You can get your comedy shot for Christmas with this seventh season set from creator/producer/writer/director Bill Lawrence. Zach Braff headlines as Dr. John “J.D.” Dorian who narrates the episodes and facilitates the imaginative cut scenes rumbling around his creative mind. Braff even directs episodes like “My Growing Pains.”
Season seven progresses J.D.’s relationships, especially with Dr. Elliot Reid , played by Sarah Chalke, as well as J.D.'s enemy, The Janitor, played by Neil Flynn, who gets a nice showcase in the episode "My Number One Doctor" as does two-time guest star Kit Pongetti who also appeared in a 2003 episode as a doctor. Braff and Neil Flynn have some great moments in the episodes while the actors exercise their ad-lib comedy skills in the entertaining extras.
J.D.’s friend, Dr. Christopher Turk, played by Donald Faison (Clueless) and Nurse Carla Espinosa, played by Judy Reyes, also got closer this season. John C. McGinley, as Dr. Perry Cox, and Ken Jenkins, as Dr. Bob Kelso, also expanded their roles outside the hospital as many of the characters' storylines extend nicely from season six.
In the "My Princess" season finale this cast visits fairytale land — maybe an unintended bridge to next season’s jump to ABC (owned by Disney), though it probably will remind you of The Princess Bride. “My Princess” also features the return of Aloma Wright as new nurse Shirley, an almost identical look-a-like to her nurse Laverne Roberts character who most of you will recognize. Stay tuned to see if that character continues on ABC in season eight.
The first disc includes the first seven episodes while the second finishes the 11-episode season. “My Dumb Luck”, episode nine, brings some poignant drama and reminiscences for Dr. Kelso. The funny extras include a 20-minute featurette on the "My Princess" finale episode, an interview featurette with Ken Jenkins, lots of funny bloopers, alternate lines (19 groups), commentary from cast and crew, plus approximately fifteen minutes of deleted scenes. The episode audio commentaries even include comments from a costume designer. More focused commentary would be great, but the informal, conversation in your living room feel matches the show well. The bloopers could have been longer individually and as a grouping, but you still get lots of laughs.
The full screen visual format and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound enhance the episodes a bit, but content is king here. Overall, this season isn’t outstanding, but it’s been a great seven years — a notable accomplishment for any television series, so they’re definitely doing something right here. Season number eight starts on January 6 on ABC — good news for fans who can look forward to 18 ordered episodes. Look for some special, “Easter egg” footage in the hospital elevator on the first disc’s menu. A good time at a great price ($29.99 SRP)!