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The Complete 5th Season

According to series creator Bill Lawrence, the American Medical Association considers Scrubs to be the most realistic of medical shows. Perhaps like us, he finds that both weird and frightening. For anybody that's a Scrubs fan, however, it's no surprise. This is one fine show.

Whether you consider it a comedy with dramatic moments or maybe even a funny drama, it's been one of the most consistently entertaining series of the last decade. Lawrence assembled a cast that has tightened into a formidable ensemble. Though a little twee in places, that's best exemplified by the show's 100th episode, included on the fifth season DVD set in both broadcast and extended formats.

A loose pastiche of The Wizard of Oz, the episode covers a day in Sacred Heart hospital. What it's really about, though, is celebrating the growth of the characters throughout their five years on the show. In some places, it even acknowledges and throws away clichés the series developed.

After four DVD sets, it gets hard for the cast and crew to add much new information in the extras. So most of the additional features focus on that 100th episode. In a documentary (ostensibly celebrating all 117), cast and crew reflect upon how far they've come. Episode director Zach Braff provides commentary, but most of it alternates between underscoring the obvious and commenting on the thousand alternate lines that the actors did, none of which were appropriate for broadcast.

Unfortunately, none of Robert Maschio as the Todd's alternate takes appear on the disc. A few other takes do appear in the extras, but most of them prove why the final product was the one used.

Other cast and crew provide commentary, but again, after so many times, it's become just the expected praise. On the other hand, it's interesting to hear how little Dr. Cox varies from John C. McGinley. His favorite phrase? "He really nailed this."

To be fair, McGinley nails Cox, and the fifth season has the best arc he could have asked for. Based on a true incident (and that's weird and a little frightening), the arc finds Cox carrying guilt over the deaths of several patients. It provides a chilling, moving storyline near the end of the season, cementing the show's place in quality television history.

As if it needed that. Every season so far has been a winner. Unsettling, hilarious, heartwarming and heartbreaking, Scrubs belongs in your DVD collection. And then it brings in Elizabeth Banks. Most of her work on the show, though, guarantees you'll be eager for the sixth season.

Scrubs - The Complete Fifth Season

Scrubs Seasons 1-4 (One Through Four)

Derek McCaw

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