I've been really tough on Scrubs this season because I've loved the show in the past and while this "Med School" incarnation is promising, it's also been inconsistent. I haven't been shy about pointing out the missteps, so to be fair, I should also commend the show on its successes, like this episode. What worked so well was how they took two characters who'd been around since day one (Dr. Cox and Dr. Turk), and found a way to shed new light on their personalities.
All season, Scrubs has walked a fine line. Given the show's long run, it's no surprise when these new episodes echo those we've seen before. The question is, how much feels like a direct lift and how much is original material? In this case, I was so happy to see brand new stories rising out of familiar territory. Dr. Turk's arc was a perfect example. The new Chief of Surgery had to deal with a visitor, the renowned Dr. Vaughn (Reno Wilson): surgeon, author, and all-around great guy, who showed up and stole his parking space along with his thunder.
Those of you who have watched Scrubs for years know the idea of a "super doctor" visiting the hospital is nothing new. In season one, J.D. competed with a rising star intern played by Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) and later on, the hospital was visited by Dr. Casey (Michael J. Fox), another superstar who seemingly could do no wrong. In both cases, all was not what it seemed - both of them succumbed to the mental and physical demands of the job while our heroes, J.D., Turk and Elliot, survived. With those examples in mind, I waited for the other shoe to drop for Dr. Vaughn. He could charm patients, he could raise money for the hospital and he could dance. So what would be his downfall? As it turns out, he didn't have one, and I was surprised (and thrilled) with this turn of events. Turk eventually stopped trying to compete with him and instead sucked up his pride and learned from the better doctor, which was not what I was expecting.
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