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Tuesday, January 25, 2005  

AmusementFactory
As I (very) briefly alluded to on Friday, Julie and I got to go see a taping of the NBC show “Scrubs.” Those of you who watch scrubs on KNBC here in LA may have seen the crawl during the first minuets of the show last week announcing a contest for tickets. I happed to have the TV on when the trusty TiVo switched channels to record scrubs and I immediately entered the contest. A couple of days later we got an e-mail from NBC w/ detail on how to attend the taping, and after some work-politics sorted out we were able to go.

Scrubs is traditionally a “one-camera” show, which means they shoot an episode like a movie and not like a sitcom, but for this episode, entitled “My 4-Camera Dream,” the whole of the second act takes place within one of J.D.’s fantasies. The hospital has been transformed into a sitcom reality where things are brighter, louder, and everything works out in the end. So the production shot the sequence like a typical sitcom would be shot: w/ 3 cameras in front of a live audience. Bill Lawrence, the creator of scrubs and Spin City, introduced the idea and mentioned that he wanted to give the cast the opportunity to perform for a live-audience for a change.

The cast, or course, loved having the instant feedback of a coupl hundred people laughing at their jokes and so they all played up to the audience and hammed it up, which was a lot of fun to watch. During the down-time while the crew set up a scene the audience was entertained, first by The Blanks (better know as Ted the Lawyer’s a capella quartet from the show,) and even Colin Hay (frontman and songwriter for the seminal Man at Work) who did a couple of his songs that have been featured in the show! The special-guest of the episode was non-other than Clay Aiken, who may have been exciting for some.

As for the rest of the cast, Sarah Chalke (Elliot) was like 100x hotter in real life (and she even said "hey, how's it going" to me,) Zach Braff was, as expected,
cute/hunky and very funny. He also has a potty mouth, loudly proclaiming "fuck!" every time he bobbled a line (the best thing was seeing/hearing J.D.’s “voice-over voice” actually come out of Zach’s mouth.) Donald Faison didn’t seem too have to stretch far to get into Turk’s skin as he was hyper, jovial, and the hammiest of the cast. Neil Flynn had only tiny scene in the show, but he also had probably the funniest joke. He is a great example of an actor who has taken a bit-part and inflated it into a fan favorite, and the many Kramer comparisons made that night weren’t too far off base.

Perhaps the thing that made the greatest impact on me was the efficiency in which the whole operation was run, and I would often find myself watching the movements of the cameras and mics instead of the actors delivering lines. We also managed to score a script from a 3rd season episode and a signed cast 8x10 thanks to Julie’s quick responses to some scrub’s trivia.

In other news, WTF is up with the Oscar nominations this year? I find the whole thing bemusing, and whatever faith in the institution was restored for me last year by LotR's sweep has been washed away by this year’s glaring omissions and sycophantery.

posted by JMV | 1/25/2005 03:57:00 PM
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