Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shore Break: Goodbye, Scrubs

Tonight was the final episode of Scrubs. Yes, there's word that there will be Scrubs after this year's season finale, but not with the same cast. It might still be funny, but it'll never be the same without its star, Zach Braff, nor its brain, Bill Lawrence. It will never be the show that wound itself around my 20s and served as a steady sidekick over the last year years.

I started watching Scrubs from the beginning. Eight season ago, I dated someone who looked like Zach Braff. We met in college and were determined to stay together even though he was in medical school in Maine and I was in graduate school in New Jersey. Scrubs, with the first year resident who looked slightly like Tom, was another connection to my far away boyfriend.

The relationship unraveled, but I kept watching the show. Braff's resemblance to Tom wasn't so much a reminder of the failed first love, but a companion. The show was funny. It was wacky. And it was about a group of 20-somethings going through the same things I was going through -- even if I didn't wear scrubs.

A lot's happened since then. I quit my job to become a writer. I endured a tortuous relationship. My grandfather died. I also got a dog, wrote a book, bought a house, and you could say that I found my calling. Through the worst of these 20-somethings, Scrubs was a constant. After every breakup, after every heartbreak, after every setback, I put Scrubs into the DVD player, and let the characters and the well-known story lines carry me through. Even if my life changed faster than I could track, the show was always there (even if the characters were in as much flux as I was).

I'm not sure if there should have been an eighth season -- the creativity dipped even before the show moved from NBC to ABC, but I'm glad that the cast and crew had a chance to do a true finale. NBC's send off didn't live up to what the show meant for so many people, especially for me. I hate to admit this, but I sobbed through the last five minutes of tonight's show. I don't know what opened up in me to bring out crying so loud it frightened my dog.

My best guess is that I felt a transition happening in me. By the show moving on, I was leaving those crazy years behind me. I let go a part of my past, just like J.D. did as he walked down that corridor of former show characters. As I let that go, I thought ahead, as J.D. did with flashes of the future playing across a banner. I remembered all those nights I laid in a ball on my couch, broken and watching the show with a plate of nachos and a beer to keep me company. I spent one Valentine's Day just like that, upping the volume every few minutes to drown out the amours adventures of the people downstairs. It didn't quite work, but at least I had a co-pilot in trying to push through the pain of another lonely Valentine's Day away.

Like the show, my life is changing. A part of my crazy 20s that wound around so much relationship drama is ending. You might have noticed that this guy has popped up on the blog a few times. We met through the website -- not a dating site, but a web log for athletes. We both signed up for the Ocean Drive 10 miler, so followed each other's training. I then friended him on facebook and saw that he, too, had been at the Golden Nugget Ceremony, hence that post. Soon after, we agreed to go running. Instead, we met at an LL Cool J concert at the House of Blues, and we've been dating ever since.

Our first date:

After the Ocean Drive 10 miler:

So why post all this? First, because a "friend" of eight years -- Scrubs -- has passed, and I watched all the DVDs I had of the show after I wrote my book to help me figure out what to do next, or at least take my mind off figuring out what to do next.

Second, I don't want to be cagey about why the tall, dark and handsome man previously featured in the blog is popping up in a lot of pictures, so "that guy" -- Bill -- shall now be known as "my boyfriend."

And, heck, maybe you've felt this way about a show, a movie or an artist -- that it was so tied to a part of your life that you were sad to see it go. I am sad, but I am also happy to put that part of my life behind me, and head out into a great new adventure.

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iconjohn said...

I've been watching Scrubs since day one and was attracted to it initially since I was a nurse at HUP, and the fact that it did not have a laugh track muck like MASH. I have last nights show recorded to the Mac for viewing tonight. I was on call last night, which brings me back to 1st season when the call beeper goes off at the exact minute they go on call. Thanks for the thoughtful post Jen, Scrubs has survived a few code calls in the past.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post, Jen. I loved Scrubs, too. Finales rarely live up to the hype but I liked the way J.D. looked into the future.

Rob Wilson said...

Scrubs is great but I only watch the reruns! Your Scrubs is like my Seinfeld (and my dad's Archie which I still watch once or twice a day! Time goes by will be 37 watching scrubs twice a day yourself...I am sure of it. lol. In your 20's....pffft must be nice!

Anonymous said...

As a nurse, I can relate to Scrubs-I have also enjoyed watching it...but...your story brought tears to my eyes...very well might think you are a writer or something...LOL...wish your Mom a Happy Mother's Day for me...Love to you Jen...'THAT guys'... Mom...

readsdebacolod said...

They said that season 8 will be the last season for scrub shows. But there are rumors that there will be a new scrubs shows but the person involved during the last seasons will change. Still they will portray the character of the old cast but I don't think so if viewers will follow up watching too. But if there's an incoming new scrubs shows, I'll expect the greatness of the character and the scenes which can give us interest to loved scrubs again.