Saturday , December 9 2023
NBC shows me the funny.

NBC Gets a Little Scrubs and Polish

I'd like to, just for a minute, thank NBC. Last night's comedy lineup was… funny. I didn't laugh out loud a lot, but I did once or twice, and I certainly felt a little jubilant watching the shows. Maybe it was just a little nitrogen narcosis from practicing my scuba diving a little earlier in the evening, but I don't think so (my understanding is that nitrogen narcosis disappears as soon as one goes to a lesser depth).

My Name is Earl didn't feature the titular Earl waking up from his coma, but it managed to be funny nonetheless. The vast majority of the episode took place in the past, when Earl was still in his "very bad things" phase. His father, played by the funny Beau Bridges (who knew?) was present and remembering just how Earl ruined his vacation to American Samoa by stashing a duffel bag full of Mendocino Greeno in his house. While I don't advocate the smoking of Mendocino Greeno (or any of its close relations), simply having it present apparently does make for funny television.

Funnier still was The Office, which is one of the few shows on television that has successfully been able to negotiate the pitfalls of having a will they/won't they romance go to the will they side and, hopefully, stay there. Now that Jim and Pam are together the whole thing feels so… right. That could be because we've known that they were always really together in their souls even if they weren't together in their lives. It makes the transition to actual romance go smoothly. Plus, so much of the best comedy on the show has always come from the two of them working together against someone else, and having their relationship succeed doesn't preclude those comic gems.

And then, Scrubs… ah, Scrubs. It's a show that I've always watched; in fact, I remember watching the pilot for the show back when I was interning on a studio lot one summer. From the first time I saw it I knew that I would continue to watch the show for the course of its run. I do, however, now feel like the show has run its course. There are babies running all over the hospital, Kelso needs to retire, and Cox hasn't had a good outburst in about a season. J.D. and Turk talking every week about how they're older now and have to grow up isn't the same as the two of them actually growing up, and their having children hasn't changed them either (even if they give some lip service to saying that it has).

NBC has said the show won't be back on their network next fall, but there is still some talk of ABC salvaging the show for another season. It's produced by ABC Studios, so that does make some sense, but I can't think of an historical example of a show, late in its run, changing networks and becoming a massive hit. If it ends up on ABC, I can't imagine it'll be there for more than a season and for any other reason than to fill a timeslot and sell another season's worth of DVDs. Don't mistake me, I'll be sad to see Scrubs disappear from television and it upsets me that if this is their final season it wasn't a full one, but if it goes to ABC I'm worried it'll just have the feeling of them staying at the party too long.

So, prove me wrong. I'd love someone to stand up and explain to me how it'll be pure genius to have the show come back on a different network next year.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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