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Scrubs - The Complete Second Season
I'll keep this short, mainly because the only people reading this review are already rabid and adoring Scrubs fans, but also because my Season 1 review is all but oozing with enthusiastic quotes like the following:
1. "I love Scrubs."
2. "The brilliantly melodious comedy writing and the crackerjack comic timing from a flawless ensemble..."
3. "...smart, silly, sweet, and periodically insane."
4. "...a truly refreshing oasis of sharp and endearing comedy hidden within the generally barren landscape of prime-time comedy."
5. "If American TV had more shows like Scrubs, well, then American TV might stop being referred to as an arid wasteland of mindless garbage."
Think I'm a fan? I purchase so few TV-on-DVD sets, but you'd better not stand in my way when there's a new volume of Arrested Development or Scrubs on the shelves.
All your favorite pals are back for Scrubs' sophomore session. Only now the four newbies aren't exactly new, but it's not like second-year residents are all that different than first-years. We're just a little more familiar and friendly with the gang over at Sacred Heart.
I said it in my last review, and I'll paraphrase myself right here: Scrubs contains one of the very finest ensembles ever gathered for a network comedy. History will back me up. One day the Scrubs gang will be remembered in the same breath as the Cheers barflies, the Taxi drivers, and the All in the Family members. And if they're not, well dammit they should be. Maybe I just have a strange sense of humor, but I'll take the comedic company of Braff, Chalke, Faison and McGinley over just about anyone on television right now. (They're second only to the Arrested Development gang, which isn't too shabby considering that Arrested Development may very well be the funniest (non-Simpsons) TV show ever produced.)
Again I'm preaching to the choir. 85% of the people reading this review already have their Scrubs: Season 2 sets pre-ordered and ready for shipping. You guys are just here to see what's included aside from 22 episodes that range from "pretty damn funny" to "dude I have to rewind that bit and watch it three more times." If you truly want my full-on mega-love Scrubs tongue-bath, please do take a few minutes to read my Season 1 review. But for the sake of anal-retentive fanboy completism (that's me I'm talking about, not you), here's the Season 2 Episode List:
My Overkill (9/26/02)
My Nightingale (10/03/02)
My Case Study (10/10/02)
My Big Mouth (10/17/02)
My New Coat (10/24/02)
My Big Brother (10/31/02)
My First Step (11/07/02)
My Fruit Cups (11/14/02)
My Lucky Day (12/05/02)
My Monster (12/12/02)
My Sex Buddy (01/02/03)
My New Old Friend (01/09/03)
My Philosophy (01/16/03)
My Brother, My Keeper (01/23/03)
His Story (1/30/03)
My Karma (02/20/03)
My Own Private Practice Guy (03/13/03)
My T.C.W. (03/20/03)
My Kingdom (03/27/03)
My Interpretation (04/03/03)
My Drama Queen (04/10/03)
My Dream Job (04/17/03)
Special Note of Good News! ALL of the original music cues have been retained for the Scrubs: Season 2 DVD release. This was a minor-yet-sticky issue on the Season 1 set, but no such problems arose this time around!
Video: The episodes are presented in their original full frame format. Quality-wise, they look even better on DVD than they did on NBC.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, which brings all the banter, the tunes, and the whizzy sound effects home in fine form. Optional subtitles are available in English.
As with the Season 1 tri-disc treat, the extras are spread across all three platters. Here's what we got:
Disc 1 offers 2 featurettes and three audio commentaries. The chat-tracks break down as follows: "My Overkill" delivers series creator Bill Lawrence along with the goofball twins: Zach (Dr. Dorian) Braff and Donald (Dr. Turk) Faison. "My Case Study" offers Mr. Lawrence with actor Ken (Dr. Kelso) Jenkins, and "My First Step" has Lawrence and Faison, but Braff pops up near the end to laugh at his own hair. The commentaries here (and the ones on discs 2 and 3) are a real feast for the fans. The participants are laid-back and often quite silly, but they do manage to talk about the show just a bit. One common thread is that all the principals seem to really love this assignment. It's not just the ability to have a well-paid and well-admired gig, but working on this particular show seems to fill the principals with affection and pride. It's an infectious thing knowing that these chuckle-merchants still hold such a strong affection for their crazy little baby.
A Rare Condition runs 15 minutes and focuses mainly on stuff like location shooting, production design, and costuming, but there are plenty of interview segments, entertaining digressions, and random peeks at on-set silliness. Johnny C. Keeps Talking is a 5.5-minute sitdown with character actor extraordinaire John C. McGinley, a guy who's been in dozens of movies, but may be forever immortalized as the permanently short-tempered, perpetually monologuing, and painfully funny Dr. Perry Cox. (Absolute highlight from Mr. McGinley: "Well, I did that horrible Tom Green movie...")
Rounding out the first disc's supplements is a collection of Sneak Peeks for The Chronicles of Narnia, The Golden Girls S3, Home Improvement S3, Gilmore Girls, Desperate Housewives S1, Scrubs S1 (which of course you already own), Scrubs: The Complete Third Season (!) and "TV on DVD".
The Disc 2 goodies are pretty similar: a pair of audio commentaries on "My Sex Buddy" (Bill Lawrence & Sarah (Dr. Reed) Chalke) and "His Story" (Lawrence & John (Dr. Cox) McGinley), and two nifty featurettes.
Alternate Lines: A Second Opinion is a 4.5-minute collection of alternate takes from throughout the season, several of which are (not surprisingly) quite funny. (All of which, by the way, speak to a rather cool sense of on-set improvisation.) Stunt Casting is a (too-short) 3-minute piece that focuses on the second season guest stars: Heather Locklear, David Copperfield, Dick Van Dyke, Jay Mohr, and Rick Schroeder, most notably.
Disc 3 features the lion's share of the Scrubbed up treats: Musical Stylings (6:59) focuses on the numerous uses that the tunes play in Season 2, from the hilarious a capella group to a wonderfully offbeat appearance by Colin Hay, and just a whole lot of great soundtrack moments in between. Secrets and Lies (10:27) gives up some good gossip: Faison can't hit a basket, McGinley's easily distracted by background extras, cast members party hard and miss their morning call, pranks and levity all around.
Scrubbed Out: Deleted Scenes is 9 minutes of exactly what you're expecting: excised footage from Scrubs' second season. Practice, Practice, Malpractice is a 4.5-minute blooper reel that's short but funny. JD's Mojo (4:05) focuses on how much sex was had in the second season, particularly by J.D. And Imagination Gone Wild (7:34) gives us a closer look at the inspiration and creation of the show's (frequently hilarious) "fantasy moment" cutaways. Last but not least is one final audio commentary on "My T.C.W." with Bill Lawrence and Judy (Nurse Carla) Reyes.
I find that my favorite comedy series seem to have three things in common (besides great writing, of course): Lovably flawed characters, intelligence, and irreverence. I've really no need for yet another "conventional" sitcom at this point in my life, so when something with the sheer goofy brilliance and innate "re-watchability" factor of Scrubs comes along, it reminds me that not all of television is an endless parade of warmed-up leftovers.
As a longtime and passionate fan of Scrubs, I consider this Season 2 set one of the very best TV-to-DVD releases of the entire year. Every single episode makes me laugh like an imbecile, the technical presentation is quite spiffy, and the extensive special features are just the icing on the cake. Just like the S1 set, Scrubs: The Complete Second Season earns our highest recommendation: DVDTalk Collector's Series
And if you think I'm overpraising the show, just pop two of these discs in your player and email me in the morning.