Medical comedy Scrubs had a large ensemble, but the geeky, needy and oddly charming John ‘JD’ Dorian always tended to have the best lines. Here are eight examples of just how memorable he was. Feel free to let me know if you have a favourite, any thoughts on the show or any other lines you really liked.
Dr. Kelso: I saw his chart right before I went to the bakery. He’s got malaria.
Elliot: And you were going to tell him this after you had a sticky bun?
Dr. Kelso: Well, in my defence, he’s going to live at least another twelve hours and the bakery closes at five.
Ken Jenkins and Sarah Chalke in the medical comedy Scrubs (2001 – 2010)
As you all will have noticed I really do love to laugh. It really is such a great feeling. Below are 15 of the shows I watched that continually had me in stitches. How many of the 15 sitcoms can you work out? Is there one that make you laugh more than the others? As always, feel free to share your thoughts.
1. Father Ted
2. The Golden Girls
4. Yes, Minister
7. The Inbetweeners
9. The Larry Sanders Show
10. Only Fools and Horses
11. Everybody Loves Ramond
12. Flight of the Conchords
13. Fawlty Towers
15. Arrested Development
As Shakespeare wrote in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, “the course of true love never did run smooth”, and in the world of television that seems even more true than ever. Below are eight examples of just how madcap some relationships are, and how love doesn’t always have to make sense.
A girl can’t always get what she wants. Especially if the girl, or “sir”, in question is over 6 foot tall, clumsy, frumpy, and has the nickname “Queen Kong”. And having a critical mother who is happy to stand around town with a “Marry my daughter” placard can’t help either. But one person who really does understand her, is Gary, an old friend from school who is hired as a chef at the restaurant next door. They soon become close friends and at times, an unlikely couple. But despite an undercurrent of attraction, their mutual insecurity keeps dragging them out of dating. Things are further complicated by Miranda’s discovery of Gary’s previous marriage, and her new boyfriend Michael. With the comedy’ s third series ending on the cliffhanger over which guy Miranda will choose to marry, viewers will have to wait until next year to find out what further twists are on the menu to this very sweet of romances.
Former baseball player and teetotal bar owner Sam ‘Mayday’ Mallone would appreciate that old adage of ‘Women – Can’t live with them, can’t live without them”. His relationship with the academic Diane Chambers was gloriously twisted, brimming with sexual tension, outrageous one line insults and character growth. Joyously reminiscent of Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn, the dynamic between the light hearted jock and the uptight do-gooder had more on and off moments than the proverbial light switch. With storylines including several marriage proposals, Diane getting engaged to Frasier Crane, Sam refusing to get rid of his ‘black book’ of former lovers and Diane’s first fiancée coming back onto the scene, the relationship was never boring. Though Cheers was always consistent during its 11 year run, it was arguably at its peak with the brilliantly written romance, which originally ended as poignantly as it deserved. Forced between her literary career or marrying Sam, Diane thought she could follow her writing dreams before coming back to be with Sam. Sam knew otherwise, but didn’t have the heart to tell her. Even at the end, though for the kindest of all reasons, they never could agree.
Most of us had an unobtainable crush at school, but it’s not just anybody who bumps into her years later, when she has run away from her appending marriage ceremony. With Rachel arriving in her wedding dress, just after a wistful Ross has told his friends he wants to get married, the pilot episode of Friends showed this was never going to be a conventional romance. With Ross’s sister, Monica, soon becoming Rachel’s best friend, and with Ross’s close friend Chandler living opposite Rachel and Monica, things would get all kinds of complicated. And what glorious moments it led to. After Rachel finally succumbed to Ross’ shy, lengthy, pursuit, they were a great couple with genuine feelings for each other, but what drama! Complications included Joey dating Rachel, Rachel unexpectedly getting pregnant with Ross’ baby, Ross getting engaged to someone else, and Rachel discovering that Ross slept with the “Xerox girl”, the same night after they’d had a serious row. The latter of which led to Ross’ hilarious and often repeated defence of, “We were on a break!”
JD is already a bromance star, but being the quirky character he is, it’s no surprise to see him in the ‘on-off romance’ section too. With his efforts in trying to avoid the janitor’s pranks and his demanding work schedule, it’s impressive that he has time for an office romance, let alone a complex one. But if anyone could make it work, it was the wacky daydreamer himself. Instantly smitten by Elliot when they both arrive as interns at Sacred Heart Hospital, she was the one JD was happy to spend serious time with, though his fear of commitment was frequently a stumbling block. Both understood the other perhaps more than either would like to admit, what brought them together would also cause them to row and break things off. But JD and Elliot were always meant to be the happy ever after, even if took various attempts and all kinds of partners. On JD’s side that included getting a girlfriend pregnant, buying land with another and having ‘funeral sex’ with a widow. A relationship of a thousand steps can have some very peculiar diversions.
What do you do if you love someone more passionately than you can ever hope to explain, but you feel she is better off without you? That one question lies at the heart of Chuck and Blair’s on-off romance that burns at intensity more reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet than a traditional Upper East Side courtship. In a world of chauffeur-driven limousines, high class balls and with more money in their bank accounts than we can only daydream of, it’s still impossible to take your eyes off their unusual relationship and wish they would get together. With Chuck head of his late father’s business empire, and with Blair the society darling with a group of social underlings, both have far too much power at their disposal. Chuck’s self loathing is a big stumbling block, especially as he frequently underplays and denies his strong attachment. Blair’s love of travel, both having slept with others in the friendship group, and knowing whatever move they make will be published by the all -knowing Gossip Girl, also complicate things. The madness of them taking so long to stay together is best summed up when they decide to set each other up with someone else. They choose replicas of themselves, who in turn hit it off immediately. As friend Nate describes it, “Chuck and Blair, Blair and Chuck, they just go together”.
With life and death and the power to heal frequently in their hands, it’s no surprise that tensions and hormones run high at Seattle Grace Hospital. With a strong emphasis on the personal lives of a strong, intelligent and competitive cast of characters, the relationships between them all can be as complicated as the procedures they carry out. But one relationship that seems to frame the show more than any other is achieved between Meredith Grey and “McDreamy” himself, Derek Shepherd. Beginning with a one night stand after meeting at a bar, both are shocked to discover they will be working alongside each other. They soon start dating, but Derek’s estranged wife sudden appearance, Meredith’s new boyfriend Finn, Meredith finding solace with Derek’s former best friend and Derek pressurising Meredith to make a stronger commitment are only half the story. Currently together, it may still end in madness. After all, all’s fair in love and medicine.
Sex and the City
For a show that had plenty of style, it still had a pretty good share of substance too. Amidst the fashionable outfits, snappy dialogue and trendy New York scene, Sex and the City didn’t shy away from deeper storylines too. As well as later arcs including Samantha’s cancer scare and Charlotte’s struggle to adopt, the show tackled themes including race, STDs, homosexuality and promiscuity. And in the long running dating saga between Carrie and Mr Big, there was the perfect balance of humour and seriousness that the show was renowned for. Introduced in the first episode when he helps Carrie pick up her condoms and cosmetics after she is knocked over by a stranger, Mr Big was always more than just a casual love interest. Despite his commitment failings, and her many other admirers, he was always a big part of her life and who Carrie was meant to be with.
Not all bad boys come with a leather jacket, a motorbike, a bunch of cigarettes and a rebellious attitude to conventional authority. Even before CIA officer Carrie meets Nicholas Broady, she has a strong hunch he might be a terrorist with plans of a revenge attack against the US. Despite this, his marriage with two children and his deep scars from being tortured, she is drawn to him and things develop sexually. Her ethical dilemmas and her bi-polar condition means a conventional relationship is far from possible, especially as both characters know the relationship is professionally and morally wrong. The intrigue continues as she finds herself falling deeper in love with him when she is still uncertain that he is completely on the United States’ side.
Elliot: My life is a mess!
Carla: At least you’re pretty.
Elliot: Yeah, well, pretty don’t pay the rent!
Carla: It does for my sister.
Elliot: Oh, my God, your sister’s a prostitute?
Carla: She’s a model. Come on, Elliot, we talked about thinking before we speak.
Sarah Chalke and Judy Reyes in Scrubs (2001 -2010)
The term may be recent, but TV has caught up fast with the closest of male friendships. Do you have a favourite? Here are mine.
Bert and Ernie – Sesame Street
It isn’t just any male friendship that has a company press statement denying both characters are gay and that they are in fact, “just good friends”. But then not just any bromance leads to regular cultural references in shows like Friends, Family Guy and Saturday Night Live. Since their introduction to Sesame Street in 1969, this muppet pair have been an inseparable double act, with Bernie the long-suffering straight man and Ernie the wacky funnyman. With many scenes set in their shared bedroom (and with Ernie even sharing Bert’s bed when he feels scared), and their bath habits well known to each other, the friendship is incredibly close. Ernie’s short concentration span, madcap theories and fondness for his “rubber duckie” provide a lot of the duo’s humour, as does the regular exasperation of the long suffering Bert. But for all the frustration, the unexciting Bert, with his love of pigeons and paperclips, is really fond of his maverick pal, and couldn’t manage without him. Even if he would get far more sleep.
JD and Turk – Scrubs
In many ways, the definitive bromance. Going above and beyond the Richter Scale for traditional boundaries of male friendship, the medical duo share more than just the Sacred Heart Hospital workplace. Sharing feelings, pet names and countless in-jokes, their mutual love for each other is a longstanding joke to everyone else. This is summed up when two female interns do a mocking skit of their behaviour and end it by passionately kissing. Not to mention when Carla and Turk get back from their honeymoon. Turk and JD ecstatically run into each other’s arms and she wistfully says of her husband: “Maybe one day he will love me like that”. Unable to stay apart for any significant length of time, the friendship survives all possible challenges. JD kissing Carla, Turk’s competitive nature and his settling down with Carla, as well as occasional professional differences of opinion, only seem to strengthen the friendship. JD and his “brown bear” are high school sweethearts that have no interest in graduating.
Carter and Stuart – Spin City
Before creating Scrubs, sitcom guru Bill Lawrence helped to come up with a different angle of the close buddy friendship. Spin City told of the adventures of the fictional PR team behind a bumbling New York Mayor. Though Michael J Fox was the show’s star and lead character, the most hilarious moments tended to come from scenes between Chief of Staff Stuart and Head of Minority Affairs Carter. With Carter an erudite, stylish and charming black homosexual, and Stuart a sleazy womaniser who shoots from the proverbial hip, the dynamic spark jumped off the screen. As well as generating all kinds of laughs, the relationship even gained praise for its positive portrayal of a character being both black and confident of his sexuality, and how two such seemingly different characters in Carter and Stuart could become such genuinely close friends. Getting jealous and over protective of each other’s dating choices, and even sounding like an old married couple with all their bickering, they really are sitcom’s “Odd Couple”.
Joey and Chandler – Friends
Amidst Jennifer Anniston’s haircuts, the Ross and Rachel storyline, Monica’s dreams of culinary recognition and Pheobe’s ever-peculiar familiar history, there was always Joey and Chandler’s friendship. Meeting after Joey answered Chandler’s advert looking for a flatmate, the pair soon embraced each other and became the closest of friends. Chandler may have been smarter, funnier and had the well-paid job that no one could quite name, but it was Joey who really brought the fun to the party. He may know how to bring a girl back to his flat, win a game of foosball (table football) and make the perfect sandwich, but it was his fierce loyalty and good humour through his acting struggles that made him so endearing. The fact that Joey knew exactly what Chandler looked like in the shower, was happy to wear his flatmate’s clothes and laugh at Chandler’s attempts at dating, makes the friendship all the sweeter.
Mark and Jeremy – Peep Show
What do you get if you throw an uptight, dull, history lover and a hedonistic DJ who is usually unemployed and flat broke? The “El Dude Brothers” of course! As much as Croydon’s favourite misfits are secretly relieved not to have the lifestyle of the other, they’d be lost without the reassurance their best friend provides. What makes it so much of it funny is the desperate lengths they will go to in order to hide all their insecurities from everyone else, but are happy to tell each other absolutely anything, no matter how bad it sounds. The fact that Jeremy actually slept with Mark’s original dream girl and eventual wife Sophie shows that though the friendship is rock solid, they do cross the line sometimes. But the madness is probably best summed up when both characters are hoping that their best friend was in fact the one that got Sophie pregnant, so as to avoid taking any parental responsibility. And with the eighth series out later this year, long may that madness continue.
Bret and Jermaine – Flight of the Conchords
Bret and Jermaine may only have been in 22 episodes, but the New Zealand digi-folk duo has more than made an imprint on the bromance scene. After all, there can’t be many friendships where the two friends spend quite so much time together. Flat broke and miles away from home in New York, the musical pair are inseparable. It’s just as well, as the two would be even worse off alone, or worse still, with their incompetent manager Murray, or obsessive fan Mel. As with all bromances, outside romantic influences do threaten to get in the way. The pair are initially delighted when they are offered the chance of a threesome with two hot girls, but dismayed when they realise the threesome involves the two of them and only one of the girls. To paraphrase the Bard himself, the course of true bromance never did run smooth.
Dennis, Mac and Charlie – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
With episode titles like “Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom” and “Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire”, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is far from your traditional comedy. With seemingly no topic matter being off-limits, its irreverent and playful tone on controversial issues such as serial killers, abortion, capital punishment, paedophilia and terrorism, makes the show Seinfeld’s natural heir. So, no surprise then, that the conventional bromance has a twist, with three buddies instead of the regular two. Co-workers as well as friends, Dennis, Mac and Charlie blur all the rules of friendship as nothing can break it, not even Dennis sleeping with Charlie’s dreaming girl, or Charlie pretending to have cancer to get sympathy sex. No opinion is off limits, and however badly they sell each other out for money or a hot girl, they are still there as each other’s wingman. There’s no need to share sex secrets, Mac and Charlie are quite happy looking at the tapes Dennis secretly uses of his encounters. Not to mention the favourite angle he uses to position the camera and his scoring system out of three stars.
Troy and Abed – Community
Now filming its fifth season, cult comedy Community has its own offering to the bromance arena, and a reminder of just what it can achieve. The nerdy and detached Abed is quite content to watch the action from the sidelines, until his friendship with Troy brings him more into the action. Indeed, the transformation of Troy from being a jock to becoming a geek could make a Hollywood storyline. The impromptu musical performances which usually end each episode are homage to their friendship, and just how comfortable they feel in each other’s company. So much so that during Halloween, and in costumes, Abed is even happy to tell Troy how good looking he is. Troy’s response: “I knew it!” Naïve Annie even gives up her long-held crush on Troy as she realises she could never compete with his affections for Abed. Someone really should tell Abed that’s not how a wingman is supposed to work!