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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

Scrubs: The Complete First Season (review)

Not another doctor show? Oh, but when Scrubs debuted in 2001, it was instantly the perfect antidote for the increasingly soapy melodrama of ER — and here are the DVDs to prove it. The first season, 24 brilliant episodes, veers from the profoundly silly to the achingly poignant, often in the same scene, as it recounts the year of internship suffered by new doctor J.D. (the wonderful Zach Braff: Garden State), a sensitive, perceptive guy perhaps a bit too tender for his cutthroat new surroundings. Wildly inventive, rife with unexpected pop-culture references and impressionistic imagery, the show embraces a philosophical outlook not only on medicine but on life that is at once peculiarly geeky and deeply insightful, according a remarkable depth to characters — like the tormenting janitor (Neil Flynn: It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie) and the entirely-differently tormenting doctor (John C. McGinley: Identity) — who seem to make J.D.’s life a living, working hell but actually contribute in their own sneaky way to how our reluctant hero manages to desperately cling to his ardent humanism in the face of constant and combative misanthropy. And did I mention? The whole shebang is also ridiculously, sublimely funny. Lots of gifts to the series’ devotees come in the form of audio commentaries on select episodes, never-before-seen dream sequences, documentaries about the cast, a gag reel, an interview with Braff, and more.

MPAA: rated TV-14

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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tv on dvd

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