hospital, as is with everything in life, continues forward taking care of it’s patients. Every episode takes one to two minutes to establish it’s main question before the opening scene. This episode played till 2:30 before the title sequence started.
As I mentioned earlier, there was about two minutes before the opening sequence. This establishes a few things in their order.
- A recap of what happened last episode
- a brief two sequence of shots showing how Cox had been taking the loss of those patients. It wasn’t going so well as he wasn’t taking the whole thing well.
- “Now I know Doctor Cox seems mad at the world right now. Just remember, three patients died. What’s amazing is that he can take a hit like that, one that would knock any of use out for good, and come out the other side still standing. That’s why the man’s an inspiration-I mean, he is a rock” Yep, he’s the best damn doctor here! J.D reaffirming, as he does within most episodes, and solidifying for the audience that he really does truly idolizes the man. J.D has always seen the doctor has his superhero, a man he could not only look up to, but aspire to be to.
- Doctor Cox is drunk while attempting to attending to a patient. (and then after the title sequence plays)
- (A secondary problem) Turk has a had time connecting with his new head attendant, Dr. stone, who is far more extroverted than the average person.
- J.D wasn’t ok with Cox getting drunk while he was at work. At least, that was what he was saying.
Through the next few scenes we see the characters, even with everything that is going on, must continue with their everyday work. So as they all try to balance their new roles watching after their broken family member, they continue on with their work. This leaves room for many opportunities for the crew and the audience. It gives room for a bit of comic relief for everyone for a few scenes as the characters try and go about their day. Like this very important public service announcement