Scrubs: The Complete Eighth SeasonOverview -
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
For eight seasons 'Scrubs' has remained one of the funniest shows on television. I know there are people out there who will disagree with me, and that's fine, but 'Scrubs' has always stayed true to its story and characters. I've been a fan since J.D., Turk, and Elliot first stepped into Sacred Heart Hospital as the new medical interns in 2001.
After the writer's strike-plagued seventh season, and its somewhat messy season finale, the eighth season picked the show back up where it left off, but switched networks from NBC to ABC. A revamped ninth season will debut on December 1st, with a number of original cast members reprising their roles and appearing in guest spots.
In any case, this is the very last season of the show as we have come to know it. Season eight finds J.D., Turk, Carla, and Elliot pretty much running the show at Sacred Heart. They're teaching their own interns that at times remind them of how they used to be when they were new.
Oddly enough, being retired, Dr. Kelso gets more screen time in this season than in any other. He's also got a great storyline where he comes in everyday for his free muffins at the hospital's coffee shop, and stays around for the in-house gossip. Dr. Cox finds himself filling in as the Chief of Medicine, but struggling to balance the time and resources in his own life.
The show still follows along mostly with J.D. and his inner monologue/day dreams. I've always loved this aspect of 'Scrubs.' This season also became much more self-aware of J.D.'s day dreaming with him humming the songs we hear constantly on 'Scrubs' like the music you hear when someone walks out of scene, or a poignant moment has just taken place.
The new interns are solid additions to the show, but there seems to be a bit of a problem with continuity. Episode 5 seems oddly out of place as it introduces the interns even though we've already met them and know what their personalities are like. The weird thing is that this is never mentioned as a flashback episode. The first few episodes featured the new interns and Dr. Maddox (Courtney Cox) as the Chief of Medicine. This episode happens after Maddox leaves. It's all very strange, and doesn't make much sense as to why it was inserted into the season like that. It's like we're being reintroduced to all the interns again, but this time they seem to have added a couple more.
Overall, in the eighth season, 'Scrubs' is still its same old funny self. It hasn't strayed from what made it a hit, and it seems like this season is something for the fans of the show to enjoy rather than trying to pander to new audiences. Tons of inside jokes like J.D.'s "EAGLE!" exclamations are carried over. It makes for an easy and fun watching experience.
I'll miss 'Scrubs,' but it's nice to see a show finally run its course without getting the axe too soon. This season of the original 'Scrubs' ended perfectly, and for me, didn't carry the show on way too long. Barring the snafu in continuity with the fifth episode, this was one of the most enjoyable seasons of the series.
The 1080p AVC-encoded transfer for the eighth season of 'Scrubs' is a wholly competent, but slightly unspectacular one. For one, it's 19 episodes are all packed onto only two discs. While compression artifacts are kept at bay, the transfer still suffers from slight mediocrity. Detail is never sharp. Every shot takes on a feel of softness. Colors are plentiful, but subdued. Nothing ever pops off the screen, rather it all seems just a bit flat.
All that said, the visuals here are infinitely more striking than those on its murky DVD counterpart. The upgrade is still warranted, because for some odd reason the DVD version doesn't provide a widescreen presentation of the show even though this was the first and only season that was aired in widescreen during its regular broadcast.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track sadly wallows in the same mediocrity as the video presentation. It's just not engrossing or enveloping in anyway. Sure, 'Scrubs' is front-heavy, dialogue driven show, but this track might as well be in 2.1 since the surrounds are hardly engaged with anything other than music from the soundtrack. You'd think a noisy hospital would have more in the way of ambient sound that could make you feel like you're in a hospital, but instead the surrounds stay silent for the most part. Dialogue also comes off just a tad soft through the center channel, and is overpowered at times by the soundtrack in the front channels. It may sound like I'm being a tad too hard on this audio presentation, but there's just nothing here that would really make this stick out as a high definition audio experience. It's a tad mundane, but overall it does a semi-adequate job.
- Audio Commentaries - I'm amazed at the wealth of commentaries that are found in this set. Of the 19 episodes 16 of them have commentaries to go along with them. Try and stay with the commentaries with the actual actors like Chalke, Braff, McGinley, and Faison. Creator Bill Lawrence, who is featured on every commentary, has a deep love for the show and is interesting to listen to. When he's paired with actors from the show, he seems to have some great chemistry with them. By and large these are standard commentaries that expel knowledge about the show. Some of them are quite funny, again with the actual actors. Mostly these commentaries will be enjoyed by fans of the show that want to know what went into making the eighth season of 'Scrubs.'
List of commentaries include:
"My Jerks": Creator Bill Lawrence and writer Kevin Biegel
"My Last Words": Bill Lawrence and Zach Braff
"My Saving Grace": Bill Lawrence and writer Kevin Biegel
"My Happy Place": Bill Lawrence and Robert Maschio
"My ABCs": Bill Lawrence, producer Randall Winston, and actors Eliza Couple and Sonal Shah
"My Cookie Pants": Bill Lawrence and John C. McGinley
"My New Role": Bill Lawrence and actor Ken Jenkins
"My Lawyer's In Love": Bill Lawrence and actor Neil Flynn
"My Absence": Bill Lawrence, producer Randall Winston, actors Eliza Couple and Sonal Shah
"My Comedy Show": Bill Lawrence, Randall Winston, Eliza Couple and Sonal Shah
"My Nah Nah Nah": Bill Lawrence, Donald Faison, and Sarah Chalke
"Their Story II": Bill Lawrence, Neil Flynn, and Randall Winston
"My Full Moon": Bill Lawrence, Donald Faison and Sarah Chalke
"My Soul on Fire (Parts 1 and 2)": Bill Lawrence and Christa Miller
"My Chief Concern": Bill Lawrence and Zach Braff
- My Bahamas Vacation (HD, 20 min) - This feature chronicles how the Bahamas episode was filmed on-location. It's one of those features that make you feel bad that you can't up and go work in the Bahamas for a few weeks.
- Deleted Scenes (HD, 12 min) - There are 15 deleted scenes in all that are spread out through the season. 'Scrubs' deleted scenes are somewhat fun to watch because of the adlibbing that goes on with the cast. These are above average deleted scenes, because they are usually just funny jokes that were cut because of runtime.
- Alternate Lines (HD, 15 min) - There are 17 alternate line segments that show how a certain line actually aired, and then alternate lines that were tried out by the actors to see if they would stick. Again this is pretty funny, because the cast is fairly good at improvising.
- Bloopers (HD, 3 min) - Some backstage funnies and laughter, but mostly just line flubs and actors laughing at things that aren't necessarily funny to us because we don't know the entire context.
- Scrubs Interns Webisodes (HD) - These are just shorts made from the interns that appear this season on 'Scrubs.' no doubt setting up the upcoming revamped version of the series. Oddly these webisodes have more detailed picture quality than the show itself. They've got a handheld camera feel, so contrast is a bit off, but the colors and detail are much more realistic than the actual show. Kind of weird.
Overall, they have some pretty funny moments and do a good job of integrating the regular actors into them.
The list of webisodes includes:
"Our Intern Class" (5 min)
"Our Meeting with J.D." (4 min)
"Our Meeting in the Broom Closet" (3 min)
"Screw You With Ted and the Gooch" (2 min)
"The Late Night with Jimmy Show" (4 min)
"Our Meeting with the Braintrust" (3 min)
"Legal Custodian Outtakes" (3 min)
"Our Bedside Manner" (2 min)
"Our Meeting with Turk and The Todd" (2 min)
"Our Final Advice" (4 min)
"Our Meeting with Carla" (3 min)
"Legal Custodians Episode" (3 min)
'Scrubs' has been one of the most consistently funny shows over the past eight years. Sure there are episodes here and there that miss the mark (season seven finale, I'm looking at you), but I have thoroughly enjoyed its run. This Blu-ray is worth the upgrade mainly because of the aspect ratio improvement. Why they would release a DVD and Blu-ray in two completely different ratios is beyond me, unless they were trying to be sneaky and give people at least one reason to buy this Blu-ray set over the DVD. The video presentation, other than the widescreen picture, is very, very average at best. The audio presentation is a tad below average. It's a shame that the show was given such a mediocre treatment for its first foray into high-def territory. It doesn't give us a lot of hope that any of the other seasons (if released) will look and sound any better. This is one for fans, as the show has many, but those of you that were expecting a stellar high definition presentation, just aren't going to get it.
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