Scrubs: Series 1

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Scrubs: Series 1

What emerges from the Extras, none of which are less than entertaining, is a feeling that this series was fun to make and everyone worked flat out and enjoyed every minute. This is a rare happening and when it occurs should be honoured with a golden bowl of raspberries.

Newbies is the name Dr Cox (John C McGinley) gives to the interns and within the Extras package is the title of a docu-featurette on how the show came about and what the actors remember of those early days. The official creator of Scrubs is the ridiculously young-looking Bill Lawrence, who says that many of his friends at college studied medicine and the stories he heard about what went on in hospitals made his hair stand on end. Once he had recovered from the shock, he thought what a great idea for a TV show, possibly a musical, and based J.D (Zach Braff) on one of those friends, who, with his doctor wife, became their technical advisor - in other words, he turned up on the set and everyone laughed at him. The actors talk about how they got the job and whether the auditions went well. Donald Faison, who plays Turk, admits that he never reads the script before doing an audition "in case I like it too much." McGinley, on the other hand, thought the Scrubs script was so sensationally good, he was glad to audition five times. Ken Jenkins, who plays the Machiavellian Dr Kelso and is, apparently, the nicest guy you are ever likely to meet in real life, spent 30 years in the theatre before subjecting himself to this shower. They all have stories and they are all relaxed.

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Superman Music Video has Lazlo Bane singing his heart out from the roof of an ambulance with his band. He appears inside the hospital as well and gently plays it for laughs, as well as seriously, as this is a good song and he has a late night grungy voice.

The Doctor Is In constitutes an interview with Braff, who has a natural charm that appears refreshingly genuine. He was a complete unknown, waiting tables in a New York bistro, when the call came through for a Scrubbs audition. He had been on the razz with his mates the night before and arrived thoroughly hung over and couldn't remember his lines - he was terrible. Later, after a change in casting directors, he flew to L.A. for another audition. Luckily, they had forgotten about the first and, after six call backs, was offered the job. Ever since, he's been working 14 hour days, six days a week, and loving it. "I've slept in every corner of this hospital."

Alternative Lines: A Second Opinion is a fascinating study in the art of adlibbing. You watch scene after scene being repeated with different punch lines, as if the actors are trying to outsmart each other and the off screen crew are falling about with laughter. This is a tremendous Extra, which shows as well as anything the creative collaborate input of these intelligent performers.

Not Just Another Medical Show is a similar kind of thing as Newbies, except from the crew's viewpoint. They talk of finding a decommissioned hospital that had been empty for seven years and turning it into their living, breathing set that has been so realistically constructed that people come off the streets expecting to be treated for their ailments. Again they emphasise the hard work and joy it brings and, for once, this does not sound like hyperbole.

Favourite Moments, Outtake and Deleted Scenes are fun, but the audio commentaries on six of the episodes are a mixed bag. With the exception of My First Day, where Bill Lawrence goes it alone, he is joined by one or more of the cast, with the result that the commentaries sound like a selection of nostalgic in-jokes amongst friends.

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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Product Code: BUA0001001

Region: 2

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Newbies featurette; Superman music video, The Doctor Is In - interview with Zach Braff; Alternate Lines: A Second Opinion; Not Just Another Medical Show featurette; Favourite Moments; outtakes; deleted scenes; audio commentaries on six episodes with Bill Lawrence and a selection of actors.

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