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Six Crying Vidiots... Thanks, Scrubs
Rarely does a single episode of a TV series elicit so much response from our readers as the February 24th edition of Scrubs, a show that we Vidiots generally place among the top tier of comedies on TV right now.
Last night's episode, which featured the return of guest star Brendan Fraser, ended with a shock. And it led to our readers -- and the Vidiots themselves -- opining on the matter of "My Screw Up," episode 61 of Scrubs.
It began with reader James Pollack, who wrote:
Did you guys happen to catch the 2/24 episode of "Scrubs"? Had to have been the best half hour of television all season, if not the last few seasons...
To which Chris Rywalt responded:
I spent almost the whole episode laughing my ass off, then cried like a baby. The ending so shocked me I went back and replayed every scene with Brendan Fraser in it, right up until the end, and then I cried even more.
Damn. I'd write about it, but I don't what to say other than that. Alan Alda can go fuck himself: The best mix of comedy and pathos on TV is airing right now.
Alas, the Schmeiser-Michaels family missed it. One of the nice things about Scrubs moving to Tuesdays is that it no longer conflicts with Lisa's CSI recapping duties. However, for the next two weeks, Lisa is filling in on One Tree Hill, so Scrubs is but a rumor to me.
So basically, I missed out on a Scrubs episode that made Crywalt cry so that I could watch One Tree Hill or Dawson's O.C. or The Gilmore Girls' Party of Five or whatever cobbled-together angsty teen show you want to ape.
On the bright side, One Tree Hill does feature in its ensemble the great Barry Corbin as Whitey. Damnit, Fleishman!
I don't think you missed much. There was some funny stuff but this one and the two with Michael J. Fox have all been subpar. Last night's surprise ending was obvious approximately two seconds after it was set up in the first act. On the other hand, John McGinley's performance was damn good near the end and it just proves the amazing thing about Scrubs is how it manages to do all the typical Very Special Episode topics without making them overly sappy or melodramatic.
I'm shocked to find myself saying this, but I'm with Chris on this one. The ending came out of nowhere as far as I was concerned, and pretty much floored me. Admittedly, while I was watching the episode I was also listening to the daily recap of Signs That Something Might Be Horribly Wrong With The Baby, so I might have missed the obvious foreshadowing. But what I did see came as a bit of a shock, and had me rheumy-eyed like a poodle with cataracts in a matter of seconds.
Afterward, I kept hearing the line, "Where do you think you are?" in my head, and was bitter that I hadn't thought to have TiVo record it posthumously before jumping channels.
Incidentally, a question for those whose full attention spans were available to watch the show: was the episode implying that it was really Fraser that died under J.D.'s care and not the old man, or had Fraser already died before the episode started?
As for the Michael J. episodes, they didn't do much for me, but it was nice to see the ol' Teen Wolf back in action, and I was impressed that they didn't milk the potential for maudlin as much as a lesser show might have. And while I'd say that this season Scrubs has begun to sink into the McBeal Tarpit -- a bottomless mire of wacky character traits that traps and smothers any actual plot that might wander into it -- the show still produces more great moments than 90% of all other sitcoms combined.
Finally, reader Jeff Groves chimed in, replying to Rywalt's Station Break on the matter:
If Mr. Rywalt can't figure out what to write about last night's episode of Scrubs, someone better be able to. That episode deserves an article. Not only did they kill off a major guest star without making it "A Very Special Episode of...", but they spend the entire episode getting you to like him instead of stuffing him in a bed and having everyone mourn and sob about him. It hit like a sledgehammer to the gut and throws off any sarcasm you could've had about it, leaving you saddened and shocked.
Besides, we gotta figure out how/when he died. You guys have the TiVos; rewatch it for us!
Monty Ashley is happy to provide, Jeff:
Thanks to NBC's crazy and self-defeating policy of starting shows at one minute before the hour, I moved all NBC shows to below all non-NBC shows on my TiVo Season Pass list. That way, instead of a 9:59 show getting priority over both the 9:00 and 10:00 shows on other networks, it goes the other way. So now America's Next Top Model gets priority over Scrubs. Too bad!
As for editor Jason Snell, he was busy watching American Idol and 24 last night, and left Scrubs on his TiVo for some enjoyable viewing tonight. And so he thanks you all so very much for ruining the episode for him.
Oh well. At least he can watch to see when Brendan Fraser died, and report back to Jeff and the rest of us with the details.
Right? Jason? Jaaaaason?