Why the 'Scrubs' Christmas Episode Is a Modern Holiday Classic
Scrubs does a lot of things well, so it's almost unfair that its Season 1, Episode 11 entry into the series, "My Own Personal Jesus," is as good as it is.
As a comedy drama, Scrubs is consistently funny. But the program's also capable of hitting some very poignant notes from time to time, punctuating with laughs at just the right time. And while "Bromance" isn't exactly a genre of TV (who are we kidding, it is) Scrubs dishes that out in spades.
What makes "My Own Personal Jesus" one of the series' strongest episodes is how it combines everything Scrubs does so well and cranks the quality up to the highest possible level. OK, and that sprinkle of extra-special Christmas magic and festivity might have something to do with it, too.
A Christmas Miracle
No yuletide episode would be complete without some type of holiday miracle, and this episode manages to tie more than a couple in for each of the show's main characters. JD is almost forced to tell the family of an unconscious patient that the outlook isn't good. Just then, the patient wakes up, which gets Turk believing an-honest-to-goodness miracle occurred.
If you're friends with people who work in the medical field, you know how bleak work can get, and how hard it is to believe in magical cures popping out of nowhere. Turk, who professes his devotion to religion, has a crisis of faith that Christmas Eve. Though JD got lucky with his patients, Turk did not, and he starts to wonder why God seems to be ignoring the people put in his care while he's on call.
Elliott, after suffering a sexist comment from Dr. Kelso, suggests transferring a pregnant patient, Meredith, to a family care specialist when she has a bad reaction. She takes out the anger she feels towards Dr. Kelso on Meredith, who is 8 months pregnant and suffering from HELLP Syndrome, which means she must be induced ASAP.
Problem is, Meredith is nowhere to be found. Feeling alienated by Elliott's rude treatment, she leaves the hospital. Turk eventually saves her. After going on the roof of the hospital to ponder his faith after a string of rough patient outcomes, he books it to Miller Park, where Meredith said she was staying the past week. Both Meredith and Turk get the Christmas miracles they need.
Pop-culture references galore.
Now that all of the touch-feely holiday stuff is out of the way, let's talk about some of the hilarious jokes and references that pop up in this classic episode. If you're a fan of Scrubs, you know the show is rife with weird fantasies/scenarios that play out in JD's head, and this episode's no different.
In one scene, JD acts like the Fonz and decks a patient. Fan of Fast Times at Ridgemont High will also clock the fantasy scene of Nurse Tisdale in a red bikini, which is lifted straight from the film's pool scene with Phoebe Cates.
Dr. Cox also, appropriately, dresses up as the Grinch and honestly, seeing him in the get-up is worth watching the episode alone. Then there's the nativity scene the cast all poses in, with Meredith filling in for the Virgin Mary.
Other random hilarity.
The black-and-white '50s bit where JD plays an old-school doctor is also great; so is Turk's Baptist Minister one in the cafeteria. And the scene where JD and Dr. Cox try to convinced Jordan that they shaved a baby, then cut to her in a story declining to buy a book titled "J.D. and Dr. Cox Shaved the Baby Story," is comedy gold.
I know I pretty much spoiled the entire episode for you, but I promise reading about it is nothing like actually watching it. Besides, like all Christmas TV shows and movies, you know exactly how it's going to end: on a super feel-good note.