Back in the glory days of Saturday Morning TV, they crafted some shows by taking existing characters and plopping them into some other situation. So Laverne & Shirley joined the Army, and Josie and the Pussycats went to outer space. They would keep the shallowest version of the existing characters and work in various lame gags about the situation, which was painted not particularly realistically.

The new season of Scrubs brought that to mind. They stripped the show of all of its female characters and most of its male supporting cast, and turned everyone into med school teachers. Whereas the original show, as silly as it could be, was built around a base of serious situations and  some verisimilitude. I’ve never been to med school, but this doesn’t feel like it really reflects anything. They’ve just made the existing characters goofy to the bone.

They’ve also made the show overwhelmingly white, keeping one black character from the previous series and introducing various new white characters, no new non-white characters.

Worst of all, it’s just not amusing. When it tries to be amusing, it comes off of desperate. When it tries to be dramatic, it comes off as hollow. It may have been wiser to have just let the franchise go, or to craft an officially-new series that could focus more completely on the students, rather than still trying to say something new about the existing characters. Keep one character as a teacher, make it officially a spin-off, and let it grow its own wings.

I’m three episodes in, and I don’t think I have the hope needed to make it through four.

Published in: on December 11, 2009 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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