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The campaign NOT to renew 'Scrubs'

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  May 11, 2009 06:25 AM

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As news continues to arrive about what the networks are planning for next season, word continues to grow that "Scrubs" will indeed return for another year. Ugh.

ABC, you still have a week before the Upfronts in New York, when fall schedules are announced. Don't do it. Don't. Do. It. Last week's double episode, called "My Finale," was the finale, and should continue to be the finale.

We saw J.D. on his last day at Sacred Heart, we saw him have a series of (increasingly humorously self-conscious) farewells with Turk, we saw him trick Cox into confessing admiration and affection, we saw him flash ahead to his future with Elliot, we saw him envision his son and Turk's daughter getting engaged (shades of "Will & Grace")... We saw him walk down a hall filled with people he'd known and treated during the run of the show. We even learned the Janitor's name (Tony).

It wasn't among the best sitcom finales ever, but it was a nice, warm farewell. Let that be the end, rather than rebooting the show with new doctors and some musty guest visits from the old cast. "Scrubs" deserves to die with as much dignity as possible after eight seasons. At its best, "Scrubs" was among the top sitcoms of the 2000s, exploring the surrealistic single-camera style more aggressively and more successfully than almost any other single-camera sitcom ever. Creator Bill Lawrence fully utilized the potential of quick flashbacks and fantasies to define and illustrate J.D.'s interior landscape. There were times when I felt "Scrubs" rated with "M*A*S*H" in its ability to turn on a dime from comedy to drama.

And the actors have formed a strong -- and woefully underappreciated -- comedy ensemble. They, as much as the show's visual imagination, are the heart of "Scrubs." To turn the "Scrubs" look and style into a sort of franchise with new characters is just a bad idea. It demeans the original show, as far as I'm concerned, and taints its legacy. If you love something, set it free...

What do you think? More "Scrubs"? Or time to scrub out for good?

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45 comments so far...
  1. This is one of my favorite shows to watch. My TV viewing is about four TV series shows and this one is close to the top for me anyway. It will be a sad day for me when they cancel it.

    Posted by Bonz May 11, 09 07:57 AM
  1. Scrubs is a great show, but I feel like the finale was only for J.D. I want closure on all the characters I love. As much as Zach Braff is the main character of Scrubs I still have affection for every character and would like to see where they all end. Not just J.D.

    Posted by Jon May 11, 09 08:13 AM
  1. I agree 100%. Long one of my favorites, I thought the show had a great send-off and I would not watch a spin-off or derivative show . . .

    Posted by Nitch May 11, 09 08:22 AM
  1. Matthew,

    I usually agree with you -- but I was pleasantly surprised with the quality this year. I understand Zach Braff's exit, but if the rest of the cast is staying on (or the vast majority at least) I'm more than happy to see this show continue. Per your statement this really is an ensemble show, J.D. may have been the main but both the writing (and Braff's acting) has been the weak point of the show for the past two seasons. I feel as if the heart of it can continue with some new interns.

    Posted by e. s. b. May 11, 09 08:25 AM
  1. Yeah, time to end this. Do not go the way of the Cosby Show, bringing in "cousins" and their children, or maybe the likes of "That 70's Show", where you replace the stars with...well,...more cousins and little guest appearances by original cast members.
    Surrender the fantasy. It's over.
    Besides,...its repeated on Comedy Central and other stations anyways.

    Posted by xthirdimpact May 11, 09 08:27 AM
  1. Some shows run it's course. Having a finale and then bringing in back, i highly doubt it's going to do well after that.

    let the show go in peace :) no need to drag it out and make it a show people remember as ending without a bang!

    Posted by MyTwoCents10 May 11, 09 08:35 AM
  1. well i like it and they should keep on running ok

    Posted by samoy2e May 11, 09 08:40 AM
  1. Please Scrubs, don't jump the shark!

    Posted by Tony (Not the Janitor) May 11, 09 08:43 AM
  1. Yes, it is time to say goodbye to Scrubs as it has truly run it's course!

    Posted by headergirl May 11, 09 08:59 AM
  1. Scrubs has been an incredible show over it's lifetime, slowing down in the 6th and 7th seasons but coming back strongly in the 8th. I would like to see a 9th season but it would only be if they retained most of the core cast and Bill Lawrence. The next season could mean going on without Zach Braff, Bill Lawrence and John C Mcginley, and should they not return. I hope they do right by the show's history and reputation

    Posted by don quixote May 11, 09 08:59 AM
  1. I agree. As much as it will sadden me for it to end--this show really can not continue w/out JD's voice. I am not sure if I can really remember a show that turned on a dime so quickly between comedy and drama. And when I say drama I mean literally tears welling thinking, "What the heck? This is supposed to be funny!" A great cast and a very admirable ending. Let it go.

    Posted by rick in va May 11, 09 09:01 AM
  1. I have mixed emotions. Scrubs without JD is not Scrubs. And if they are going to make this into something else - then yes - it is time to move on. That being said - this show has been one of the best comedies of the decade and I would love to see it continue if they can keep that same magic. Whenever I feel down - this show always picks me up and makes me laugh and smile. I was getting choked up at "My Finale". It is like anything else - you grew up watching the characters mature and you yourself in a way don't want to grow up either - you want the good times to stay with you as long as you can!

    Posted by Bob May 11, 09 09:02 AM
  1. I love this show. however much like Saved By the Bell:The New Class, I will refuse to acknowledge it's relationship to it's television ancestor!

    Posted by andy zoric May 11, 09 09:02 AM
  1. This is one of the best shows I have seen in a while. It is really funny, can be really emotional and heart-warming, and inspirational. Dr. Reid is so hot! Dr. Cox - my idle - all the way down to his support of the Red Wings! The whole cast is amazing! If they are going to completely change the show - plot, mood, and genre - then yes - it is time to let it go! But if ABC can still make it a magical comedic genius - then keep it going! Scrubs is not Scubs without JD though. Scrubs is not Scrubs without all of them - including Dr. Kelso! Man, I will miss this when it is off the air. Long live Sacred Heart!

    Posted by Robert May 11, 09 09:15 AM
  1. I agree that for artistic reasons, Scrubs should be retired and revered as one of the great sitcoms of all time. But since when is artistic intergrity the motivating factor behind any decision a studio makes? If they think a re-hashed Scrubs will pull in more advertsing dollars than a new idea, well, you know ... so much for artistry.

    Posted by Marc May 11, 09 09:16 AM
  1. I love the show but I agree that the finale should be THE finale. it wrapped it up nicely and I don't want to see it with another crew. If there was going to be another season with the original cast (which I would have loved) they should have done that and saved this past episode as the real finale.

    Posted by Kevin Gray May 11, 09 09:18 AM
  1. I agree, let it die with dignity. Love the show, but it's not like ER where they can bring new cast members in and out and still have the same quality show (which ER struggled with for a few years). JD was too much of the show to not have him in it, bringing in an entirely new cast will just not work, and the current cast without JD will just flop and die a quick death. The problem with network tv now is that they can't come up with anything better: it's either reality, or a CSI type of show (which I enjoyed, but it's all that tv can come up with now).

    Posted by bigguy May 11, 09 09:21 AM
  1. I love Scrubs, and have seen each individual episode, and still watch the re-runs on Comedy Central, which is why its hard for me to say, let it go ABC.

    One more season, is the equivalent of Jordan coming back to the Washington Wizards (or Farve to the Jets), the show will have flashes of brilliance, but that's it, it will only be flashes, and will hurt the shows legacy.

    The only way I could envision it working is if they do something like they did with "The Practice", aka “Boston Legal”. You'll have to reboot the franchise and put the focus on all new cast members, and their own story lines. Which may have worked had they kept people like Aziz Ansari, who has already left to NBC. While Dr. Cox, and Dr. Turk (Donald Faison and John C. McGinley) are still funny by themselves, what made the show special was the dynamic between JD’s self-conscious, insecure and incredibly childlike head (providing the shows running monologue) and the rest of the cast… Good luck trying to reproduce that.

    Posted by Marco881 May 11, 09 09:27 AM
  1. I agree Matt. Don't renew! Is one of the best series ever and I love catching the re-reuns. But without JD and the rest of the cast, it just won't be Scrubs. Let it go, it was a well done send-off.

    Posted by Michelle May 11, 09 09:39 AM
  1. I couldn't agree with you more. In my opinion, Scrubs was a show about J.D. and the people in his world. To continue it without J.D. would just be a hollow attempt to recapture the magic. I have to say, having watched Scrubs faithfully since the beginning, I sobbed through the last 5 minutes of the finale, but when it was over I felt glad for the privilege to have enjoyed such a wonderful ensemble cast and will miss the "guy love" between Turk and J.D. but don't have any desire to watch some alternate version, if it is to continue.

    Posted by Time to Scrub Out May 11, 09 09:42 AM
  1. I think some of you need to get a life...instead of watching someone else's.

    Posted by wilhelm_klink May 11, 09 09:50 AM
  1. My only regret is that we did not see JD and Elliot get engaged and watch their wedding. I know that in "My Finale" it hints that JD and Elliot get married - grow old together etc.... - but wow - what a show it would have been if you had one - or two episodes - or even a whole season dedicated to them re-ignited - culminating in their wedding day - which I think is what we were all hoping for every year. I know that the show was centered around hospital life and all of the characters and how they adapted to it - but we watched two gawky kids grow up and become adults. That is the only episode I think that is missing - then let it go from there and once you know that JD and Ellio are togetehr forever - all is right in the world again!

    Posted by Kristen May 11, 09 10:06 AM
  1. Yes, yes, yes it must end! Please don't screw up what was a great finale.

    Posted by Maria May 11, 09 10:56 AM
  1. Scrubs should have ended after the pilot episode.

    Posted by Eric Cartman May 11, 09 11:08 AM
  1. Time to bring on Josh Meyers!

    Josh Meyers, Seth Meyers much less-talented brother, who was a cast member on both MADtv and Topher Grace's replacement on "That '70s Show", would be PERFECT to replace Zack Braff and put the final nail in thsi show's coffin!

    Scrubs is already dead: they just don't know it yet.

    Posted by Dave at the Cove May 11, 09 11:28 AM
  1. It's time for it to end.
    This season was surprisingly good, even with the changes they made.
    Please, no spin-offs. No Joanie loves Chachi, no Scrubs Miami, no Scrubs SVU.
    Now, I think it would be great if they could get the cast together in 5 years and update the characters for an hour special. Done in the Scrubs way, not in the cheesy way of all those Brady Bunch sequels, I think it could be original and great.

    Posted by B Damon May 11, 09 11:46 AM
  1. Hey, I'm all for a continuation of Scrubs. It'll be nice to know all the remaining cast and crew still have jobs.. and there's lots of directions they can go with it.. Not a "joey" with Todd. That's right out. but lots of others.

    Posted by Andrew May 11, 09 01:11 PM
  1. Scrubs is a fab show through and through, I am a huge fan. I think it ended in the best way possible, and if it continues -then bring it on! Why not??!! It may not have the original cast, but that doesn't mean to say that it won't be as great as before - give it a chance! Bill and the gang - you do a great job!

    Posted by Gracie May 11, 09 04:45 PM
  1. Scrubs needs to go out with dignity, and it definitely did. Let there be no more "Scrubs" episodes. Scrubs is by far my favorite television show of all time, I'm hard-pressed to find more people who know more about the actors, characters, music, and episode than I. I do care about what happens to the other characters in Scrubs but those were pretty much a given. We saw Dr. Kelso leave to continue doctoring, the Janitor will continue to Janitor and he has a wife, Ted is moving in with his girlfriend, and Dr. Cox will continue his career at Sacred Heart as the Chief of Medicine. There's not much more to ask about the other main characters as we saw the flash-forward into JD's future. Without JD there is no Scrubs, he made the show, it would be awful to see it carry on without the characters we came to know and love.

    Posted by Will Wrigley May 11, 09 05:15 PM
  1. It is the one show where the actors say what I'm thinking. I can relate to all of them in a way I can't say or express myself. I have enjoyed coming home from work and watching Scrubs for 8 years wether the show was a great one or a dud. It was the first show since friends that I could actually enjoy and just laugh.

    Posted by Daniel May 11, 09 06:25 PM
  1. I love Scrubs...... I would love another year of Dr. Cox :o)

    Posted by Carolyn May 11, 09 07:17 PM
  1. wow...the worst show of all time with the possible exception of MASH, and people want it to continue? are right END IT NOW!!!....not because it was a great finale , but because this show is impossible to watch and always has been. I just do not get the is not funny, it is saccharine, it is not drama , itis melodrama at its worst. the characters have not grown, the writing is weak and uninspired, and the acting is boring. yes please end this show!

    Posted by Barry Baumstein May 11, 09 07:33 PM
  1. Barry Baumstein... May I ask what the hell you are doing reading an article about whether or not Scrubs will continue if you don't even care about it?! And by the way, it's a f**king amazing show. So leave. Leave before you hurt your dignity more than you already have.

    Posted by Will May 11, 09 09:13 PM
  1. With the lack of quality sitcoms on network TV these days, another season of Scrubs would be refreshing. The interns (especially Denise) and any returning cast members would make for better TV than more reality TV.

    Posted by Tom May 12, 09 06:53 AM
  1. I have determined that Barry Baumstein is missing his funny bone. I don't know that I've ever met anyone that didn't like M*A*S* that even possible?

    Scrubs has been a great show, but it is time for it to go. Agree w/previous comments to not drag out new casts a la The Cosby Show and force the issue. Retire while you're on top (now see...there's a double entendre there that is very Scrubs-like!).

    Posted by QuigLewis May 12, 09 02:53 PM
  1. I loved the show, but the last season and finale was alright. I think as sad as it is that the show should come to an end. the only 2 other things they could do now is make a Scrubs the Movie, but I don't think it would work out but you never know. Second they could make a spin off with the new people from the last season and maybe some of the original cast if they want to join, It needs to have a upgraded format and also can not be named Scrubs in anyway. So by doing that you can allow scrubs to end in the right way and remember the characters, how maybe you could relate to them, and to remember the laughs.

    Posted by Mike May 12, 09 08:06 PM
  1. Dude if the creator of the show has no problem with it continuing, then why should you? The finale was great, but it was just JD's finale. Even Zach Braff is open to the idea of coming back for a few episodes if it returns. Are you telling me that you wouldn't watch an episode where him and Elliot get married? It's like Bill Lawrence has said many times, he doesn't care about the show's "legacy" what he cares about is giving his cast and crew a job for one more year if not longer. In this economy, who can blame him for that.

    Posted by Clint May 13, 09 10:38 AM
  1. I agree whole-heartedly with this article. Keep Scrubs from ruining the best ending they could've had for the show. There need not be another season, or even a spin off. It was great. Leave it at that. You've made enough money, producers of scrubs. Find something else. Be original.

    Posted by Harrison May 13, 09 11:47 AM
  1. I haven't watched Scrubs in years, but I might watch a show built around that weird janitor guy.

    Posted by prairiemike May 13, 09 12:33 PM
  1. PLEASE END THE SHOW. The show began with Zach Braff and should end with him. I don't want another season like season 6 and 7. The show was already wearing thin before season 8 ended the show right. Season 9 would be even worse than season 6/7.

    Posted by Michael R May 13, 09 03:02 PM
  1. The finale was amazing, the final scene with the flash forward was the best bit. I want to see a season 9 to see whether these fantasy come true, Zach Braff might take a re-occuring role, so it wont be that bad. If season 9 was to happen they must put a storyline that develops throughout the season. But if not it was the perfect end to a perfect show!

    Posted by JOhn May 14, 09 09:52 AM
  1. I began watching during the 3rd season as a 13 year old. In between the 3rd and 4th seasons, I bought season 1 and 2 on DVD to recap, and have fallen in love ever since. Scrubs was an escape for me, and on one of those off days, I still throw in season 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5.... you get it. I'm sad that there won't be new episodes to lift me up, but My Finale was necessary. No JD, no Carla, NO SCRUBS. Scrubs can survive without Kelso and MAYBE Elliot. But too many questions arise eliminating those characters. Season 8 was a gem, a good pick up from the shortened 7th and dismal (in my opinion) 6th. I'd be on board for a show called "Interns" but please, let Scrubs walk into the sunset.

    Posted by Glenn Matthews May 14, 09 02:01 PM
  1. If Scrubs goes away, A LOT of people will lose their jobs. The good people at Scrubs deserve to keep their jobs. As long as people are watching the show and still enjoying it, it should keep going.

    Posted by Chris May 15, 09 04:18 AM
  1. i want scrubs to bring zach braff back and to keep scrubs as it is because it is not fair to cancel a great show like scrubs it would be like cancelling the simpsons

    Posted by mcr3 June 5, 09 05:25 AM
  1. scrubs is one of the best shows ever its like the Simpson's and other great shows it will never get old as the caricatures grow you grow that's like saying life is old yeah its nice to get new things but if its not broke don't fix it

    p.s. Zach braff should not leave ether that's like saying Sam walltion should have left wall mart

    Posted by lorenzo in colorado October 24, 09 03:35 PM

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