TITLE: SCRUBS - THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008 (ABC Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 11
Running Time: 236 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx. 67 minutes (excluding commentary)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; Closed Captioned
*My Making Of II: My Princess
*One on One with Ken Jenkins (Dr. Robert “Bob” Kelso)
Get ready for an extra dose of laughs, and enjoy every surreal moment as television’s celebrated sitcom hits new heights in its seventh season...now on DVD from ABC Studios. JD, Elliot, Turk, and Carla may be growing older, but they aren’t necessarily growing up even as career changes, family issues, and love invade the quirky world of Sacred Heart. The show stars Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, Judy Reyes, Neil Flynn, Ken Jenkins, and John C. McGinley.
It’s interesting to get to review this season, as this is the season I lost interest in the show. It wasn’t necessarily the show’s fault -- unfortunately the 2007-08 Writers’ Strike meant an extended hiatus of new episodes for the series, and during the hiatus I simply lost interest. In fact, I didn’t even know what occurs near the end of the season regarding Dr. Kelso until reading about it online -- the second half of this season was completely lost to me until watching this set for review.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
I do have a couple of pre-Strike episodes that I certainly liked well enough. The season’s second episode entitled “My Hard Labor” (OAD: November 1, 2007) features Kim going into labor while Dr. Cox tries to find someone to give his daughter a shot as he doesn’t want to do it himself. Making a guest re-appearance is Colin Hay (onetime lead singer of Men at Work), singing the group’s classic song “Down Under” in much the same fashion as his appearance in season 2 when he sang “Overkill.” The episode ALSO features the return of Aloma Wright -- now as Nurse Shirley.
The second of the pre-strike episodes I really enjoyed is in fact the final pre-strike episode, “My Number One Doctor.” Dr. Kelso signs up the hospital on a site called RateYourDoc.org (the show subsequently registered this site for its own purposes, and as of November 2008 is still accessible) and the staff begins to compete over their ratings. JD starts out with an extremely high rating, but eventually others sabotage it by pretending to be him.
Moving into the post-Strike episodes, the first episode after the hiatus I found quite good upon viewing the DVD set. In “My Bad Too,” it’s revealed that Turk has been secretly learning Spanish so that he can spy on what Carla is saying to others. Eventually, he gets found out, but it works to his advantage anyway. I really enjoy episodes where one of the main plots has practically nothing to do with JD -- my least favorite character.
In the episode “My Dumb Luck,” Dr. Kelso is forced to retire. Elliot (whose fault this is in the first place) and Carla try to persuade the hospital’s board not to force Dr. Kelso to retire. Eventually, they manage to persuade the board...at which point Dr. Kelso elects to retire/resign on the spot, as all he’d wanted was the chance to leave on his own terms. In one of my favorite scenes from the show, Dr. Kelso grabs a portrait of himself off the wall, sincerely thanks Ted on his way out, and then drives off.
The season finale -- originally touted by NBC as the series finale -- is another fantasy episode, this time involving a fairytale involving the Sacred Heart crew. Of course, ultimately, ABC elected to pick up the show for an eighth season, nullifying that status.
The packaging has changed, and is a lot simpler this time around. The packaging is, rather than a digipak, a basic black plastic case, with one disc holder on a swinging black plastic holder affixed to the center, while the other disc holder is on the right plastic panel behind it. Cover art features the cast dressed in white scrubs and coats, with various and assorted medical paraphernalia in the photo. They’re placed in front of a blue background. Both discs feature a reflective surface, with two t-shirts on the bottom right, one of which has newbie written on it. Disc 1 holds episodes 1-7; disc 2 holds episodes 8-11. Due to only using two discs as a result of the episode count, this was probably the best method for packaging.
Menu Design and Navigation:
This is yet another season in the series of 3-D hospital menus. You fly down the hallways and this season wind up at a laptop placed on a table in Coffee Bucks. The screen shows the RateYourDoc website, with the site options being replaced by menu options. A set of small video clips plays in one graphic on the menu. The website theme within the menus is carried on with extremely well, to the point that on smaller TVs menu options may have visibility issues. Sometimes solid design interferes with basic usability.
Video and Audio Quality:
Video transfer is flawless, audio quality is impeccable. Honestly, reviewing DVD sets gets boring when presented with new DVD set after new DVD set -- modern shows all have great video quality, as a general rule, and so there’s just not much to write about. I just wish this show would air in HD. Chapter stops are placed after the first act/opening credits, after the middle act, final act, and then for the end credits.
My Own Worst Enemy: 21:39
My Hard Labor: 21:20
My Inconvenient Truth: 20:50
My Identity Crisis: 21:20
My Growing Pains: 21:25
My Number One Doctor: 21:25
My Bad Too: 21:25
My Manhood: 21:20
My Dumb Luck: 21:38
My Waste of Time: 21:02
My Princess: 22:50
Easter Eggs: There is hidden bonus content on this set -- it’s just a matter of finding where they put it...
11 Audio Commentaries: Newer series tend to have lots of commentary tracks as, in the age of television on DVD; commentary is already in the heads of content producers when making the shows. With that said, Scrubs of course features commentary everywhere...meaning for EVERY episode! Commentaries exist featuring a majority of the cast and crew at one point or another. By the seventh season, you should be pretty familiar with what’ll be here.
My Making of II: My Princess (17:39): Features video of the production of the final NBC episode of Scrubs that serves as homage to “The Princess Bride,” “My Princess.” Features cast and crew interviews on the production of the episode.
One on One with Ken Jenkins (7:25): Ken is asked questions and is interviewed regarding his character, his background, etc.
Deleted Scenes (13:54): We get deleted scenes for 15 scenes.
Alternate Lines (15:40): Features alternate lines and setups for 19 different bits during the season.
Bloopers (2:52): A quick little blooper reel. They waste quite a bit of time just saying they should cut.
Runtime of special features: approx. 67 minutes (excluding commentary)
This season, in my opinion, isn’t as good as earlier years of the show. This seems to be a fairly consistent opinion among the fan base, though obviously your own mileage may vary. That said, there are still highlights in the season and if you’ve enjoyed earlier years of the show you’re bound to find things to love here. If you’re still hesitant, catch reruns in syndication or on one of the 5,031 cable networks (TV Land, Comedy Central, and WGN America) that rerun the series now and decide for yourself.
What’s here is quite good, and I can’t suggest anything additional as the eighth season hasn’t even started yet. I think you’ll enjoy this set, though, and the price is lower so it has a lower barrier of entry to the series due to price. A reminder the show’s eighth season launches this January on ABC! RECOMMENDED.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Final Score: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 11/09/08
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