Over the weekend, the cast of TV sitcom Scrubs was reunited during a panel at the ATX TV Festival (opens in new tab) in Austin, Texas.
The sit-down panel included stars Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes and Neil Flynn. Apart from Ken Jenkins, who played the crotchety chief of medicine Bob Kelso, the show’s entire main cast was present. Series creator Bill Lawrence was also in attendance, and after some good-natured reminiscing, the conversation quickly turned to the idea of a Scrubs revival.
“Here’s the deal: I think we all want a reboot and want to work together again but it couldn’t be a full season. Maybe like a movie or something we could shoot in a few months,” Faison said when asked if Scrubs could return. The actor, who played cocksure surgeon Christopher Turk, also noted that Lawrence’s busy schedule could potentially pose a problem. Lawrence is currently busy working on Ted Lasso season 3 for Apple TV Plus.
Although, Lawrence certainly seems keen on the idea regardless of his full plate. “We’re gonna do it because people still care about it and we enjoy spending time with each other,” he said. That’s a pretty strong indication that a Scrubs revival is really just a matter of time, especially considering the rest of the cast didn’t interject to suggest they were less keen on the idea either.
The beloved sitcom was set within the fictional Sacred Heart Hospital and ran from 2001 until 2010 spanning nine seasons and 182 episodes. The show enjoyed both critical acclaim and strong ratings, and despite having ended more than a decade ago remains popular thanks in part to the entire series currently streaming on Hulu and Prime Video. Real-life best friends Braff and Faison also started a rewatch podcast in 2020, which further reignited interest in the show.
A revival has been teased by several cast members and even Lawrence himself in the past, but these recent comments are the most concrete evidence to date that Scrubs will return in some form. While many fans have reacted to this news with great excitement, there is also the lingering question of whether it’s actually a good idea.
A Scrubs revival is totally unnecessary
To make it clear I’m not opposed to a Scrubs revival on the grounds of disinterest. I consider Scrubs not just the formative TV show of my childhood, but to this day it remains my favorite sitcom of all time. I have watched the entire series more times than I can count, and I quote its many iconic lines on a near-daily basis — much to the irritation of those around me.
On paper, I should be exactly the kind of person who reacts to this news with giddy excitement. But, that’s not the case. To be honest, I'm hoping these quotes are just Lawrence and Faison getting overexcited at a fan panel and making promises that will never actually come to fruition. My primary reason for not wanting to see Scrubs return? Season nine.
The (current) final season of Scrubs is infamous because it was never supposed to happen. The show was planned to end with season eight and had an utterly perfect finale to boot, but then ABC demanded more episodes and we got a Frankenstein ninth season that mixed new characters with a slim collection of returning cast members. It didn’t work and Scrubs was quickly canceled on a bum note instead of the triumphant exit it deserved.
For that reason, Scrubs already stands as a cautionary tale that sometimes it's better to go out on a high than try to milk a show that is getting increasingly stale. Of course, a revival could be used to wash away the sour taste left by season nine, but in all likelihood, it’ll be pure nostalgia bait that struggles to justify its own existence. Just like season nine, I worry that a revival will be nothing more than a cynical attempt to cash in on the Scrubs name.
Don’t forget, when we last saw the main characters of Scrubs they were pretty much all happy both personally and professionally. So, I’m not even sure what story the Scrubs revival would be able to tell without wrecking that harmony. I can’t imagine fans would be very happy if beloved couples Turk/Carla, JD/Elliot and Perry/Jordan were split up for the sake of giving a revival series/movie some dramatic tension. I’m perfectly content to leave these characters where they are forever.
Of course, if a Scrubs revival does happen, I will no doubt be watching with great curiosity and at least some degree of enthusiasm. However, I’m more than happy to just go back and re-watch classic episodes whenever I need my Scrubs fix. A Scrubs revival really does feel like it could do more harm than good to the show's reputation.