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Scrubs on DVD: Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7 Season 8 Season 9

"Scrubs" The Complete Second Season DVD Review

Buy Scrubs: The Complete Second Season from Amazon.com Scrubs: Season Two (2002-03)
Show & DVD Details

Directors: Michael Spiller, Marc Buckland, several others

Regular Cast: Zach Braff (Dr. John "J.D." Dorian), Sarah Chalke (Dr. Elliot Reid), Donald Faison (Dr. Chris Turk), Neil Flynn (The Janitor), Ken Jenkins (Dr. Bob Kelso), John C. McGinley (Dr. Perry Cox), Judy Reyes (Nurse Carla Espinosa)

Recurring Characters: Christa Miller Lawrence (Jordan Sullivan), Sam Lloyd (Ted Buckland), Robert Maschio (Dr. Todd), Aloma Wright (Nurse Laverne Roberts), Rick Schroder (Nurse Paul Flowers), Amy Smart (Jamie Moyer), Heather Locklear (Julie Keaton), Sarah Lancaster (Lisa), Johnny Kastl (Dr. Doug Murphy), Charles Chun (Dr. Wen), Joey Saravia (Ralphie), Lindsey Stoddart (Lauren), Masi Oka (Franklyn), Robert Clendenin (Dr. Zeltzer), Cody Estes (Young J.D.)

Notable Guest Stars: Colin Hay (Troubadour), Michael McDonald (Mike), Ted Lange (Mr. Blair), Tom Cavanagh (Dan Dorian), Lane Davies (Dr. Simon Reid), Cole Williams (Mike), Alan Ruck (Mr. Bragin), David Copperfield (Himself), John Ritter (Sam Dorian), Richard Kind (Mr. Corman), Phyllis Applegate (Mrs. Kaye), Jill Tracy (Elaine), Dick Van Dyke (Dr. Townshend), D.L. Hughley (Kevin Turk), Eric Bogosian (Dr. Gross), Jay Mohr (Dr. Peter Fisher), Jay Leno (Himself), Fred Berry (Himself), Ryan Reynolds (Spence)

Running Time: 457 Minutes (22 episodes) / Rating: TV-14
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio) / Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
DVD Release Date: November 15, 2005
Season 2 Airdates: September 26, 2002 - April 17, 2003
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9); Suggested Retail Price: $39.99
Six-sided fold-out Digipak with embossed cardboard slipcover

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Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

A star () denotes my ten favorite episodes from the season.

Rooftop golfing creates unrest for Turk and J.D. Jay Mohr ups the smug factor in his guest appearance as private practice doc Peter Fisher. Here, he gives J.D. a lesson on how to win Dr. Cox over. The first sighting of Amy Smart, who plays "Tasty Coma Wife" Jamie Moyer in three episodes.

Disc 3

16. My Karma (21:06) (Originally aired February 6, 2003)
JD and Turk are convinced that their rooftop golfing antics have caused a terrible car accident and given them some bad karma. Elliot struggles to open up with Paul. Dr. Cox tries unsuccessfully to make everything perfect for Jordan on her birth-giving day. Speaking of which, Jordan shares a secret with JD about her forthcoming baby.

17. My Own Private Practice Guy (21:00) (Originally aired March 13, 2003)
J.D. quickly becomes friends with too slick private practice doctor (guest star Jay Mohr), and he
thinks their bonding is making Dr. Cox jealous. Turk decides to strike back when Dr. Kelso's car prevents him from blowing off steam with parking lot basketball. Carla is worried that she's lost her kick when she can't arouse the narcoleptic guy. Elliot is the first to discover the Janitor has a nice and helpful side.

18. My T.C.W. (21:02) (Originally aired March 20, 2003)
J.D. starts to date "T.C.W." (Tasty Coma Wife, played by guest Amy Smart, in the first of four appearances) whose real name he learns is Jamie. Though troubled by the fact that her husband is in a coma, J.D. can't resist her. Meanwhile, J.D.'s crossword help winds up turning every Asian in the hospital against him and a piece of jerky creates trouble for Elliot and Paul. Also, Carla learns about her ring's history, which gets Turk in hot water.

19. My Kingdom (21:03) (Originally aired March 27, 2003)
For his surgical elective, J.D. tries his hardest to fit in with the guys with little success until he betrays Turk. An outdated computer pushes Dr. Cox to petition Dr. Kelso for a new one; when that fails, Cox comes up with a joke that goes further than he imagined. Paul takes Elliot's comment on U2 the wrong way, which leaves their relationship is inexplicably on the rocks again.

J.D. wishes he and his German patient could communicate with the universal language of Nena's "99 Luftballoons." J.D. admires the new pair of shorts that the Janitor's wife has made him in "My Drama Queen." Turk, J.D., and their college buddy Spence (guest star Ryan Reynolds) use IVs to get over a hangover in the season finale "My Dream Job."

20. My Interpretation (21:04) (Originally aired April 3, 2003)
J.D. attends Tasty Coma Wife's husband's funeral and things get out of hand. Turk has a sex dream about Elliot. Dr. Cox finds it difficult to spend time with Jordan's baby. A couple of extra difficult challenges face J.D. when he has to inform a non-English speaking patient of his case's severity and to tell the Janitor he happened to spot what could be melanoma in a most unusual place.

21. My Drama Queen (21:54) (Originally aired April 10, 2003)
Carla struggles to cope with the death of her mother and decides she and Turk should get married right away. J.D. finds it tough to invent enough drama to keep Jamie interested in their relationship. Dr. Cox gets sucked into teaching a seminar on proper doctor/patient interaction that ends up like The Breakfast Club.

22. My Dream Job (21:31) (Originally aired April 17, 2003)
Spence (guest star Ryan Reynolds), J.D. and Turk's buddy from college, is in town but the fun he brings eventually gets them in trouble. Elliot becomes the resident that Dr. Kelso picks out to ride; his watchful eye and acid tongue eventually do succeed in making her question her future in medicine. Dr. Cox finds out who the father of Jordan's baby is and he is less than thrilled. Two of these storylines come together for another cliffhanger finale.

The Todd never misses an opportunity for a high-five. The Janitor has just uncovered the truth and it doesn't smell very good.

VIDEO and AUDIO

I'm not sure if the makers of "Scrubs" switched to a better film stock or opted for a less gritty look in the sophomore year, but Season 2's video looked considerably cleaner and more detailed than the debut season's DVDs. The show is again presented in its original 1.33:1 "fullscreen" broadcast aspect ratio, but it is not marked by grain, darkness, or softness the way the First Season episodes occasionally were. The element is completely clean and the visuals are consistently more cinematic than your typical multi-camera sitcom. Overall, it's a noteworthy improvement over something that wasn't quite a major disappointment in last set, as the episodes look as dapper as you'd hope for considering their youth.

The audio presentation also excels beyond the previous release, as "Scrubs" makes the jump from Dolby Surround to full 5.1 channel Dolby Digital sound. There's a fair amount of ambient noises which utilize the rear channel separation and the design is basically top-notch without being gimmicky. Both the diegetic dialogue and J.D.'s nondiegetic narration are delivered in perfectly crisp fashion, the carefully-chosen music makes for an active and well-mixed element, and the toned-down wacky sound effects remain as potent as necessary. In short, it's not quite like a big screen soundtrack, but it's more immersing than Season 1's Surround mix and about as much as you can demand from a television comedy.

Ted's group ("The Blanks", in real life) perform the full version of Lazlo Bane's theme song "Superman." A behind-the-scenes look at a shot. "A Rare Condition" offers some brief glimpses of Zach Braff recording his narration for the show.

BONUS FEATURES

Again, the bonus features here are heads and shoulders above what Buena Vista's other sitcom box sets have offered. Though most of the newly-created footage is culled from the same interview setups employed for Season 1's supplements, it is incredibly fascinating, entertaining and well worth viewing by those who enjoy the show.

Disc 1 holds two featurettes. "A Rare Condition" (14:47) is something of a general making-of piece which focuses on three areas: production design, costuming, and stunts. While these subjects are often treated in a none too interesting fashion on other DVDs, it's quite the opposite here. There is discussion of filming in a real hospital and transforming its rooms to every other indoor set needed, talk of little details which drive the characters' wardrobes, and illustrations of some of the physical comedy antics which are only briefly seen and easy to take for granted in the show. There's even Ted the Lawyer's vocal group performing the "Scrubs" theme song in their unique style. While it's only about half as long as Season 1's central making-of piece, it treads similar ground in a pleasing and non-redundant manner.

"Johnny C. Keeps Talking" (5:25) features veteran actor John C. McGinley recalling the audition experience, the nature of his character, how familiar he was with his co-stars at the start of the show, and other such topics. It's a brief but insightful and unabashed interview short with one of the boldest personalities on the series.

Bill Lawrence and his writers discuss things at their writers' table in "A Rare Condition." Stunts are covered in "A Rare Condition." "Johnny C. Keeps Talking" gets closer with John C. McGinley via interview footage unused on Season 1's DVD set.

Disc One also holds the first three of the set's six audio commentaries, all featuring creator Bill Lawrence with different cast members. For "My Overkill", Lawrence is joined by stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison. Theirs is a light-hearted talk with plenty of laughs and much discussion of background actors. The trio's remarks on the briefly-employed different set of opening credits and changed hairstyles of the cast becomes a recurring theme for this set's commentaries. It loses points only for a little bit of undelivered tease near the end. "My Case Study" features Lawrence and Ken Jenkins (Dr. Kelso) - it's slightly more focused and enables the sexagenarian actor to discuss his take on the show and the fact that he doesn't get much of what is written for him, with little on-screen evidence. "My First Step" again teams Lawrence and Faison; when not reflecting on the good chemistry the cast has and recalling tidbits from shooting, they're laughing it up and concocting drinking games around the show's hallmarks. Though not listed, Braff comes in near the end of this one.

Disc Two holds commentaries #4 and 5. Sarah Chalke accompanies Lawrence on "My Sex Buddy" and reveals real life things that influence characters, especially hers. This breezy track contains giggles abound too as they remember lines and anecdotes from two seasons ago. The supersized episode "His Story" (told from Dr. Cox's point of view) aptly allows John C. McGinley to comment alongside Lawrence. A little more serious, their thoughts cover McGinley's reaction towards working with longtime friend Eric Bogosian (the episode's guest star) and different aspects of Cox's character.

The final commentary appears on Disc 3, adorning the episode "My T.C.W." and uniting Lawrence and Judy Reyes. Like the others, they are not short on insight, and Lawrence revels in pointing out how much comes from the suggestions and requests of Zach Braff.

Zach Braff comes up with some different responses to the Todd's self-esteem-boosting time in "Alternate Lines." Zach Braff discusses the types of guest casting done for the show. In "Stunt Casting", Dick Van Dyke briefly talks about how "Scrubs" differs from the type of television that launched his career.

Taken together,
the commentaries are the standout bonus feature of the set and again having them on six episodes seems like the perfect route taken. There aren't so many so that the speakers are merely filling time and serving a single listen for the must-hear-everything fan. But there aren't too few so that you're left wanting more (though, their entertaining nature doesn't make this idea disagreeable). It's neat to have all the lead actors participating and they're pretty perfectly matched to relevant episodes. Having them separate instead of together leads to some repetition about Jenkins not getting jokes, Flynn improvising his lines, and so on. Nonetheless, they're still a great deal of fun to listen, too, and the time that went into designing and arranging them so skillfully really pays off. If only all sitcoms had cast and crew willing and able to record episode tracks like these.

One minor quibble: audio cannot be switched on the fly during playback, unless you have selected the commentary from the menu. The majority of episodes only contain one soundtrack, and this is a moot point for them. But on those boasting a commentary, you must be subjected the standard disclaimer about how the remarks are not endorsed by the studio and so on. This is the case for each commentary, which amounts to slight annoyance and overkill.

We're far from done with bonus features. Disc Two houses an additional pair of featurettes. "Alternate Lines: A Second Opinion" (4:34) delivers what is promised. The show's more improvisational cast members riff on lines that (mostly) made into episodes. They primarily feature Neil Flynn and Zach Braff finding the silliest phrase they can. Unlike last set, each batch is preceded by an episode title screen and separated by chapter breaks, so you'll have an easier time remembering where they would have gone. It's easy to appreciate their inclusion and this is probably the best way to present these discarded snippets.

"Stunt Casting" (2:56) is not more about stunts on the show. Instead, it's about the series' big name guest stars who fall into the category where the network things they can bring in new viewers. Second season appearances by Dick Van Dyke, Heather Locklear, Jay Mohr, and former "Silver Spoons" heartthrob Rick "The Ricker" Schroder are discussed in an interesting and amusing fashion by the cast and creator. While one wishes this piece was longer and more of the guests talked themselves (we only hear briefly from Van Dyke on the set), it's a nice little bonus as is.

Bill Lawrence discusses the type of music he likes to use on the show. Will Donald Faison make this jumpshot or ruin a long tracking shot? Find out in "Secrets and Lies." In this deleted scene, Dr. Kelso walks in on a urinal conversation between J.D. and The Janitor.

Six additional short pieces adorn the third and final disc. As the title implies, "Musical Stylings" (7:00) deals with the show's soundtrack, namely how creator Bill Lawrence likes to give old music (or musicians, in the case of Colin Hay's season premiere Troubadour performance) new life and shine a spotlight on songs that have yet to receive the attention they deserve. There's also talk of Ted's band ("The Blanks") and Lazlo Bane's briefly-excerpted theme song.

"Secrets and Lies" (10:29) presents a series of anecdotes which might be classified primarily as actor gossip. Bill Lawrence reveals (with the aid of video) Donald Faison's streak of errant jumpshots. There's also talk of John C. McGinley's temper, pranks the cast and crew have played upon each other, a deep sleep that yielded a search for Sarah Chalke, and the bungee jump that led to marriage.

"Snubbed Out" holds 8 minutes and 52 seconds worth of deleted or alternate scenes from eight different Season 2 episodes. There's not an overwhelming amount of really great or vastly different content among the deletions, but they're naturally worth a look and happily preserve things lost primarily due to unrelenting time constrictions. The material is presented by episode or altogether with title cards and a "Play All" function. While each set of cuts might be better arranged alongside its corresponding episode, bunched together like this, they work fine, especially if you're going through the season set in rapid succession.

Sarah Chalke has trouble keeping a straight face in the blooper reel "Practice, Practice, Malpractice." Robert Maschio ("The Todd") gives a little sex scene play-by-play in "J.D.'s Mojo." Donald Faison (Turk) comments on the show's fantasy sequences in "Imagination Gone Wild."

"Practice, Practice, Malpractice" (4:27) provides the second season blooper reel, which is the usual blend of shot-ruining smiles, uncontrollable laughter, and assorted set hijinks.

"J.D.'s Mojo" (4:05) discusses the prevalence of sex in Season 2 and what that entailed. A number of cast members sound off on the sex and the few that actually engage in romantic scenes discuss what filming them is like. Obviously, it's not the most profound featurette on the disc, but some may enjoy seeing footage of Sarah Chalke making the most of her elaborate Christmas fling with J.D.

"Imagination Gone Wild" (7:36) covers the fantasy sequences, which while not as rampant as Season 1, still comprised a substantial portion of Season 2. While it is made up of clips and cast/crew reflections like most of the other featurettes, it's interesting to hear how some were achieved and about which ones got the creators got the biggest kick out of. It's also cool to see them highlighted as a group all in one place.

Previews appear at the start of Disc 1 playback for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, "TV on DVD" (highlighting the season sets of Disney's six most popular television series), "The Golden Girls" Season Three, and "Home Improvement" Season Three. The Sneak Peeks menu holds additional promos for the currently-available "Scrubs" Complete First Season DVD, the forthcoming "Scrubs" Complete Third Season DVD, "Desperate Housewives" Season 1 DVD, and "Gilmore Girls" on ABC Family.

A still from the animated main menu which is different on all three discs. The Episode Selection menus feature relevant still images.

MENUS, DESIGN, and PACKAGING

The animated menus earn full points for being consistent with the previous season and yet original and inspired too. The Main Menus of each disc again feature a complete version of the opening theme song (as opposed to the sped-up snippet which usually begins the show), while cycling through a minute-long montage (unique to that disc) of well-picked images from the season. Moving around the selection screens assumes the feel of traveling around a hospital, thanks to three-dimensional computer-animated transitions and clever design. All the various submenus are accompanied by different selections of the show's versatile score, which can grate on the nerves if you stay on a screen too long, but are a nice touch in more conventional navigation of the discs. In a welcome improvement of Season 1's set, each episode is now equipped with chapter stops at commercial break fadeouts.
This obvious touch (absent before) makes for quick and easy access within any particular episode. Unsurprisingly, there are no chapter stop menus, which are basically needless on a half-hour show.

Buena Vista continues to put some thought into the packaging of the season sets for their more popular shows. While not as elaborate as or completely consistent with Disc 1's box, the Second Season slipcover features embossing on various elements of the front and back. On the front, every part of JD's body and scrubs stands out the way it were if he were real. The back uses a similar technique for cast photos and hospital trademarks, like a bandage, thermometer, stickers, etc. The six-sided Digipak inside does too. It resembles the previous season's and is in line with most of Disney's currently-released season sets. The three discs feature J.D., Elliot, and Turk, with Discs 1 and 2 overlapping. Unfortunately, there is no episode booklet like there was for Season 1, but this is not a great loss; each disc's contents are listed inside the case and episode titles also adorn the disc art. The only inserts one finds are a catalogue of Buena Vista's popular TV-on-DVD properties and an entry form for the long-running sweepstakes to win a library of ten of the studio's TV DVD sets.

Dr. Kelso watches on while Dr. Cox scorns a patient. The three central residents of "Scrubs" share a boring elevator ride.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

As a show, "Scrubs" may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I find it tough not to appreciate to some degree. Funny, clever, and involving even when it's not entirely satisfying, the show provides a largely good time, which makes it something of an anomaly in the current television landscape. The Second Season does not depart much from the debut season; it allows its characters to grow and begins to rely on overriding arches more, but most of what made the show fresh and likable before remains in place here, from the imaginative asides to the fully-returning talented ensemble cast.

This 3-disc box set treatment deserves high praise and fans of this show should feel lucky to get a package that arrives with such care from the creators and behind-the-scenes content. In both the video and audio departments, the DVD noticeably improves over the sufficient quality of the past release. Even little qualms previously lobbied regarding music replacements, chapter stops and deleted scenes design have been addressed, making this collection largely free of fault.

All things (including a lower list price) considered, the Complete Second Season of "Scrubs" garners a strong recommendation by any basis. This DVD presentation stands out as one of the finest sitcom season sets Buena Vista or any other studio has released.

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Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

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Reviewed November 14, 2005.

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