Saturday, November 10, 2007

“New from Mattel, it’s Hypocrite Barbie!”: Scrubs

Eventually, I’m going to get tired of ending these recaps on a positive, hopeful note. As much as I’ve loved Scrubs over the years, it’s getting progressively difficult to remain optimistic about where the show is going. Episodes like ‘My Inconvenient Truth’ are doing nothing to help.

J.D’s brother Dan returns, completely reformed and now a successful businessman. The last time we saw Dan was back in season five, when J.D. pushed him to change his life and stop being such a loser. At the end of that episode, Dan appeared to have taken the advice to heart. Apparently J.D. doesn’t have as good a memory as me though, as he assumes Dan remains just as much of a screw-up as he was back then. Fair enough, I suppose – it’s not usually that easy to fix someone (a basic weakness in Dan’s whole metamorphosis, if not one worth moaning about). When he finds out Dan has in fact sorted himself out, J.D.’s worst traits come to the forefront and he starts acting like a complete asshole. No surprises there.

I like the basic idea behind ‘My Inconvenient Truth’: just when J.D.’s life is at its crappiest, his reformed brother shows up just to ram the point home. On paper, it sounds like a situation where we should feel sorry for J.D. Except he’s so, so, so annoying. He’s probably the least likeable character currently on network TV (including George and Izzie). In this particular episode that’s the idea, and it is addressed (thank god!). Every main character on the show even tells J.D. in no uncertain terms that he needs to grow up. The message gets through, and J.D. makes up with his brother and goes to see his baby. None of this forgives how irritating J.D. has become since last season, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Honestly I can’t remember a single other thing that happened in this episode, so let me just go and check…ah right. As it’s green week at NBC, the Janitor tries to save the environment, gets bored and gives up. Heartening! Elliot and Cox spar over acting hypocritical with patients, a vaguely promising idea that ultimately goes nowhere. Carla lectures most of the main cast,a reminder of how much smarter she is than all of them. It’s all very forgettable, and there’s not a single strong moment/line to be found.

Like I said, if Scrubs doesn’t improve soon then I will grow tired of maintaining a cautious optimism. But not quite yet. The saving grave of ‘My Inconvenient Truth’ was that it ended on a heartening note for J.D.’s future growth. Hopefully his newfound maturity will carry through in the remaining episodes.


Carmichael Harold said...

While I don't disagree with your general points about the episode, I did enjoy the somewhat subtle undermining of NBC's green theme (what with all the talk of how hypocritical it is to tell other people what to do when you are no better or even worse than them).

(Apologies if this double posted)

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