I was never a fan of Scrubs. I just didn't find it that funny when it first came out with it's over reliance on the same sort of jokes (JD pisses the Janitor off in every episode, Dr Cox gets angry and calls him by a girl's name in every episode, etc) and gave up on it about halfway through the first series. Recently I caught a couple of episodes from series six and seven that changed my mind so we put it on our list of DVDs to buy. When we found it cheap on Amazon we bought the entire series 1 through 7 and we've recently finished watching it. This is my review of the DVD.
If you're like me and gave up on the show during the first series, I urge you to give it another chance. Rather than relying on the formulaic humour they were using during that season, the show evolves and the jokes become more character-oriented as you get to know the characters. Throughout the different seasons new supporting characters are introduced (and a few leave) to keep things fresh, the main characters themselves evolve from fresh new interns to fully fledged doctors and their new maturity and responsibilities bring new depth to the show as well as show off the comedy side better.
While the majority of the show is narrated by JD, occasionally he will mention how complacent he is and that he has no stories to tell. This is usually followed by bumping into another character and then that character starts narrating an episode centred on them, which helps to keep the jokes fresh and give a deeper insight into the core of the supporting characters and their interactions in the hospital.
Of course, being based in a hospital means that not everything will be jokes and the show manages to implement some quite serious storylines that both fit in with the comedy stylings as well as darkly contrast them. These are emotional pieces that are unexpected in the almost cartoon world of Sacred Heart hospital and I'll freely admit that a couple are things that I didn't see coming at all. Those of you who know me know how predictable I find films and television shows and how refreshing it is for me to be surprised by anything. To be surprised by a comedy show (especially the way they did it) shocked me right out of a belly laugh at one point.
JD – "We'd have to find a whole lot of gnomes."
The boxset consists of all seven seasons of the show that have made it onto DVD so far. Each season has it's own set of extras that include commentaries (something I love), blooper reels, deleted scenes, alternate line readings, character features, show features, uncut episodes (which make the distinction of actually being worth watching even if you've seen the cut down version) and a few little easter eggs hidden away in there. If the extras are one of the things that help you decide whether to buy a DVD or not, you wont be disappointed here.
Within the main box are the seven boxsets containing each series. These are exactly as they were released singly and anyone who already owns them wont find any new content. Shows are in the order they were broadcast which means that some episodes are out of order (one character is noticeably bald for no apparent reason in one episode, regains all his hair the next episode, then shaves it off in the next one for example) and this can be frustrating. One of the seasons has a real problem transferring between episodes despite the rest being fine. Occasional subtitle glitching did pop up on our cheap DVD player but it wasn't anywhere near as frustrating as some shows.
The main problem with the presentation of the boxset comes back to the writer's strike. Scrubs was originally planned to only be seven seasons long but the writer's strike cut season seven down to eleven episodes and they never managed to finish the story. While the show has been picked up by another network and the story finished off in season 8 (with a ninth season being planned and based around newer characters) the two networks wont collaborate meaning there will be no season 1-8 boxset and this was marketed as if there are only seven seasons, leaving viewers confused about the place it ends (which itself is an easily noticed out of order episode).
The seven seasons of this show have a total episode running time (not counting any of the extras) of 3,208 minutes. That's 53 hours and 28 minutes. Add about fifteen or twenty hours for all the extras and you've got a lot of stuff to keep you occupied, even though the last series is only a half series thanks to the writer's strike. The DVD is currently floating around the £50-£70 mark on Amazon and we got ours for around £60 making it excellent value for money in my estimation.