Created by: Bill Lawrence
Starring: Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, Neil Flynn, Ken Jenkins, John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes
The gang is back for a seventh season at Sacred Heart. There’s another crop of interns to humiliate and a new bunch of patients to cure with there unique brand of surreal humor and poignancy.
The set up. Seven seasons ago a fresh crop of interns start their internships at Sacred Heart Hospital. Among them are John Dorian, Christopher Turk and Elliot Reid. John Dorian or JD, played by Zach Braff is a goofy but talented young doctor who tends to wear on his heart on his sleeve. His best friend through college and medical school is Christopher Turk or just Turk, played by Donald Faison. Turk is nearly as goofy and sure to be involved in any ensuing high jinx now that they are interning together. Elliot, Sarah Chalke is a beautiful intern whose main motivation to become an MD is to make her father, also an MD, proud of her. Shepherding this group of newbies is Dr. Cox, John C. McGinley, it is his job to keep them from killing too many patients and hopefully teach them enough about medicine that they could move on to becoming residing doctors. He performed this duty brusquely taking great pains to humiliate as well as teach as he points out the young interns mistakes. Taking a more nurturing path to helping the interns is the head nurse, Carla played by Judy Reyes. There is also the Janitor, Neil Flynn, always there to pitch a monkey wrench where ever it will cause the most chaos. Overseeing all of this is Bob Kelso, played by Ken Jenkins, a cruel, mean and seemingly heartless Chief of Medicine. The episodes are with only a few exceptions told from JD’s point of view. Each one serving as a little life lesson for Doctor John Dorian. The stories are all told with a big bit of humor but with big splashes of melodrama as well. At Sacred Heart not every one gets wheeled to the curb cured. A big chunk of the humor are JDs fantasies. In the middle of a conversation he will tilt his head over and we will be carried along as he daydreams about something that was just mentioned. Music also plays a big role in setting the tone of the show along with the decidedly non sitcom way in which the show is shot. There is no laugh track and the show is shot in an actual hospital so even though you may be laughing it doesn’t feel like your watching a sitcom.
Of course over the previous six seasons a lot has happened. JD and Elliot have gotten together and broken up several times. Turk and Carla are married and have a little girl now. JD and Turk are attending physicians now instead of interns and Elliot is in private practice. Dr. Cox has reluctantly come to terms with the fact that JD considers him a mentor and friend., but some things have not changed at all. The Janitor is still tormenting JD, Kelso’s still just as heartless, JD is still daydreaming and Dr. Cox is still calling JD girl’s names. Season six wraps up with JD about to become a father, Elliot about to get married and the two of them together in the on call room discussing their fears about their respective relationships.
The seventh season starts out with JD and Elliot having to deal with what happened in the on call room and trying to come to terms with their upcoming commitments. Of course they need to figure this out quickly because Elliot is days away from marriage and JD will be a dad in an episode or two. Babies come to the forefront this season as Turk and Carla deal with being parents, JD dealing with being a Dad, Dr. Cox coming to terms with his new daughters health problems and Elliot dealing with the fact that she doesn’t have any kids. The whole seasons not just about babies though. There’s the usual stream of patients to be cured. Todd’s completely inappropriate comments to ignore. The Janitor is constantly scheming and Ted is continually struggling. Towards the end of the season there are a few hiccups in the storyline that occur as a consequence of the writers strike and the uncertainty over whether the show would come back for an eighth season. Without giving anything away the last episode would fit better chronologically a couple of episodes earlier in the season and is mildly confusing till you realize that it’s just out of order. Continuity issues aside though it make a perfect end to the season.
The video is presented in full screen format. I didn’t notice any aliasing or moire although it is consistently a little grainy. The colors are nice and bold but there are a few scenes that are a little overly golden tinted. I believe this was a directorial choice though and not a actual defect. For better or worse it looks like a TV show.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with French and Spanish subtitles. The mix is good with the score never stepping on the dialog. You can set the volume at a comfortable level and leave it without having to ride it up and down.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The DVD come in the a dual disc Amaray case with a cardboard slipcover. The artwork is unimaginative but at least it and the copy communicate exactly what you are getting. The DVD menus are a clever joke referring to a subplot of one of the episodes. The bonus features include a making of featurette for the My Princess episode, deleted scenes and alternate takes along with the requisite bloopers. Each episode has an audio commentary with a rotating cast including the cast, writers, and producers. All the bonus materials are entertaining and worth giving a look or listen.
If your a Scrubs fan and already own the other six seasons this is probably on your list. I don’t think I would recommend this season as an intro, but it definitely has it’s moments with several great episodes. The standout being the fairy tale story in the last episode.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Movie 7/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 8/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10