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Buena Vista Home Video presents
Scrubs: The Complete Second Season (2002-2003)

Turk: This is our house!
Elliot: We're in charge!
J.D.: I love my butt!

- Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, Zach Braff

Review By: Dan Heaton  
Published: January 17, 2006

Stars: Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, John C. McGinley, Donald Faison, Judy Reyes
Other Stars: Ken Jenkins, Neil Flynn, Aloma Wright, Christa Miller Lawrence, Robert Maschio, Colin Hay, Tom Cavanagh, Heather Locklear
Director: Varied

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (suitable for television audiences)
Run Time: 07h:59m:00s
Release Date: November 15, 2005
UPC: 786936281583
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AA-A- A-

DVD Review

After watching countless sitcom ideas recycled during the past decade, I can clearly proclaim that the basic sitcom formula is dead. Only shows with an inventive idea (and the absence of a laugh track) can shine creatively within the morass of dull half-hour series. Will anyone truly remember Yes, Dear and Two and a Half Men 10 years from now? I highly doubt it. One of the wonderful exceptions involves a group of doctors learning the ropes within a stressful, but amusing hospital setting. While this may not seem like a unique concept, the final product overwhelms expectations and offers a consistently entertaining series.

Scrubs stars Zach Braff (Garden State) as J.D.—an aspiring doctor of internal medicine who discusses his daily experiences in a silly internal monologue. Some of these thoughts appear in fantasy sequences that work much better than they should and provide ingenious moments. J.D.'s best friends are his roommate Turk (Donald Faison)—an exuberant guy who works in surgery—and the attractive Elliot (Sarah Chalke), who has lingering feelings for J.D. Their relationships are surprisingly complex and differ from the typically one-note sitcom friendships. It's entirely believable that these characters would hang out in real life, and the actors' excellent chemistry enhances the enjoyment. Turk spends most of his time with his serious girlfriend Carla (Judy Reyes), a nurse frustrated when the doctors unwittingly express their feelings of superiority. Her character differs considerably from your typical Latino character on television and also exudes impressive depth.

While the young leads all perform well, the comedy truly shines due to scene-stealing performances from John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox), Ken Jenkins (Dr. Kelso), and Neil Flynn (The Janitor). These wonderful characters offer some advice to the newer doctors and succeed in driving them crazy on a weekly basis. Dr. Cox is the well-meaning mentor for J.D. and Elliot, but he also constantly berates them on the inadequacies of their job performance. McGinley crafts a unique individual who could have become a caricature in lesser hands. Jenkins is the overly grumpy department head who cares for little but himself and keeping the hospital from getting sued. Jenkins jumps so headlong into the role, however, that even the difficult Kelso becomes a memorable figure. The nameless Janitor's constant toying with J.D. never grows old because of Flynn's “straight man” delivery of each line. His role was originally intended to be small, but the actor's excellent improvisation and great work with Braff transformed him into a weekly role.

The second season begins with My Overkill—a highly inventive episode that ranks among the best of the series. Men at Work's Colin Hay receives extensive screen time as the Greek chorus of the episode. While following J.D. throughout the hospital, he plays the melodic Overkill on an acoustic guitar. This device is hard to describe properly, but it remains one of the show's best musical sequences. Songs play a key role during many episodes, and the producers avoid the usual mundane television fare and promote talented artists. The Old '97s The Question works perfectly during a marriage proposal on His Story, and frontman Rhett Miller's voice returns again for their tune Come Around during a key moment of My T.C.W.. Attorney Ted Buckland's (Sam Lloyd) band The Blanks returns several times to perform hilarious acappella renditions of TV and commercial theme songs. Their best moment is a heartfelt delivery of the Charles in Charge theme on My Nightingale.

The story picks up right where the previous season ended, with Cox's ex-wife Jordan (Christa Miller Lawrence) angrily revealing each main character's secret to the others. Although they do get over this scene, the ramifications will remain during the entire season. J.D. has more luck with several very attractive guests this year (Amy Smart and Sarah Lancaster) while still pining for Elliott. Smart plays the T.C.W. (“Tasty Coma Wife”), who charms J.D. while her husband lies in a coma. Meanwhile, Elliott has a lengthy relationship with a “murse,” Paul Flowers (Rick Schroeder), but has a hard time dealing with his job as a male nurse. Dr. Cox and Jordan get involved again, but events are complicated by her pregnancy. Finally, Carla and Turk's relationship becomes more serious, which creates a rift that could be difficult to mend. These items provide only a small percentage of the stories covered during the second season, which moves each character into compelling territory.

Scrubs' second season features a wealth of stellar guest stars, including Tom Cavanagh (Ed) and D.L. Hughley (The Hughley's) as J.D. and Turk's big brothers, respectively. With a few exceptions, the actors generally play roles that offer more than a way to boost ratings. Even stunt castings like David Copperfield and Jay Leno deliver big laughs and never feel too over-the-top. The fantasy sequences remain strong, especially a poignant Broadway finale about death that remains one of the show's most effective scenes. J.D. and Turk also have a great James Brown sequence during My Kingdom that shows the actors fully enjoying themselves. This innovative style lifts this comedy above most of the pretenders and makes it an unpredictable joy nearly every week.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Scrubs: The Complete Second Season utilizes the series' original 1.33:1 full-frame transfer with some impressive digital enhancements. While the mostly indoor format allows for a minimum amount of colorful visuals, the images still provide a solid experience. The television origins definitely limit the picture's effectiveness, but it still contains a small amount of defects.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: This release includes a solid 5.1-channel Dolby Digital track that succesfully conveys the series' remarkable musical moments. The rear speakers don't receive extensive use during most of the episodes, but the overall sound field is solid. The fast-paced, witty conversations are understandable throughout each tale, which is the most imporant aspect of the presentation.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, TV on DVD, The Golden Girls: The Complete 3rd Season, Home Improvement: The Complete 3rd Season, Scrubs: Season3, Gilmore Girls, Desperate Housewives: The Complete First Season
8 Deleted Scenes
9 Featurette(s)
6 Feature/Episode commentaries by cast and crew on My Overkill, My Case Study, My First Step, My Sex Buddy, His Story, His Story, My T.C.U.
Packaging: Box Set
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Scrubs: The Complete Second Season offers an impressive collection of extra features that should please the series' numerous fans. Along with six commentaries and deleted scenes from eight episodes, the set includes nine brief featurettes covering various aspects of the show. The total running time is about an hour, which keeps things short and sweet while providing some entertaining material. The individual extras are described in the following sections:

Commentaries
This release includes six enjoyable commentaries from a wide array of cast and crew members. Show creator Bill Lawrence appears on every track and offers some notable information, while the cast members appear to laugh and enjoy watching everyone work. Zach Braff and Donald Faison mostly inject silliness into the discussion of My Overkill, but it's still a fun commentary. Ken Jenkins is especially interesting due to providing an acting veteran's opinion on My Case Study. Most of the other key participants also appear for at least one episode. Here are the speaker listings for each commentary:

My Overkill: Bill Lawrence, Zach Braff, and Donald Faison
My Case Study: Lawrence and Ken Jenkins
My First Step: Lawrence and Faison
My Sex Buddy: Lawrence and Sarah Chalke
His Story: Lawrence and John C. McGinley
My T.C.W.: Lawrence and Judy Reyes

Deleted Scenes
This collection of extra scenes lasts for approximately nine minutes and includes quick moments from eight episodes. They generally deliver some entertaining footage, but they add little to the overall product.

A Rare Condition (14:52)
This overview of Season 2 covers the basic elements of production and offers some worthy insights about the creation process. Some of the material is repetitive for viewers who purchased the first season set, but it still moves quickly. Topics covered include the hospital location, production design, the goofy costumes, and the unique stunts.

Johnny C. Keeps Talking (5:28)
John C. McGinley is definitely a unique individual, and this quick interview segment focuses on his reasons for joining the show and experiences playing the role of Dr. Cox. The energetic actor is very outspoken, but he appears completely genuine at all times.

Alternate Lines, A Second Opinion (4:36)
Scrubs benefits considerably from lots of improvisation, and this quick feature shows specific scenes (from seven episodes) altered by different line choices from the actors. Neill Flynn (the Janitor) is featured often in these silly moments, and Robert Maschio (the Todd) also provides some fun readings.

Stunt Casting (2:59)
Creator Bill Lawrence and the actors discuss season two's notable "stunt castings," which include Dick Van Dyke, Heather Locklear, Rick Schroeder, and Jay Mohr. I wish this section could have been longer and offered more comments from the guest actors, but it still is a worthy inclusion.

Musical Stylings (7:00)
The song choices play a key role in many episodes, and this piece discusses the role of music on the show. Colin Hay's appearance in the premiere receives well-deserved recognition, and Sam Lloyd's a quartet also gets some screen time. Their renditions of classic TV theme songs like Charles in Charge are always a welcome part of any episode.

Secrets and Lies (10:30)
This collection of vignettes contains humorous anecdotes from the cast and crew about specific moments on and off the set. Examples include Donald Faison missing 21 straight jump shots in Season One during a lengthy take and McGinley's odd working habits.

Practice, Practice, Malpractice (4:30)
This standard blooper reel features the typical line mistakes, falls, and other miscues from the actors. The focus here is on sex jokes, which becomes a bit old but does showcase the enjoyable working atmosphere.

JD's Mojo (4:08)
The second season focused more on the character's personal lives and placed the characters into more sexy moments. This featurette recalls some of the most notable sequences, including Zach Braff's scenes with Sarah Chalke and Amy Smart.

Imagination Gone Wild (7:38)
This series' most unique element is its fantasy sequences, and this feature presents some of the best ones. Filming these scenes can be a crazy experience, but the actors seem to love trying all types of original ideas.

Extras Grade: A-

 

Final Comments

Scrubs begins its sixth season in January and has garnered remarkable success for a show that many believed would not survive a single year. The characters have grown considerably since the early days, but the stories still offer plenty of entertaining moments. This remarkable series' second season should provide much enjoyment for television viewers looking for more than the mundane laughs of typical sitcoms.

 


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