There have been funnier sitcoms (although, not very many) and there have been sitcoms with bigger cult audiences (again, though, not very many), but gun to the head, if I had to choose my favorite sitcom of the last decade, I’d probably choose Scrubs. Not as clever, perhaps, as Arrested Development, and not as hilariously but stubbornly obtuse as Community, and certainly not as smart as 30 Rock, Scrubs nevertheless managed to combine smart comedy with heart better than any of the contenders for best sitcom of the 00s. Arrested could make me laugh until I pissed tears, It’s Always Sunny could make me feel like a terrible person for laughing until I pissed tears, and Parks and Rec is easily the kindest great sitcom of the 00s, but Scrubs provided the slightly better human connection. You shouldn’t choose a President based upon who you’d most likely want to have a beer with, but if you’re choosing sitcom ensembles based on that, Scrubs would win, hands down. Plus, it’s probably the only sitcom with two episodes that elicited tears (number one, and number two); both were Dr. Cox episodes, and how he was never nominated for an Emmy is still one of the most criminal omissions of the 00s).
On the news that Zach Braff has moved from in front of to behind the camera, I thought we’d check in on the rest of the ensemble, where we find that it’s been a modestly successful transition for most of them.
Zach Braff (J.D.) — Weirdly, given that he was the lead, Braff has had little success post-Scrubs. His movie career took a dive after Garden State, and his only credits the last couple of years have been in television reunions, of sorts, showing up on Bill Lawrence’s Scrubs and Donald Faison’s The Exes. He is, however, turning showrunner now, writing, directing, and producing in Garage Bar, a pilot picked up by ABC that will center on a group of friends who start to experience the ups and downs of fame when one of them becomes a pop star.
Donald Faison (Turk) — I really wish Faison had had the patience of Braff and held out for something better, but he jumped at a quick offer to be a series cast member on TVLand’s The Exes, which is sadly so unwatchable than I can’t actually watch it. He does have a role, however, in the upcoming Kick Ass 2.
John McGinley (Dr. Cox) — This makes me the saddest because McGinley hasn’t landed another regular television gig, although I saw him last week in the unholy abomination that was Tyler Perry’s Alex Cross. He was also in a few episodes of Burn Notice, but he mostly seems to have returned to the character acting in feature films that dominated his career pre-Scrubs.
Ken Jenkins (Dr. Kelso) — Jenkins is old, so I’m just happy to see the guy appear on the occasional episode of Bill Lawrence’s Cougar Town, where he plays the father of Courteney Cox’s character.
Sarah Chalke (Elliot) — Chalke has also done a few episodes of Cougar Town, she had a failed sitcom, Mad Love, with Jason Biggs, and will be returning to ABC at midseason with How to Live with Your Parents (for the rest of your life), with Brad Garrett and Elizabeth Perkins.
Neil Flynn (The Janitor) — Inarguably, the most successful so far of the Scrubs cast members, Flynn appears each week on the sweet and amusing The Middle.
Judy Reyes (Carla) — More than anyone, Reyes completely disappeared. She wasn’t even in Scrubs 2.0, so it’s been a long while since we’ve seen her, although she’s done a pilot (Devious Maids) with Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), and that series will be airing on Lifetime next year (here’s a promo).
Christa Miller (Jordan) — Bill Lawerence’s wife is doing just fine as an awesome cast member of Cougar Town, which shifts to TBS in the winter.
Robert Maschio (Dr. Todd) — He was, er, in an episode of Cougar Town.
Sam Lloyd (Ted) — Also in Cougar Town, but he has a singing career, as well, with The Blanks.
Alamo Wright (Laverne) — She also plays a nurse on Days of Our Lives, where she’s been since 2008.
Eliza Coupe (Denise) — A final season cast member, plus a regular on Scrubs 2.0, Coupe is of course now on Happy Endings
Travis Schuldt (Keith) — He was in an episode of Scrubs, but he’s doing OK for himself. He’s in a long-term relationship with Natalie Zea (Justified).
Phill Lewis (Hooch) — I had no idea until a couple of days ago that Lewis is a staple over on the Disney channel in the Suite Life franchise. I also had no idea that he was once convicted of manslaughter. Hooch is crazy.