Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cranky Doc-Off

This announcement for the next episode of Scrubs inspired me to write a comparative blog:

Thursday, SCRUBS 9PM NBC: The new episode, "My House," pays homage to Hugh Laurie's acclaimed doctor drama "House." Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) is the medical sleuth here, trying to figure out the causes of a man's strange skin pigmentation, a young woman's heart failure and a colleague's anger issues...

I only recently started watching Scrubs because I find Zach "Voice of His Generation" Braff too irritating to stomach, even in half-hour increments. But Scrubs is part of NBC's rock block of comedy, so I tend to tune in because what else am I going to do before The Office comes on? Read??

So with the news of this cranky doc crossover, I've been thinking about TV's affection for doctors, especially doctors who are irredeemable assholes. My first encounter with a Curmudgeon, M.D. was ER's Dr. Romano, a bald little troll who was Chief of Staff and also hilariously evil. Why do we like these guys? Maybe it's because they say what we wish we had the nerve to, or maybe it's because the idea of such a nasty doctor is amusingly incongruent - they're supposed to be caring for people, not berating them. Yet I'm no stranger to wildly inappropriate comments from medics. My dermatologist, for instance, once informed my mother that he was glad to have lost weight, because it "made [his] schmeckel look bigger."

Riiight. So which doctor is the most accomplished at verbal gymnastics, the cream of the belligerent crop? Each has their own strengths and weaknesses. Dr. Romano had the best one-liners on a show that was once, believe it or not, quite strong, but he was wussified by his crush on Dr. Corday, the Brit lady best known for pronouncing tumor "too-mah." Also, he lost an arm to a helicoptor and then was killed by a different chopper falling on him one season later. Man, ER disintegrated into nonsense quickly. Dr. Cox is appropriately over-the-top on the absurdity that is Scrubs, and I'm amazed at his ability to deliver rants that must read as incomprehensible in written scripts, but he also has too many "Awwwwwwww" sitcom moments. And Dr. House, despite his myriad appeals, sometimes steps over the line from snark into cruelty and makes the viewer uncomfortable.

So who's your pick? Comment away. I leave you with some choice quotes from each doctor to help you with this difficult decision.

"I'm beginning to think that "ER" stands for 'everyone's retarded.'"

JD: Dr. Cox, can I ask you something?
Dr. Cox: I'd say you're about a B-cup, Susan.

Cuddy: I need you to wear your lab coat.
House: I need two days of outrageous sex with someone obscenely younger than you. Like half your age.


Jeanette said...

When it comes to the most belligerent, after some consideration, my vote goes to the doc that at first view appears as the underdog. Romano is not the main fixture in his show. Because of this, we never get to see his human side, whether this consists of playing with his son or saying thank you to underage prostitutes as they leave his NJ home. Therefore, he is one sided to us, and that one side is most definitely a prick.

ONE VOTE FOR ROMANO and one vote for missing his insanely curly full head of hair from the early eighties, when he co-starred in FAME.

J.J. said...

Rock block.

Anonymous said...

did you catch the scrubs charlie brown christmas on youtube?

it's basically just a charlie brown christmas with the cast of scrubs overdubbing the dialogue.

if you search "charlie brown" and "scrubs" on youtube, it comes right up.

Alanna said...

Jeanette, Romano becomes human via his love for Lizzy Corday, and it's sickening. He's so much more appealing as a miserable SOB.

Millie, that sounds amazing and I will watch it as soon as I get home.

L-Train said...

I second that vote for the poisonous little one-armed midget. Romano 2007

Lauren said...

Much as I have to give it to Dr. Cox, I don't think I can deduct points for Romano's thing for Dr. Corday. Even I had a girlcrush on her.