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'Scrubs' returns (yes, again): Why you might like it

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Scrubs is back on ABC tonight to start its 965th season. (Or is it just its ninth?) A lot has happened in the near decade since it first blew our minds with its snarky, rapid-fire dialogue, its hilariously random fantasy sequences, and its dexterous melding of comedy and pathos. Actually, what’s mostly happened is that a lot of shows came along and did all that stuff, too, and Scrubs lost a bit of its mojo. But you have to admire a show that has soldiered on through countless timeslot changes and even a network change from NBC to ABC last year, through good ratings, bad, and worse. I’d watch just to support that spirit of survival in an uncertain TV world. But if that’s not enough to get you to tune in, you might also like the new Scrubs — based on my pre-screening of the first two episodes as the center of action transfers from Sacred Heart to med school — if …

… you prefer your Zach Braff in small doses. Our erstwhile hero J.D. is around a lot for the first two eps teaching alongside buddy Turk (Donald Faison). But he isn’t signed on for the full season this time around, as the main authority figures — if you can ever call Turk an authority figure — are J.D.’s bestie and his grouchy mentor, Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley).

… you prefer your Zach Braff in sweaters. He’s way into the professor wardrobe. See also: blazers with elbow patches.

… you like your Elliot (Sarah Chalke) in really small doses and the Janitor (Neil Flynn) invisible. I don’t, but they’ve moved on, sadly. (Spoilers ahead.) Thus Elliot shows up only briefly (and pregnant!) to canoodle with hubby J.D. And the Janitor quits (offscreen) to presumably raise a quirky family in the Midwest with Patricia Heaton.

… you always wished J.D. were a girl. You could knock new narrator Lucy (Kerry Bishe) for being a naive, idealistic airhead — or you could realize she’s really just a female version of Scrubs‘ guiding voice through its first eight seasons. And she and J.D. have a nice mentoring moment (made only slightly awkward by his coming across a nude cell-phone photo of her).

… you enjoy the high-cheekboned work of the Franco family. Trust me, you do. And James’ little bro Dave plays a great entitled douchebag med student. With, of course, an intimate connection to that naked cell phone pic.

What do you think PopWatchers? Can you muster up some excitement for Scrubs‘ ninth season? Or are you checking out of Sacred Heart with the Janitor?

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC