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"Scrubs": The Low-Fat "Grey's Anatomy" Alternative

By admin Published: January 6, 2009


"Scrubs" returns to TV tonight, this time on ABC. And while I've never been a huge fan of the show, I have belatedly warmed to it for the reason hinted at in the title of this post. ...

As anyone who has been watching "Grey's" knows, the show has been in yet another run of terrible storylines, the epitome of which is, of course, Dead Denny. This is particularly disappointing because the season started off so promisingly, and I still think the abrupt dismissal of Hahn threw off whatever delicately balanced sequence had been planned before her departure. At least, that's what I think when I am trying to be kind. The rest of the time -- which is, if you know me, most of the time -- I think that Shonda Rhimes just has no idea what she is doing. And other recent seasons support that notion.

But, if my viewing diet requires a medical show with comedy and drama, then what do I do if I give up "Grey's"? Watching "Scrubs" is a good alternative.

As I said above, I've not been a huge fan of "Scrubs." It has been very funny at times, but the frantic pacing and cartoonish aspect of some of the humor makes me nuts. Still, I am not the first to note certain similarities to "Grey's" -- which, let the record show, premiered three and a half years after "Scrubs." Both shows like extreme forms of comedy. Both shows have their cartoon aspects (and I am counting Dead Denny as one of "Grey's"). But both also involve their characters' romantic lives, their struggling for a clear path in life, and the inevitable dramatic flourishes that come with being in a life-and-death situation like a hospital.

And, on all of those scores, "Scrubs" trumps "Grey's." It is much funnier, for one thing; there's a gag in the promos that still made me laugh, hard, when I saw it in one of the first two episodes. Its dealing with dramatic situations is no worse than "Grey's." Its cast is as good if not better. And, since "Scrubs" comes in half-hour episodes, it takes up less time than "Grey's." (ABC is running two "Scrubs" tonight but no one said you have to watch both.)

Not that I have given up on "Grey's" entirely, although it's feeling more and more like reading a Dan Brown novel (I plowed through "Angels and Demons" over the holidays) -- so many things are annoying, but I still want to see where it's going. Still, if "Grey's" does not stop ticking me off, I may give it a rest, and swallow a nice, lean "Scrubs" instead.

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