Tonight on NBC it's the beginning of the end for the Scrubs gang. Sigh. I recently got to chat on the phone with creator/producer Bill Lawrence as well as Dr. John Dorian himself, Zach Braff. From the sound of it, these guys are facing their seventh and final season on TV with a Scrubs-appropriate mixture of mirth and sadness.
I'm going to miss the Sacred Heart crew, though at pretty much any time of evening we can catch reruns of Scrubs on a few different channels, so at least they won't be too far away.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here — the seventh season hasn't even started yet! Check out tonight's episode, "My Own Worst Enemy," and if you have more questions for Lawrence you can always submit them to him yourself online.
Chatting with Braff and Lawrence, I learned the following stuff:
At the end of the series, J.D. will have grown up... at least somewhat.
Lawrence stated that he thinks the ending of the show will be unsatisfying for people if J.D. hasn't matured. Zach, however, says he looks at the show as a kind of comic strip, "The audience really want to sort of check in with their favorite characters and see what they’re going to do this week. They don’t really want them to evolve too much... They want to come home and check in with the people that make them laugh. They want to see the Janitor be the Janitor and Todd be bisexually weird. They want to see J.D. be a goofball and Dr. Cox yell at him. So I think that we’ve done a good job of evolving them slightly, but also giving the fans what they want, which is to see the characters be themselves."
For more of the Q&A, read more
The J.D. and Elliot thing will be resolved, one way or another.
Lawrence has this to say on the topic of whether J.D. and Elliot will end up together: "You know, Zach always says there’s no way you can satisfy everybody. If you go on to our fan sites there’s a lot of people that want them together and then there’s a lot of people that say that’s not what this show is about. I think the answer is right in the middle. This show was never a 'will they or won’t they' show, you know? It was not Ross and Rachel... That’s not what this show has been about. It’s been about all the relationships. That being said, Zach and Sarah as actor and actress, have made people invested in this. So I am going to resolve it, but I’m not going to make that the end of the series. I think that it’ll happen before people expect it to happen. I think I put a lot of clues what I’m going to do along the way."
At the end of the series, Janitor's real name will definitely be revealed.
Apparently, Lawrence has always promised actor Neil Flynn that Janitor will eventually get to have a name and a girlfriend, and he says he had to make good on both of those this year. Lawrence said, "When you hear him addressed by a real name, that means the show is over."
This season's "big" episode will be a fairytale-style episode, based on The Princess Bride.
According to Lawrence, "Every year we choose one episode to spend a whole lot of money on and try to be our showcase thing. And this one’s an homage to The Princess Bride. And, you know, Zach’s the village idiot, Sarah’s the princess and the Janitor is a giant. And Todd is the Fairy Todd Something."
Ideal guest stars? David Cross as Tobias Fünke and John Cusack
Apparently, Zach has been campaigning to bring Tobias Fünke onto Scrubs as either a doctor or a patient, but hasn't been successful. As for Lawrence, it's been killing him that John Cusack hasn't been on the show. "That’s the only new guest star I would [care] about just because he was such a seminal figure comedically for me, as just that everyman that you could identify with."
The character of Dr. Cox is based on Bill Lawrence's father-in-law.
Lawrence's wife is Christa Miller who plays Dr. Cox's catty wife on Scrubs and her father was this scary, intimidating doctor on whom Lawrence based the character of Dr. Cox.
Lawrence has ideas for the final episode — but wants to hear fan input anyway.
Hence the online message board that Lawrence apparently does read very carefully. He said, "The truth is I’ve known how I was going to end this show for a long time because I thought it was going to end the last year and the year before at one point or another... As far as the finale ideas, I know what I want to do. I just wanted people — and I’ve been reading it — to weigh in on things that they do and don’t want to happen because it helps me get a gauge for what people are expecting and what people don’t want to see. And, you know, I’m still going to make up my own decisions. But it’s been really kind of informative. I think it’s really just about hopefully rewarding the people that stuck with it so long that they have a good feeling when the TV goes off."