Best of the Small Screen, Comedies No. 7


Over the next 17 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today I continue with a comedy gem from NBC's golden comedy era.

Scrubs (2001-2010)
Numbers of Seasons/Episodes: 9/182
Network(s): NBC (for eight), ABC (for one)
Starring: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, John C. McGinley, Sarah Chalke, Neil Flynn, Judy Reyes, and Ken Jenkins
Creator: Bill Lawrence
Favorite Season/Episodes: Season 1, 1.04 "My Old Lady," 1.11 "My Own Personal Jesus," 3.14 "My Screw Up," 6.06 "My Musical"
About: "Scrubs" probably isn't in the pantheon when most people think of the greatest sitcoms of all time, but it always will be for me. I was in college when it debuted, and perhaps owing to it speaking to me in that time of life, I always loved "Scrubs." It was one of my favorite shows when it was one (at least for the first eight seasons), and I think it was one of NBC's most under rated comedies. It had a unique style of humor and a unique take on life, and I appreciated both of those. But it was also a show that had an incredible emotional core, and that's what always drew me to it. In fact, that comprises most of the memorable episodes that made this list. One, "My Musical," showcases the creativity and silliness that made the show fun. It's a fun, and funny, episode that felt a little daring at the time. Though musical episodes are all the rage now. The other three are about pathos. Episode 3.14 is an emotional journey for both JD (Braff) and Dr. Cox (McGinley), and those are usually the best. The other two come from the first season, which is arguably my favorite. "My Old Lady" is about death and features a guest appearance from the incomparable Kathryn Joosten, who is great in everything. And "My Own Personal Jesus" has always been my favorite episode. It's the first season's Christmas episode, and it's also a beautifully honest and striking meditation on the question of a loving God and an ugly world. Turk (Faison) is a Christian who finds his faith tested on Christmas Eve when he sees the parade of darkness and suffering that come through the ER on an overnight shift. But that's not where "Scrubs" leaves the story. Instead, it ends in a beautiful and miraculous way. This isn't a Christian show, but I appreciated the care with which they told an important story. It will always be the episode I think of first when I think of "Scrubs."

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