While they all wear similar scrub uniforms, some of our favorite TV doctors and nurses portray their profession better than others. Comparing television series Scrubs to Grey’s Anatomy might seem like comparing apples to oranges because Grey’s Anatomy is a drama and Scrubs is a comedy. Does either show truly convey the reality of working in the medical workplace? Let’s look at some classic situations…
Scrubs’ J.D. has a love/hate relationship with Dr. Cox. The”¯“My Fallen Idol“ (Sea.5/Ep.21) episode was quite poignant for a comedy. It’s the one where J.D. tells Dr. Cox he admired him and wanted to become the type of doctor Cox portrays. The show had all the makings of a funny one except for the scene where J.D. tells Dr. Cox he was proud of him. About the time you’re reaching for the Kleenex to cover this awwwww moment, J.D. spews a glass of scotch on himself.
Grey’s Anatomy Meredith and Derek run the gamut of love/love, hate/hate and love/hate possibilities. Meredith’s classic speech in the”¯“Bring the Pain” (Sea.2/Ep.5) episode was confusing at best:
Meredith: “… Your choice, it’s simple, her or me. …But Derek, I love you. In a …unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you.”
The Real Thing: How many interns fall in love with renowned brain surgeons? A lot, no doubt. How many brain surgeons care? Surgeons aren’t exactly known for on-the-job emotional depth; in the real world, Derek only wants a great OR experience. Scrubs is The Real Thing, because eventually, everybody squirts scotch through their noses.
Form and Function
Grey’s Anatomy medical personnel are emotionally all over the place in the hospital. The interns spend much of their time discussing how they feel, what they think, their personal and professional relationships. Brain surgeons deliver babies and neurosurgeons do tummy-tucks. Scrubs’ medicine is “dead-on,” because the show’s internists diagnose and surgeons operate.
The Real Thing: Interns don’t have enough time to feel or think or be anything except tired, let alone discuss their family of origin issues when they meet in the utility closet. Again, Scrubs is reality-based.
Grey’s Anatomy fans will recall these memorable elevator scenes from the show:
- Derek in elevator with his girlfriend, his ex-girlfriend, his ex-wife and a very amused Mark (Sea.4 / Ep.13 or Youtube)
- Derek Proposes to Meredith (Sea. 5 / Ep.19 or Youtube)
- George and Alex trapped in elevator with heart patient (Sea. 2 / Ep.5)
- Meredith and Derek makeout session (Sea. 1 / Ep.2 or youtube)
- Izzie in prom dress going to see Denny (sea. 2 / Ep. 27 or Youtube)
Then, in contrast, have a look at Scrubs’ J.D. in the elevator on YouTube.
For medical personnel who ride elevators every workday, the scientific”¯odds of ever being trapped in an elevator are once in a lifetime. So, your chances of being trapped in a broken elevator with a heart patient are nil. From a percentages standpoint, the odds of riding in an elevator with your current and ex-girlfriend AND ex-wife at the same time are quite low unless it’s at a funeral. Marriage proposal and smooching in a hospital elevator? Now, that makes sense. But seriously, how many times have you done a song and dance in an elevator? Haven’t we all?
The Real Thing: Scrubs’ Dr. John (“J.D.”) Kung-Fu Fighting elevator scene tops all of Grey’s Anatomy elevator scenes, although Derek in the elevator with his current and ex-lovers was pretty funny.
And the winner is . . . Scrubs! The show went off the air in 2010, and Scrubs fans did not transition over to Grey’s Anatomy lightly, because . . . well, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. For medical hospital workers, Scrubs’ comedy “¯came closer to being reality-based than Grey’s Anatomy drama series.
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