Scrubs is finally back tonight, but not without a complete Sacred Heart shakeup: founding star Zach Braff will only appear in a handful of episodes at the beginning of the season, but to cushion the blow, we'll meet three brand new characters. The newbies include Dave Franco (yes, James's younger bro), who plays one of the new med students mentored by Turk, Donald Faison's character.
I'm super excited about the changes on the show and very curious about the new focus — so it was lucky that I was treated to a chat this week with Franco and Faison about what the new characters and roles mean for Scrubs this season.
- Donald, on whether there's a new vibe on the show: It's definitely new. It's a new show but it pretty much has the same vibe. It's still wacky, still very fast paced; there's just new characters in the world. It opens up the world and fans get to see what it's like to be a med student this time, instead of an intern. If anything, it definitely in my opinion will bring more viewers to the show strictly because of these guys: one, they're funny, two, they're all good, and three, they're all, really really gorgeous.
- Dave, on his character, Cole: Cole is a med student, and his father pretty much paid for the hospital on campus. So it allows Cole to pretty much do and say whatever he wants, which results in him being an ass to everyone. No one really likes him, including his girlfriend. But as the episodes go on you kind of see a different side to him, and kind of understand why he is such a jerk to everyone and hopefully start to sympathize with him a little bit.
To hear what else Donald and Dave had to say about the show and whether James Franco will guest star (I had to ask!), just
- Donald, on the most exciting part of the new Scrubs: Just being back is exciting for me. I'm gonna keep it real with you, I'm trying to make history here! I got a long ways to go, but I'm trying to make history here — I'm trying to be the first African-American on television for over 20 years. I'm just saying, I'm going for it. Over 20 years. I'm trying to do a 30-year stint. It's just great, that's what's really exciting — it's great to be back and working with these fresh new faces and it's great that they're all as excited as I am.
- Dave, whether Cole has any redeeming qualities: He's ridiculous — he's out there but he tells it like it is. He says what he thinks, and also, you'll find out in his own weird way he is a good boyfriend. It's easy to laugh at him; he laughs at himself, and hopefully you'll either like him or love to hate him.
- Donald, on whether Turk has to grow up this season: He's a mentor now, so he has to a little bit. But I think Turk kind of feels like he's one of the guys, one of the kids, and they quickly tell him that he's not.
- Donald, on who gets voice over duties with Zach Braff gone: There's a new character, and the great thing about it is that Zach does six episodes at the start of the series, and so it's an easy transition for the new character, Lucy, played by Kerry Bishe, to do the voice over, because the story's about the med students this year.
- Donald, explaining Carla's absence: She's at home with the kids! They have a lot of kids now, so Turk is at work trying to make money to pay for his children.
- Dave, on being one of many new cast members: It definitely was nice to have some other new people with me who could relate. We're surrounded by very genuine, grounded people, which honestly is lucky. From the very the start they've been so welcoming and have done everything they can to make us as comfortable as possible, and at this point there really isn't a single person on set who I don't get along with. It kind of stems from the creator, Bill Lawrence. He has this policy — the "No Hassle Policy" — where no matter how talented you might be, he won't hire you if he doesn't think you're a good person. So it's a really, really, fun, easy set to be on.
On whether Dave's brother James will stop by for a guest appearance:
Dave: I don't know; he's a busy guy, he's got a lot of stuff going on. It would be cool, but he's done his hospital show on ABC and i don't think he necessarily needs to do another one.
Donald: We've already got a Franco on Scrubs! We don't need another one! That's too many Francos! This ain't The Franco Show!