Movie & TV Nurses
Revisiting the TV Show “Scrubs”
This popular medical sitcom still delivers more than just laughs
I have to admit that when “Scrubs” originally aired on network television (2001–2010), I never once watched it. I was so self-righteous about the way nurses were portrayed in the media that I condemned it without even a glance.
I assumed that “Scrubs” was yet another TV doctor series where nurses were always made to look sexy and subordinate and never given a chance to show that they could make smart decisions, so I steered clear.
After finally watching the show on Hulu recently, it was a real joy to find out how wrong I was on so many levels. I feel like offering an overdue apology to series creator Bill Lawrence.
“Scrubs” presents an insider’s view of medicine, following new intern D.J. Dorian (played by Zach Braff) as he learns the ropes at a fictional California hospital alongside his good friend, surgeon Christopher Turk (played by Donald Faison).
Each episode is framed as an excerpt from D.J.’s diary, with his internal monologue as narration. We watch not only his mistakes, but also his imagined do-overs and all the conversations he wishes he had had.
A Chorus of Nurses
I was delighted to find in the very first episode that it’s the nurses everyone turns to over and over again. They’re like the chorus in a Shakespeare play: In any given scene, there they are, sitting at the nurses station, handing out the old paper charts, or at a patient’s bedside to adjust drip rates and offer advice to newbies.