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Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season(TV) (2009)
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.
For more about Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season and the Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray release, see Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on November 16, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes, Ken Jenkins
Directors: Bill Lawrence, Michael Spiller, Adam Bernstein, Ken Whittingham, Chris Koch (I), Gail Mancuso
» See full cast & crew
Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review
A long-running comedy series gets its high definition due...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, November 16, 2009
I believe it was James Fennimore Cooper who once wrote: "I'm a survivor, I'm not gon' give up, I'm not gon' stop, I'm gon' work harder. I'm a survivor, I'm gonna make it, I will survive, keep on surviving." Actually, it might have been Lord Alfred Tennyson. Regardless of its authorship, there simply isn't a better way to begin a review of Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season than with such distinguished, time-honored words. Since its first episode introduced audiences to creator Bill Lawrence's strange and wonderful subconscious (as well as that of its main character), Scrubs has teetered on the precipice of cancellation and obsolescence, surviving numerous Neilsen declines, the infamous 2007 WGA Strike, and a complete change of venue from NBC to ABC. Even the series' most ardent fans could have never guessed its cast and crew would be gearing up for a ninth season; one that, as all-too-familiar rumblings would have us believe, is stacking up to be its last. But there are countless reasons Scrubs has survived as long as it has, all of which are on full display in its eighth and possibly penultimate outing.
Told primarily from the skewed, naive point of view of Sacred Heart Hospital attending physician John "J.D." Dorian (Zach Braff), Scrubs follows the misadventures of his sometimes bumbling inner circle: former flame and neurotic colleague Dr. Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke), lifelong best friend and resident surgeon Turk (Donald Faison), Turk's wife and no-nonsense head nurse Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes), hot-tempered chief of medicine and abusive mentor Dr. Cox (series asset John C. McGinley), retired chief and recently empathetic regular Bob Kelso (Ken Jenkins), timid lawyer Ted (Ted Buckland), self-proclaimed ladies' man Dr. Todd Quinlan (Robert Maschio), and Dorian's sworn nemesis and nameless foe, the Janitor (Neil Flynn). In its eighth season, the doctors have to induct a fresh batch of interns, deal with various medical mysteries, and come to terms with their new roles within the hospital. However, the series' writers actively reinvent almost every character, rejecting go-to material in favor of more surprising evolutions. The results are as funny and endearing as ever, expanding the personalities and egos of those who make Sacred Heart such a priceless locale. Old rivalries and friendships remain in tact, but stronger bonds, deeper respect, and more seething animosity creates a slew of unexplored pairings and encounters, most of which earn memorable laughs.
Unless you've experienced the joy and heartache associated with watching an episode of Scrubs, it's difficult to understand the series' near-perfect blend of snarky comedy, absurdist gags, and unexpected, unflinching drama. Whereas other sitcoms tend to focus on the hilarious in the mundane and find their hooks in the obscure, Scrubs challenges its ragtag hospital staff with honest conflicts and brief but devastating sorrow. Yes, J.D. and his colleagues engage in a wide variety of high and low-brow antics, and yes, each one spends the majority of their screentime struggling to overcome personal inadequacy or belittling the plight of their friends, but these well-written, well-acted shenanigans allow the sudden, shocking gut punches that accompany most episodes to resonate and unsettle. It's perhaps the only comedy on television that readily sends its viewers into fits of laughter one minute and reduces them to quivering heaps the next, typically in those sobering, often bittersweet moments just before the credits roll. Even the series' one-note characters earn their stripes this season with some welcome complexity and intermittent deviations from their pre-assigned roles. Chalk it up to Lawrence's guiding hand or his seasoned cast's effortless performances, but rarely does an episode go by that doesn't offer a new and genuine connection to the characters fans have grown to love over the last eight years. As odd as the Sacred Heart miscreants can be, as idiosyncratic as their ticks often are, I've developed a real affection for each one.
It isn't perfect, mind you. J.D. makes sincere strides as his responsibilities increase, but is starting to strike me as too gullible; Turk and Carla are as funny a couple as ever, but their relationship has already been mined to its core; the Janitor, as much as I adore his every scene, is getting a bit predictable; and the female interns (Eliza Coupe and Sonal Shah)aren't nearly as interesting or charming as some of the male inductees (Todd Bosley, Aziz Ansari, and Lee Thompson Young). Don't get me wrong, J.D. and his pals still deliver the proverbial goods, but this is the first season I could legitimately hear the bells tolling for Sacred Heart. While Scrubs isn't dead by any means, it is starting to show its age. Even so, old favorites have come a long way. Jenkins has transformed Kelso into one of Scrubs's most unforgettable characters, McGinley continues to steal every scene and drum up the biggest laughs, and sideliners like Ted finally get some much-needed respite and relief. Will the series survive another eight seasons? Sadly, no. Will it survive the exit of key cast members this spring? As much as I hate to admit it, probably not. But that doesn't mean anyone should miss The Complete Eighth Season. Brimming with sharply penned humor, charismatic performances, and slick storylines, Scrubs deserves a top spot on your Blu-ray wish list.
Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
After debuting on DVD earlier this year, Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season finally meanders onto Blu-ray with a decent 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer that, consistency issues aside, offers fans a fairly faithful representation of its source. Skintones are natural and convincing, daydream cutaways boast some dazzling primaries, and black levels are suitably resolved. Detail flatlines on occasion -- soft pickup shots and hazy backgrounds are frequent offenders -- but clarity is generally revealing and close-ups benefit from a variety of semi-sharp textures. Likewise, contrast is too murky for my tastes, but manages to impress whenever Lawrence's cameras drift beyond Sacred Heart's oh-so-clinical hallways and poorly lit waiting rooms. Thankfully, Disney's technical presentation is commendable. While I noticed some exceedingly minor artifacting in a few episodes (particularly during some of J.D.'s flashier delusions), I didn't catch sight of any serious blocking, banding, ringing, or unintentional noise. And though grain is visible from time to time, it never interferes with the picture's integrity or the overall experience. It's certainly not the best television transfer I've had the pleasure of diagnosing, but it should appeal to anyone familiar with the series' ever-shifting visual aesthetic.
Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Disney's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track doesn't suffer from any debilitating issues, but its predominately front-heavy sonics aren't exactly built to impress. Dialogue is clean and clear from episode to episode, prioritization is spot on, and the interns' yips and yowls are crisp and stable. The series' narration and lively score subtly bleed into every channel as well, allowing J.D.'s dream sequences to envelop the listener and draw them into his increasingly bizarre visions. Still, the vast majority of Scrubs' scenes center around pithy conversations and barbed one-liners, hardly the sort of meat a growing receiver craves. Moreover, rear speaker activity is strained, acoustics and ambience take a small but notable hit (despite the relative realism featured in many of Sacred Heart's wards and offices), and directionality isn't quite as involving as it could be. That's not to say the studio's technical efforts are a misfire, just that the show's original sound design is rather two-dimensional. As it stands, series diehards won't bat an eye whilst partaking of such a faithful track, but most everyone else will long for a more exciting mix.
Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Blu-ray edition of Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season features all of the content from its previously released standard DVD counterpart, packs in a few short but sweet exclusives, and presents everything in high definition. As television releases go, Scrubs' supplemental package is both entertaining and extensive. I couldn't ask for much more.
Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
While the Blu-ray edition of Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season will probably only find its way into the homes of the series' dearly devoted fans, they should be fairly happy with their purchase. Disney's 2-disc set features a decent transfer, a faithful DTS-HD Master Audio track, and a sizable supplemental package that includes sixteen audio commentaries, several exclusives, and high definition video content. It won't blow anyone's mind, but it won't disappoint either. At such a reasonable price point, there's no excuse to stay away.
Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Scrubs Eighth Season Coming to Blu-ray - May 11, 2009
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is set to release the eighth season of the medical TV series 'Scrubs' on Blu-ray on November 17, nearly three months later than its DVD release. No reason has been given for the comparative delay. No specs have been disclosed, ...
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