Binge Watchin’ TV Review: Scrubs

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Welcome to Binge Watchin,’ where we take a look at some of the best TV shows available on streaming or disc that have a great catalogue of seasons to jump into and get sucked into the beautiful bliss of binge watching! From crime, action, comedy, drama, animation, etc., we’ll be evaluating an assortment of shows that will hopefully serve as a gateway to your next binge experience.

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Series: Scrubs

Number of Seasons: 9 (182 episodes)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Blu-Ray/DVD, Netflix, Hulu

Binge Watchin' TV Review, TV Review, Comedy, Sitcom, ABC, NBC, Zach Braff, John McGinley, Medical, Sarah Chalke

What’s the show about? 

Scrubs is a comedy about the new residents at a teaching hospital called Sacred Heart. Central to the cast is John Dorian (aka JD) who serves as our main character and focal point. JD is a wise-ass nerd whose best friend Turk is a surgeon and fellow geek who has the outward personality of a cool dude. They are accompanied by JD's love interest, Elliot Reid, and nurse Carla who later becomes Turk's wife. JD's mentor is the volatile Dr. Perry Cox who demeans and ridicules the staff while also teaching them life lessons along the way. The hospital's cast of quirky staff and doctors are led by the villainous Bob Kelso and the unnamed Janitor who has it in for JD from day one. Through the years, the staff of Sacred Heart Hospital experience the trials and tribulations of life and death but always with a great sense of humor and some surreal non sequitirs.

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Why should I watch it?

Scrubs is unlike most sitcoms that have ever aired on network television. Featuring random cutaway gags along the lines of Family Guy and absurdist humor along the lines of The Simpsons, Scrubs would have been the exact type of series to be cancelled without a second thought. But, thanks to the approachable performances by the cast, led by the goofy Zach Braff, Scrubs lasted for nine seasons and almost 200 episodes. At it's core, Scrubs was a character driven series set in a hospital which allowed the show to tackle the humorous side of the medical profession while also telling some hard-hitting dramatic stories. Every actor on the show fully inhabited their characters, but few did it as well as Braff or John McGinley as the immortal crabass, Perry Cox. McGinley's rapid-fire delivery and constant stream of original ways to mock and tease Braff's JD made every scene the two shared must see television and the fodder for countless supercuts on YouTube.

But Scrubs was more than just a series led by a half dozen great performances including Sarah Chalke as the ditzy Elliot, Donald Faison as Turk, Judy Reyes as the sassy nurse Carla, Neill Flynn as the cantankerous and maniacal Janitor (the best character to pick up the mantle of Michael Richards' Kramer), and Ken Jenkins as Bob Kelso, Every additional minor character (see The Todd and Ted) became fully realized, three dimensional characters who inhabited this surreal world. Even the maligned final season, which served as a partial reboot of the series, featued Eliza Coupe, Kerry Bishe, and Dave Franco as some of the funniest characters on television at the time. The show's traditional 22 minute episodes may feel a bit antiquated in the new world of TV comedy, but it still serves as a great show that deserves a second look.

Binge Watchin' TV Review, TV Review, Comedy, Sitcom, ABC, NBC, Zach Braff, John McGinley, Medical, Sarah Chalke

Most of what helps Scrubs beat feeling like a fossil of the early 2000s is the timeless way the show spoofed everything from musicals to relationship dramas to serious shows like ER and Chicago Hope. Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence managed to achieve such quality results because every episode takes itself completely seriously and yet not seriously at all. There is a ridiculousness to every episode that makes you feel like the show couldn't possibly get any sillier and then do a complete 180 with a dramatic gut punch of a story. The concept of hospitals comes with the idea of death and how easily a cure can turn into a disease and Scrubs faced those terminal ideas head on with a smile and a lot of originality. Scrubs is a show that will pull at your heartstrings and tickle your funnybone at the exact same time.

Best season:

The first five years of Scrubs represent some of the best comedy writing on television, but it is the spectacular first season that really deserves the binge treatment. Highlighted by introductions to all the characters, the first season also includes the episode that truly showed how well this series could tread the line between comedy and drama. The Brendan Fraser-starring episode "My Occurrence" gives us our first signs of true weakness in Dr. Cox, the one character who was able to stay strong through the deaths of patients that struck hard for the other main characters through the season. If you watch a single episode of Scrubs, make it this one. But I guarantee the debut season of the show will hook you long before you reach it.

Final thoughts:

Scrubs is a show that aired exactly when it was supposed to. Had it debuted a few years earlier or later, it never would have last as long as it did. But it serves as a good reminder that the right cast and writers can turn even a generic concept as a hospital-set comedy into the makings of classic television. I would highly recommend that you also binge the final, reboot season as it represents a great what-if run of television. Dave Franco also shines in a supporting role that paved the way for his big screen career. With over 180 episodes, Scrubs is a perfect candidate for binge-watching and with so many resources to check it out, you have no reason to not give it a try. Plus, who doesn't like a good laugh? After all, laughter is the best medicine.


About the Author

5928 Articles Published

Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.