"Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season" DVD Review
September 30, 2009 by Zach Demeter
Scrubs is the series that just won’t die—and despite a ninth season in the works that promises to majorly mix things up (new location, semi-new cast), Scrubs seems to weather through all of the harsh times and come out on top. Now with this eighth season on DVD and no start date for the ninth season yet in sight, fans can tide themselves over with one last helping of Scrubs goodness in what can only be considered another solid season from the cast and crew at Sacred Heart.
Enjoy every surreal moment of Scrubs' hilarious eighth season as television's celebrated sitcom delivers "much more loopy, creative humor that fans have come to know and love," raves Chicago Tribune. It's a different world for attending physicians J.D., Turk and Elliot as they have their own interns to confuse and bewilder, and a major shakeup in the hospital staff might be enough to finally unite Dr. Kelso and Dr. Cox. Get a big shot of comedy as your favorite characters, and some exciting guest stars (including Courteney Cox), return for a hilarious new year at Sacred Heart. The best way to enjoy the contagious comedy of the complete eighth season is on DVD, featuring exclusive bonus features -- including deleted scenes, bloopers and webisodes. It's just what the doctor ordered.
It’s always a great thing when a series can re-invent itself towards the end to make it still seem fresh and entertaining. There were plenty of mix-ups with this eight season of Scrubs, most notably the promotion of Dr. Kelso and the new interns around the hospital that Turk, J.D., and Elliot got to mock and screw with. It was also nice to see the J.D./Elliot situation continue on a steady and largely drama-free course; even when things between them did call for drama, it wasn’t in the overly dramatic/Death Cab for Cutie orchestrated style that we’ve received in the past. Not saying that didn’t work for the show before, but that’s just another one of the change ups in this recent season that made it truly different.
It was actually quite surprising how many episodes they had this season—when it started out, we had back to back airings and by the end of it we had nineteen new episodes for a season that from the start didn’t seem like it’d get made. After a ridiculously disappointing end to the seventh season, however, I was ecstatic that we’d see the show return and quite frankly even if the ninth season of this show (or whatever they re-brand it as) manages to suck, the high note that this eight season went out on was absolutely terrific.
Combing through the season again I was reminded of how great the Courteney Cox arc was and how nicely it transitioned into Kelso becoming chief of medicine at the hospital. Plus the constant appearances of Bob still made the series still feel complete, even with the change-ups. Hell, even the new staff stood out, with Lee Thompson Young, Eliza Coupe, and Todd Bosely making for solid additions. If they show up in the ninth season, I definitely won’t be disappointed. The season even tested the waters with the new additions a lot more than you figured they would as well—the main cast was rotating in and out of the episodes so we didn’t always see Braff and Co. in each episode. This, again, was a nice primer for things to come (although apparently Braff and Chalke have already signed up to appear in six episodes of the ninth season…so much for retiring from the show, huh Braff?).
But it was the season finale that was really the stand out package of the show. The two-part finale felt adequately “epic” in nature and it was packed with all the emotion that you’d expect from a show like this. Also incredibly well done was the walk down the exit that J.D. had, where all of the cast members that had appeared throughout the show and since passed (well, almost everyone—Brendan Fraser didn’t show up…nor did Michael J. Fox or Mandy Moore, but I guess you can’t get everyone back…) or left it in some form or another lined the walls. It was quite a touching scene and the resulting “flash forward” that occurred afterwards was a really fitting and fantastic end to the series.
Well, would be an end if it wasn’t coming back. But you won’t hear me complaining about that! Unless it turns out to suck, anyway. As is this eighth season comes Highly Recommended.
Packaged similarly to the last couple of seasons, Scrubs arrives in a standard clear amaray case with an embossed slipcover. Also included is a series of stickers on both the cellophane and cardboard slipcase itself, as well as a bonus ABC “starter kit” disc that includes previews and full episodes of some particular ABC shows. Video and audio for this season are what you’d expect—strong, clean and clear. There is some compression to be found on the video as well as a curious overlay of softness, but nothing major and the audio is a strong DD5.1 mix that delivers the jokes in solid clarity. The only downside about the technical presentation? This season, broadcast in high-definition and in widescreen, is delivered on DVD in fullscreen. Why? Exactly whose logic was it to deliver the series in fullscreen on DVD? Granted, there is a Blu-ray edition coming down the pike in a month or so (although no idea if that’s widescreen or not…I would imagine it is), but…really. This is bush league.
• My Bahamas Trip (20:12)
• Deleted Scenes
• Bloopers (3:11)
• Alternate Lines
• Webisodes (The original 10 + 2 Exclusives to this set)
• Audio Commentaries
Nearly every episode here contains an audio commentary which is an important point to highlight considering the packaging doesn’t highlight this at all. The participants include cast and crew and the previously absent (from the seventh season set, anyway) Bill Lawrence, who proceeds over each of the tracks as its lord and master. The remaining extras are pretty fluffy and the blooper reel is all too short, although the “Bahamas” bit is mildly entertaining, as are the webisodes if you hadn’t watched any of them previously.
But it’s hard to even recommend this set on DVD due to the video transfer. I mean…4x3 for a 16x9 show? What the hell, ABC/Disney/whoever? There are no technical specs for the Blu-ray released as of yet, but one would hope that it’d sport the necessary widescreen transfer (although it appears that it will include a standard DD5.1 track, which is disappointing in of itself).
Overall this is a superb season with a solid amount of extras…but if you want the proper aspect ratio for the season, then I’d hold off until the Blu-ray drops. In the mean time you can give this one a Rental.
Scrubs – The Complete Eight Season is now available on DVD and will arrive on Blu-ray on November 17th.