Sunday, February 1, 2009

Not Going Gentle Into That Good Broadcasting Night

My favorite shows have a tendency to die early deaths. Some linger in the limbo of unresolved cliffhangers (Popular, Dark Angel), some get resolution in other forms of media (Angel’s comic book continuation, Firefly’s big screen outing Serenity, the upcoming Dead Like Me straight-to-DVD movie), and some are given the chance to write a satisfying finale episode before they’re yanked off the air (Birds of Prey, The O.C.). Almost all of them, however, get cancelled before they get to tell all the stories they wanted to. So if one of my favorite shows gets a miracle new lease on life via another network, I should be happy, right? So why can I barely bring myself to watch Scrubs in its final season on ABC?

It’s not just being too lazy to switch my Tivo from the NBC version to the ABC version. I did watch two of the first episodes this season. At least I think I did. They had the little ABC watermark on the bottom right so I assumed they were new, but I couldn’t help feeling like I’d seen the episodes before. After eight years watching these characters, I have to admit I’ve kind of grown tired of J.D. and Turk being manchildren, Elliot being a neurotic mess, Dr. Cox’s funny, angry rants. Every joke hit the same beat we’ve seen over and over, and the overarching moral “lesson” wasn’t fresh either. It’s become the kind of diluted, hacky tripe I’ve come to expect from sitcoms gone long in the tooth like Two and a Half Men, the difference being Two and a Half Men was never funny, while Scrubs, in my opinion, was pretty sharp in its first few seasons. There’s definitely something to be said about making a graceful exit. Those shows cut down in their prime will live fondly on in my memory, while Scrubs – which I once loved quite a bit – now feels like a houseguest who has overstayed his welcome.


Sex Mahoney for President said...

It's not quite dead, like an old man at a bus station, but it smells pretty terrible, like an old man at a bus station.

smd said...

An apt, and pungent, metaphor that makes a good case for euthanasia. Metaphorical and otherwise.