It really sucks when a great series is taken off the air in its prime. TV history is full of such mistakes, and I’m sure each of us has a list a mile long. But what sucks even more is when a great show is allowed to hang around too long. Like an athlete past his prime, we see occasional glimpses of the show’s former greatness that give us hope, but more often we stick around simply out of loyalty. That and a dogged determination to see the end play out after investing so much time.
While in retrospect the signs that Scrubs was nearing that point were there last season, it has become painfully clear this year. Granted, the last new episode was decent. But for the most part the show has been lifeless and empty. And that’s not even mentioning the horrid Broadway musical episode (*shudder*). The character development has been forced – was it really necessary to have J.D. get his girlfriend pregnant just because two other couples were already expecting? – and the gags have mostly fallen flat. I’m not sure what the problem is exactly, but a show like Scrubs is great because the comedic timing is precise. When it’s off, just by a bit, the whole thing falls apart.
Back in the day (the day being 2003 or so), Scrubs was easily the best comedy on TV, and I howled at the shabby treatment it got from NBC. But now, scheduled next to The Office, the decline of Scrubs was even more visible. I will willing to finish out this season (the sixth), because most indications were that it would be the last one. It just didn’t feel right bailing on a show that had given me so much laughter over the last five years.
So imagine my consternation when I read today that there will likely be a seventh season. The decision seems to be Zach Braff’s, which is as it should be. But unless things pick up considerably this year, I will not be around to witness the end as I wanted to. Alas, there are always reruns and DVD box sets.