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DVD Review: Scrubs – The Complete Fifth Season

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There's a great big empty hole in my life. Or at least my Thursday nights. Scrubs wrapped up its sixth (and we presume penultimate) season a few weeks ago with one of the sweetest moments in the show's run, and I have an intense yearning to quickly see my friends at Sacred Heart again and find out what happens to them next.

The latter part of that request won't be possible until sometime this fall, but I can always rely on my trusty DVD player to let me peek in on TV's wackiest – and, if the special features are to be believed, most realistic – doctors. Enter Scrubs – The Complete Fifth Season.

I first got into Scrubs just before the beginning of the sixth season by watching DVDs, and I discovered that it's a perfect show for the format. You can easily devour half a dozen episodes without leaving your chair, and only when it comes time to change the disc do you realize you haven't moved in three hours. As the seasons have progressed, that characteristic has only grown as the show has folded more and more engaging drama in with its unique brand of razor-sharp, lightning-quick wit.

The fifth season of Scrubs features some of the series' finest dramatic work, none better than a three-episode arc set up for Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley): "My Lunch," "My Fallen Idol," and "My Déjà Vu, My Déjà Vu." The heartbreaking final scenes of the first, set to The Fray's now-overplayed "How to Save a Life," are perfectly offset by McGinley's silent mourning in the second and third.

Of course, the comedy here is also top-notch. Mandy Moore joins the cast mid-season as a new love interest for J.D. (Zach Braff) and proves herself a surprisingly deft comedienne; Turk (Donald Faison) fronts an air band with the Todd (Rob Maschio), Janitor (Neil Flynn), and Ted (Sam Lloyd); the Todd confronts his sexuality — the sidesplitting moments come at you from all angles.

The centerpiece of the DVD set is the celebration of the series' 100th episode, "My Way Home," an ingenious homage to The Wizard of Oz directed by Braff. In addition to the sequential, 22-minute episode on the disc, you get to see an extended cut with optional commentary by Braff. Alone in the studio, there isn't much for Braff to do in the commentary, but it provides some nice insights all the same.

With deleted scenes and alternate takes for almost every episode that highlight the impressive comedic chops and improvisational skills that the cast has, this set is a great addition to any collection. Sure, Scrubs is now shown in syndication, but the DVD is a must for any fan so devoted that they pumped their fist upon hearing that NBC renewed the show for its seventh season.

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About Jeff Martin