When used effectively, inner monologues allow the audience to experience the thoughts of a character that might feel awkward if they instead tried to work them into conversations with other characters. It can work great; that is, until someone removes that inner monologue and keeps the scene in which the character is thinking, then it just gets really creepy. Scrubs is the best example of this, while J.D. goes from goofy but lovable doctor to an awkward face-contorting psychopath with one simple edit:
While most people are able to converse and think internally without causing too much confusion, that concept doesn't necessarily work on television. Scrubs typically has to press pause on reality during J.D.'s rants and suspend the illusion that most folks would politely sit through someone quietly having an inner monologue that might include some elaborate daydream sequences. While Scrubs is a show that can be bad about this, another great example would be The Wonder Years, where Fred Savage's Kevin Arnold is often guilty of the same thing.
What makes it funnier is that this might have been how a lot of Scrubs scenes played out when they were filming. Imagine being an actor on set and having to keep a straight face while Zach Braff made weird faces for up to 20-30 seconds before speaking again. Better yet, imagine acting out a scene like this one below with little context behind what J.D. is thinking, knowing your only activity, as Mandy Moore's character, is to take a header over a dinner cart. Given all that, Moore's acting in this scene might actually top even her best performance in This Is Us:
Perhaps that Scrubs script written by a robot wasn't that out there after all. What's even weirder is that the actual character of J.D. is based on creator Bill Lawrence's best friend from college, who actually went on to become a doctor. Surprisingly, fake J.D.'s hair is only a slightly exaggerated version of the actual J.D.'s hair, and it's unknown whether or not the real J.D. has long drawn-out monologues in real life that force others to wait for him to come back to reality. Let's hope not, though. While it's funny to see J.D. spacing out on television, few may actually want someone like that as a doctor.
Scrubs is currently available to stream on Hulu. For a look at new or returning television coming out in the next couple of months be sure to visit our midseason premiere guide. Those still feeling nostalgic about 2017 who want to relive some of the year's greater moments in television can listen to The Cord Cutter Podcast's best of 2017 episode or visit our list that highlights some of the best moments in live television. For a list of shows that were canceled in the past year, visit our cancellation guide.