Season eight of Scrubs is on its way to E4. I know this not because I have seen any glitzy trailers or heard any annoying fanfare but primarily because it stands to reason. The previous seasons have been the preserve of said channel and secondary the other night they accidentally screened an episode from season eight out of sequence.

It looks like this might be the final season of the popular medical comedy/drama. While the last season was considerably under par (possibly a consequence of a highly condensed series of episodes courtesy of the Writer’s strike which blew everything televisual Stateside out of the water) but also possibly because the writing itself had gone off the boil.

The new season premiered in January in the States and getting hold of watchable episodes is not difficult and I’m sure if you don’t know how, then ask and I’m sure you’ll find a torrent of answers.
Anyway the latest season (in a new home at ABC in the States) definitely seems to be an exercise in winding down. There’s only so much ground you can cover in this kind of show without rotating the cast and that is what appears to be happening. JD and the regulars are still there of course but they have served their time and are no longer the ‘wet behind the ears’ characters they once were. The insecurities and foibles that made each character so enjoyable have to a large degree been whittled down by the passage of time.

JD is now a father, Kelso is of retirement age, Cox, Carla and Turk all have families. That’s not to say that there isn’t something in the writing to enjoy. Scrubs was always about the way it could intersperse moments of humour with poignancy and in the episodes I’ve seen so far there has been a real return to that. There is also a host of new characters in the show including a bunch of interns who if you cast your minds back seven or eight years might seem strikingly familiar. There is also a cameo from Courteney Cox who takes up a role as the new Chief of Medicine Dr Taylor Maddox.

It’s probably safe to say the show’s best days are behind it, but so far this season has shown that Scrubs might just go out with a respectable (if predictable) exit. There are some however who are predicting that the tales from Sacred Hearts hospital will not end when the cast scrub out for the last time.

Its clear a new ensemble cast is already being slotted into place, if you go to ABC’s website there are already mini webisodes that highlight the new kids on the block. Not to mention the fact that although the likes of Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke etc might not be staying on that doesn’t mean there aren’t other cast members who might not jump the same way (the roles of supporting cast members like Ted and Janitor are exponentially expanding with every season).

Despite the show’s impending departure it might be the case that not everyone is ready to hang up their Scrubs just yet…