Mrs. MMM recently read me something (which is why I don’t have a link) in which a bubbly writer suggested that Scrubs fans are hoping Zach Braff and Donald Faison continue to be regular fixtures in our prime-time lineup for years to come.
One Scrubs fan — this one — would like to object. Especially after tonight’s episode, which was every cutesy affectation you hate about the show wrapped up into one nauseating collection of musical numbers. In Season 6, it’s no longer funny that J.D. likes appletinis. And it’s not believable that Turk doesn’t know Carla’s Dominican rather than Puerto Rican.
Scrubs has now run longer than NewsRadio. They’ve produced more than twice as many episodes as Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Most BBC sitcoms run a couple of six-episode seasons — The Office and Fawlty Towers were 12 episodes each. (The Office added a holiday special.)
Sure, 12 isn’t enough. There’s always the Absolutely Fabulous approach — do a couple of six-episode seasons, add the occasional special, then do another season if the muse strikes. That’s why we’ve seen five seasons over 12 years.
Sometimes, jokes get run into the ground (Scrubs). Dramas have a different problem. They’re usually contingent on characters facing some sort of crisis. After a while, you hit crisis fatigue (ER).
Which brings us to Friday Night Lights.
I was thrilled that the show got picked up for the whole season. But if it’s not renewed, I’m OK with that. I’d rather have 22 great shows than 44 shows of gradually decline. I want closure, not more tragedy. (What else could they possibly do to Street?)
Networks are going all reality these days, anyway, because it’s cheaper to produce. So why not save money by producing fewer seasons and shorter seasons, boosting the incentive to make those shows better?