Thursday, January 18, 2007

When a sitcom sings

It's probably best to avoid in spec scripts, but 'the musical episode' has a long history in American sitcoms. As Edward Wyatt reports in the New York Times, it can be the sign of creativity flagging but for hospital sitcom Scrubs, it seems to have energised the show.
“Most comedy writers are tall, jocky types,” said Bill Lawrence, the creator of “Scrubs.” “But they don’t like being stuck in the comedy closet. Secretly they have arguments about Sondheim.”
Elsewhere in the New York Times, the episode is reviewed by Ginia Bellafante.
The episode revolves around the arrival of a female patient at Sacred Heart who imagines that everyone around her is not speaking but singing. For the entire show, all heard through her ears, the hospital staff converses in show tunes created by the songwriters of “Avenue Q,” Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. (The gambit produces moments like this: “Hello I’m Dr. Kelso!/I’m delighted that you came!/The doctors said you fainted and you don’t know who to blame!” Or: “We’re running a test that’s a waste of our time!/But at least she’ll accept that she’s medically fine!”)
Scrubs Donald Faison (left) and Zach Braff in Scrubs, created by Bill Lawrence.

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