The combination of youth, enthusiasm and off-the-wall humour gives this TV series an edge over the competition. The writing is terrific and the performances sublime and unlike previous smash hit sit-coms, such as Friends, Frasier and Seinfeld, it is still fresh enough in Series 1 not to settle into catch phrase territory, or rely on familiarity and one liners.

As a continuation of frat house frolics and student relationships into the harsher environment of the workface - in this case, California's Sacred Heart hospital - it takes the medical side of things seriously enough not to disintegrate into farce. Even Dr Perry Cox, played in a Jim Carrey style by that superb character comedian John C McGinley, has a caring side to him. If the Chief of Medicine Dr Bob Kelso (Ken Jenkins) is the devil incarnate, he is a benevolent demon.

The main players are the interns, dubbed "Newbies" by Cox, who takes every oportunity to humiliate them. J.D (Zach Braff) has a lanky, gauche innocence about him that is easy to identify with and his best friend Turk (Donald Faison) is more of a joker, although fiercely ambitious as a budding surgeon. As for Elliot (Sarah Chalke), she's as scatty as a fruit fly, the constant butt of Cox's cutting jokes. And then there's Carla (Judy Reyes), who becomes Turk's girlfriend. She's a nurse and more switched on than any of them.

The creator of Scrubs, Bill Lawrence, takes huge risks by inserting fantasy flashes and using narrative voice overs in such an original way. Secondary characters, such as the janitor (Neil Flynn) and the depressive hospital lawyer (Sam Lloyd) become increasingly important as the series progresses.

The comedy is inspired at times, but what makes Scrubs stand out as the best thing going are the players. Their commitment is infectious, their sense of fun contagious.

Reviewed on: 30 Jun 2005
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Scrubs: Series 1 packshot
Life after med school for greenhorn interns at a Californian hospital.
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Director: Adam Bernstein, Marc Buckland, Craig Zisk, Peter Lauer, Lawrence Trilling, Elodie Keene, Matthew Diamond, Jeffrey Melman, Michael Spiller, Will Mackenzie

Writer: Gabrielle Allan, Janae Bakken, Garrett Donovan, Deb Fordham, Neil Goldman, Bill Lawrence, Mike Schwartz, Mark Stegemann, Matt Tarses, Eric Weinberg

Starring: Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, John C McGinley, Judy Reyes, Ken Jenkins, Neil Flynn, Sam Lloyd, Aloma Wright, Robert Maschio, Christa Miller

Year: 2001

Runtime: 520 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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