Scrubs: The Complete Fourth Season

The beauty of Scrubs is its ability to remain fresh and progressive even with the always-troubling uncertainty about the show’s future. Now that Zach Braff has decided not to return for a seventh season, the show will obviously (read: hopefully) end, making these DVDs all the more precious. Continuing the trend of improving with each year, the fourth season keeps the quality on the upward trajectory. As always, the jokes balance zany insular fantasies with insult humour and hilarious observational gags. Such amusements as Rowdy the stuffed dog coming to life and attacking Carla, the Janitor’s disturbing hobby of squirrel taxidermy (for his army, of course), the recurring temptation to wear Eddie Murphy’s leather outfit from Raw and the concept of getting "gravelled” (essentially J.D. and/or Turk filling your shoes with gravel for discomfort) find the writers going above and beyond their usual offbeat approach. As well, a handful of guests keep it interesting, like Heather Graham as almost full-time, loopy psychologist Dr. Clock, Colin Farrell as the dreamy Irish ruffian or Clay Aiken as a hapless cafeteria worker. (A guest spot by Matthew Perry proves to be an embarrassment, however.) What’s most impressive about this instalment though are the dramatic story arcs that hold steady, most notably the struggling marriage of Turk and Carla. Ending the previous season with their wedding, the couple discover their relationship isn’t bulletproof, finding problems with intimacy, trust and common interests. Furthermore, J.D.’s difficulty in leaving Turk and Carla’s nest works in what could be a crucial development in the fifth season, considering our main character is hardly one to fend for himself. And then there’s Elliot, who is off to a new hospital, a move that is bound to change the show’s inner-hospital dynamics. Season four is nicely done and with as many condescending Dr. Cox-isms you could hope for, this serial comedy again keeps the requisite balance of laughs and drama coming in desirable doses. Plus: selected commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, music video. (Buena Vista)