Scrubs are thin pants and shirts, usually light blue in color, worn by doctors and nurses while operating on a patient. Also make good pajamas. Because of their excellent pajama nature, many hospitals have begun a checkout program for their scrubs, making sure not too many leave the premises. Apparently this was costing hospitals lots of money as several people casually brought home their scrubs, either by accident or on purpose.

(At least that's what my dad calls 'em, and he's a doc.)

Scrubs is yet another one of those shows, like Ally Mcbeal, that overloads on flashy gimmicks rather than actual jokes. Don't get me wrong, there are some funny bits in it, when the script writers actually bother to write them, but the rest of it basically repeats the same joke that was funny for about five minutes when Ally Mcbeal did it, but quickly became annoying and an obvious substitute for any actual acting or directorial skill.

Here's some examples: One of the senior doctors asks one of the new interns if she saw a certain patient today. whoosh! - flashback to shot of the patient - whoosh! she says yes, she did see him. See, I know who he's talking about since she's only seen one patient this episode, and I'm not an idiot, so it would be nice if the program makers didn't treat me like one.
Another example: The same intern goes to apologise to one of the nurses about an argument. After apologising she goes on to say that she still believes she was right. Cut to her continuing her speech whilst literally digging her own grave while the other hospital staff watch. It's the same joke that was repeated fifty times in Ally Mcbeal (except usually in Ally Mcbeal it was someone getting "dumped"), and isn't that funny to begin with.
Final example: One of the senior doctors addresses one of the interns as "sweetheart". The main character then pictures him in a smoking jacket, with a pipe, leering at the woman. We already have a voice-over from the main character that addresses this, and again, it's the same joke that made up multiple series' of Ally Mc-fucking-Beal. Can't anybody in TV these days write stuff that is funny and not just a showcase of flashy gimmicks that will look incredibly dated and stupid in about a year?

The show also fails spectacularly to develop the characters. Each character is basically flat and has one joke attached to them, if that. The only thing that comes anywhere close is the doctor who appears nice at first but is in fact permanentally angry, which was pretty predictable, and the will they/won't they relationship between the two main characters, which is a cliche anyway, and one that by TV show rules is never resolved until the show jumps the shark. The rest of the characters (main character included in fact) simply do not have any depth to them. The show needs to either be a character based comedy, which it clearly isn't, or an anarchic one (say, in the style of Naked Gun). Instead, it plays everything too safe and forgets to include any of the vital ingredients.

"And, as you can see, the ass is on the front."


Scrubs (created by Bill Lawrence, written by Angela Nissel and, presumably, a big conference room full of writers) is a hospital-based sitcom shown on NBC in the US, and Sky One (digital) and Channel Four (terrestrial) in syndication in the UK. The show is based around the lives of a group of young doctors (interns in the first series, residents in the second) and other staff at The Sacred Heart Hospital. The show has a rapid pace and a fantastical streak, rather like Police Squad might have turned out at the hands of the Fast Show team. As mustard_monkey points out, there are frequent, 'gimmicky' daydream sequences and the like, but for the most part these are carried off far better than the shoddy-looking, incongruous, self-indulgent, flow-breaking excesses of that skeleton/lawyer show.

The lead character is John "J.D." Dorian (Zach Braff), whose guileless nature and poorly-concealed inexperience frequently land him in trouble with his friends and his superiors. Braff delivers a frenetic, rubber-faced performance (and Wonder Years-esque voiceover) and is seldom called upon to bring much depth to the character. This isn't too much of a problem as the 'nervous, struggling junior doctor with a heart of gold' archetype is familiar enough a concept to set up J.D. as a sympathetic fall guy. Threepwood-esque, if you like.

Every sitcom needs a group of comrades brought together by circumstance, and in Scrubs we have J.D.'s friends and 'allies' at Sacred Heart: Turk, Elliot and Carla. Surgeon Chris Turk (Donald Faison) and his girlfriend Nurse Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes) seem to be continually on the verge of breaking up. The ditzy Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke) is desperate to win approval but tends to rub people up the wrong way (especially Carla). So far, so 'Friends' and a million other sugary sitcoms...

Here we get to the good stuff. The show's greatest strength is the gallery of stroppy, sarky and surly characters who delight in tripping up and bawling out the squeaky-clean newbies. On the shop floor we have Dr. Perry Cox, a jaded senior doctor (played with pop-eyed, acidic relish by John C. McGinley) who acts as their mentor, to stretch the definition to breaking point. Cox is given at least two opportunities per show to deliver a sarcastic tirade, labelling each of his charges with disparaging nicknames and personality traits not unlike an angry drill seargeant. His mood is not lightened by the revelation during the first series that J.D. slept with his ex-wife.

Cox's ego is deflated by the occasional appearance of Dr. Bob Kelso (Ken Jenkins), an evil and sadistic man. Kelso is an aging administrator, willfully oblivious to any complaints, who can be relied on to fly into rages, and call anyone younger than him 'sport'.

However, the real star of Scrubs has to be the janitor (played by Neil Flynn). The janitor (never given a proper name) delights in tormenting J.D., interpreting the most innocent remarks as terribly arrogant slights against himself and his profession. He will then proceed to toy with J.D. throughout the day, only ending the game when he tires of it. The writing of these confrontations is always unpredictable and a highlight of the show.

Other (minor) characters include the libidinous surgeon Todd, sorry, THE Todd, authoritarian Nurse Roberts, and the nervous wreck lawyer.

Overall, Scrubs is a very funny, if unashamedly lightweight and formulaic piece of entertainment. It is impressive that they've managed to get the balance just about right- the show could easily have turned out too self-consciously wacky, or too schmaltzy, or just had really annoying characters. So far the performances and the writing have managed to keep it on course. It is rather a shame that the makers have seen fit to append each episode with a 'moral of the story' montage sequence set to music, the only purpose of which seems to be to sell soundtrack albums. But even with this parenthetical cheesiness, Scrubs is worth watching for the janitor alone.

Cast, schedules and alarmingly airbrushed publicity shots here:

Scrubs is what racers call tires that have been briefly brought up to full racing temperature then taken off the track. The reason tires are 'scrubbed' is that a racing tire is very different from the sort of tires sold for street cars. Most racing tires are delivered without curing the rubber. Curing hardens rubber and makes it more durable, but soft rubber provides more 'grip' as softer rubber sticks better to rubber left on the track and oozes into the small imperfections in the track surface. Soft rubber offers more control over the car than mere friction might provide. Since the object is to go as fast as possible it is desirable to have soft tires because the more grip the harder the car can turn, brake or accelerate. (see traction circle)

The fresh, raw, uncured rubber is soft as the tire can be, and useful for getting the fastest possible lap. Once the tire passes one hundred degrees its grip increases as the tire softens. But it will only stay that way for a short period of time. If the tire gets too hot (and race tire temperatures often reach between 180 and 220 degrees) it will begin to become 'greasy' and lose grip. Usually a fresh tire has only a few hot laps before its grip begins to diminish. So while a fresh tire might be the fastest tire, its peak grip doesn't last very long. So the raw tire might be ideal for qualifying where the fastest possible time is rewarded, but not so very good in a race that may last for many miles. You want a race tire to last longer.

So drivers will go out and 'scrub' their tires. Scrubbing a tire consists of doing one to three 'hot' laps then immediately bringing the car in and removing the tires. Well funded (and professional) race teams may do this more than once during a session. The tire is given one and only one heat cycle. The scrubbed tire is then allowed to cool. Bringing the tire up to temperature activates the carbon black within the rubber and begins the curing process. Curing makes the tire last longer. By giving only one heat cycle and immediately cooling the tire you end up with a tire that has almost all the grip of a raw tire, but is more stable so it can withstand the heat for a long period of time. When a tire begins to lose grip it is 'going away' and if a tire goes away too soon a racer may lose positions to competitors whose tires retain more grip. Tire life is very real factor road race or longer stock car races where a tire may be asked to last for 100 miles or more. Multiple heat cycles simply make the tire harden faster, so the fastest type of race tire is a 'scrubbed' tire whose next use is for a race.

Racing tires can be quite expensive ($2K for set of four is not atypical) so sanctioning bodies like the FIA, NASCAR and Indy Car often regulate tire use for reasons of cost control and safety. Racing teams may be restricted in both the number and types of tires used. Often the sanctioning body will specify a particular tire . The utility and possibilities for scrubbing may be affected by racing rules, but when permitted tires are usually scrubbed.

When a driver swings his wheel back and forth during a pace lap they are not 'scrubbing' their tires in this sense. The driver is trying to clear the surface of small rocks and debris and increase the tire temperature as much as possible, though such violent motions do not bring the tire up to racing temperatures. Autocross tires generally test between 100 and 180 degrees, while road racing tires operate at between 140 to 220 degrees. Tire temperatures are measured with a tire pyrometer which ranges up to 350 degrees fahrenheit or 175 celsius.

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