"SCRUBS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON"
by Kevin Carr
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|| MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ****(out of 5 stars)
Zach Braff as DR. JOHN “J.D.” DORIAN
Sarah Chalke as DR. ELLIOT REID
Donald Faison as DR. CHRIS TURK
Ken Jenkins as DR. BOB KELSO
John C. McGinley as DR. PERRY COX
Judy Reyes as CARLA ESPINOSA
Studio: Touchstone Television
Created by: Bill Lawrence
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In its third season, “Scrubs” really settled into itself. The characters needed no more introductions, but needed to be deepened. This resulted in less shows about the hospital and the shenanigans therein, and more about the personal lives of the doctors outside of the hospital.
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The third season for any show is a great time. It means that the show has been on long enough to gather a strong audience. Unless it really screws up (or is slipped into a bad time slot by the network), it will most likely stay afloat for a fourth season, making it that much closer to syndication.
However, the third season of a show is also a dangerous time. By the season premiere of year three, there have been anywhere from 30 to 50 episodes already produced. The novelty of the series has worn off, and new ground has to be mined for new stories.
“Scrubs” chose to take the doctors out of the hospital. It also opened up the secondary characters a little bit more. We see less of Jordan (Dr. Cox’s ex) walking the halls, and more of them at home taking care of their baby. We see less of Elliot finding a guy to date at the hospital and target a Sea World dolphin trainer.
For the most part, “Scrubs” rolls into its third season in style. They keep up the fun by bringing back past guest stars and introducing new ones. Probably the best guest star to show up in the third season is Michael J. Fox as the obsessive-compulsive Dr. Kevin Casey.
On the subject of guest stars (and it pains me to say this), I will say that Tara Reid as Jordan’s sister and J.D.’s new love interest was a stroke of genius. In the special features, you will find out that the show’s writers originally had a specific type of character in mind for Reid. However, they found that it would be better to let her be the party child that she is. We’re left with a rare, genuine performance by Reid – and it fits in great with the show.
Much of J.D.’s focus in season three is his obsession with Elliot. We may have thought this was over in both season one and two, but we soon find out that their relationship is like Kenny in “South Park.” It comes back every season, only to be killed off again. Will it ever die? I guess seasons four and five will tell.
The only problem with season three is that with the urge to give more depth to the characters, there is a certain edge that was lost. Of course, that edge would disappear for anything in the third season because by its own definition, it’s no longer fresh and new.
I hope to see more of Dr. Cox’s return to biting insults to the staff. While Dr. Kelso is still as mean and inappropriate as ever, I’d like to see even more nastiness behind him. Still, the cast and crew has the show in hand, and the characters are still fun to watch every episode.
As with seasons one and two, the third season DVD set has a boat-load of special features. There are commentaries on a couple episodes as well as about a dozen featurettes that reveal secrets of the sets and what happens behind the scenes. Like the other two seasons, we’re treated to gag reels, deleted scenes and compilations of the funnier slapstick moments.
Specifications: Dolby Digital Surround Sound. Full frame (1.33:1). English language subtitles for the hearing impaired.