I watched one season of Parks and Recreation, one season of Community and one season of Scrubs, and both Parks and Recreation and Community felt like comedy TV series, but Scrubs felt like... just Scrubs. TV series often feel based mostly on dialogue, on people saying things to each other back and forth, but Scrubs is funny in so many different ways. Like for example when Turk accidentally knocks over all motorcycles of an MC gang, but Dr Scrubs solves it by driving into the gang with his scooter Sasha (while also wearing the bush he'd just crashed into). This is the only example I'll give of all the different ways that Scrubs is funny in.
Comedy is said to age badly, but a lot of things are funny forever. The ones that aged badly maybe were ones that were never truly funny anyway. Dr Scrubs making a silly face will never be not funny. Sometimes (at rare occasions) I start to think that it's more charm than comedy. That charm is when you like something in a genuine way, you get happy, entertained, amused, you laugh, you live, you love. While comedy is just jokes. Simple twists in the matrix that magically turn everything up until the punchline meaningless, as soon as the punchline is said. I love Parks and Recreation, and I wouldn't say it's a show built on punchline jokes, but it still feels like everything in the show leads up to the funny parts, that nothing exists for its own sake but only for the jokes. That's why I said that Parks and Recreation feels like a comedy TV series while Scrubs feels like Scrubs. Scrubs is its own thing, with its own world, its own style, its own form. It's even filmed in its own hospital! There are templates for how to make comedy shows but if you film it in an abandoned hospital you have to create your own way of doing it. Even Dr Scrubs himself adds so much of his own humour that it wouldn't be even remotely the same series without him (which "season 9" proved, I guess??????). Most other series are made by comedy writers that sit in a room and write funny things, and then they create the show. But Scrubs is... Scrubs. You get it. I don't know how to explain it better.
Here's a translated quote in which Swedish comedian Marcus Berggren talks about what's funny (and in which a lot of Gothenburgish charm is lost by the translation):
"Being funny comes from the inside. It sits in the stomache. You were either born with it or you're boring. It's harsh but true. But do not despair: Anyone can learn how to say funny stuff. Standup is mathematics. Pretty simple such. To boil down the formula, it's 1 + 1 = 3. You get it, right? When you've learned that trick there are infinite variations on the theme but anyone can learn it. Some of the most famous comedians in the country are boring to the core but have learned the magical formula."
That's the best description of comedy I've read, so I won't try to create my own theory this time. What I wanna say is that this is also what differs good comedy shows from bad comedy shows, and what differs Scrubs from other equally good comedy shows. You know what I mean? Email me if you don't.
I love that Scrubs isn't afraid of sinking to the absolute lowest form of comedy. And that they're not afraid of telling some harsh truths about life with a reverb:y voiceover at the end and take their stories seriously. Or doing those joke:y jokes that are usually boring if it's the only thing a show is made of. Or playing a really sad song to make you feel sad when something sad happen. Or having a storyline where the main message is like "girls are so sexy, but they're hard to understand sometimes". Or making an episode about death that is so real that you feel genuinely bad, and not in a nice way, after watching it.
That's it. Dr Scrubs