The Instigator
hithere297
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Scrubs is the best medical show

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
hithere297
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/1/2011 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,811 times Debate No: 18579
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

hithere297

Pro

My argument is that Scrubs, a comedy/drama medical show airing from 2001 to 2010, is the best medical television show (not including the 9th season). Why do I think Scrubs is the best medical show? I have several reasons:

•Scrubs is actually funny. How often do you come across a FUNNY medical show? Unlike all the depressing-overly-dramatic hospital shows that we know of, this one can actually give us some laughs, and does have enough drama (but not nearly enough as Grey's anatomy/ER) to keep it interesting.

•The theme song is catchy. I'm listening to it right now as I'm typing this, and I absolutely love it!

•It's surprisingly realistic. Scrubs is actually the most realistic hospital show. if you look past the silly cartoonish humor, you find a series that's quite in par with the real lives of doctors—and unlike your typical medical drama, it's one that's not required to end each episode with a climactic surgical procedure.

•It also has the ability to turn from happy to sad, and then back to happy in just 3.5 minutes. Just watch the finale of "My Musical". It also has the ability to come up with sad endings that you just don't see coming. Watch "My Screw-up" or "My lunch." Don't be surprised if you cry.

•It always has an important life lesson at the end. I learned all my life lessons from the sad parts of scrubs, and I can't be the only one, there's a facebook group about it. The link is at the bottom of this post.

•It has the best music. I don't know how, but the writers always choose the best possible songs for every situation. The songs aren't just a nifty song to play at the end of each episode, but they actually become part of the song.

•Algebraic writing. Scrubs lets the characters progress, where-as on Grey's Anatomy and ER, the writers want the characters to do something, so they write their scripts to get the characters to do so, even if it doesn't make sense for the characters to do it. Scrubs lets the characters get to where they need to be. This is one of the reasons why the show is so amazing.

http://www.facebook.com...

http://www.slate.com...
socialpinko

Con

Thank you hithere297 for instigating this debate. I used to enjoy Scrubs but got bored of it after a while, but that will have nothing to do with this debate. The BoP, as it was not defined, will be primarily on my opponent to uphold the resolution while my own burden will be to refute the resolution.

Humor

True, Scrubs does have some funny moments, however it's mix of humor and drama(which is so crucial to the success of a show. No one wants fart jokes for half an hour or crying and interventions for 45 minutes) leave the viewer wanting. During a dramatic scene, it is clear to the viewer that this goes against the real purpose of the show, namely to garner laughs. As a comedy, Scrubs is great but as a drama, it is mediocre at best.

Theme Song

While the theme song is interesting and can perhaps be related to the central themes of the earlier seasons(loneliness, confidence) it only plays for about twenty seconds and thus any effects on the show as a whole are marginal.

Realism

Contrary to my opponent's belief, Scrubs contains only trace amounts of realism. The on-again, off-again relationship between Elliot and J.D.(and in a more minor sense the undefined relationship between Dr. Cox and Jordan), the pregnancy by a major character once every few seasons(Carla and Jordan), and a large cast of minor and relatively unchanging characters throughout the series(The Todd, janitor, Snoop Dogg resident,. Beard Face, Colonel Doctor, etc.) are classic trademarks of many modern and classic sitcoms. These elements can be found in the shows Friends(on-again, off-again), Seinfeld(large cast of supporting characters), and The Office(multiple pregnancies).

Polarity

Scrub's polarity in regards to the emotions it conveys can be seen by some as a sign of critical success. However, it is usually seen as a lack of directorial skills in transitions. Because Scrubs goes back and forth so much between emotions, it leaves the watcher somewhat confused as to the message trying to be conveyed. A real sign of critical success would be if a show were able to blend these two elements in a way that does not necessarily distract the audience but enough to where the emotions are conveyed noticeably.

Life Lessons

Yes the problems of complete individuality play a major role in Scrubs. However, it is not the only show, and certainly not the only medical show to convey a major them consistently. For instance, the show House M.D.'s theme examines the probems of self-hate and personal growth while the comedic and sometimes confusing show Children's Hospital on the first layer focuses on the inconsistencies of the medical show genre but when we go deeper examines elements of naivete, social ostrazation, and self delusion. The point is that while Scrubs sometimes has after school special-eque lessons at the end, it is not the only one and in many cases other medical shows go even deaper.

Music

The music is interesting and does a good job of setting the mood for the show, however, it can get in the way of the actual storyline. For instance, when J.D. is wrapping up an episode in his daily monologue, it's annoying to hear the same exact piece of music in every single episode. The type of music played during the show actually changed very little over the ten years it was on the air and so even an interesting riff gets annoying and loses it's value.

Personal Growth

At the beginning of Scrubs when the four main characters are introduced(J.D., Turk, Elliot, Carla), we have a nerdy but determined young intern, his cooler but usually just as nerdy best friend who is a surgical intern, an extremely socially awkward fellow intern who does what it takes to mature as a doctor, and a no nonsense nurse who gives advice to the other three when they need it. Compare that to the end of the show. What has changed other than their positions in the hospitals? J.D. is still a nerd and has gotten even more flamboyent(after doing an "up-stairs" high-five suggests doing a "down-stairs" one with Turk). Turk still enjoys goofing off(proudly showing off his blood-soaked scrubs where the blood looks like a tiger). Elliot is still extremely awkward around people and OCD(obsessing over the use of coasters in her apartment, throwing a rackoon into the shower with J.D. as a practical joke). And Carla still is wise beyond her years and helps everyone with their problems(Elliot deciding whether to stay with Keith, Dr. Cox choosing to advance his career). No main charcters changed drastically enough to warrant personal growth as more of a factor in Scrubs than in other medical television shows.

Since all of my opponent's points have been successfully refuted, he has not been able to uphold his burden of proof. Therefore urge a Con vote.
Debate Round No. 1
hithere297

Pro

Humor:
My opponent argues that "Scrubs has some funny moments, however it's mix of humor and drama leaves the viewers wanting. During a dramatic scene, it is clear to the viewer that this goes against the real purpose of the show, namely to garner laughs. As a comedy, Scrubs is great but as a drama, it is mediocre at best."

First off, let me point out that the real purpose of the show is not comedy, it's also drama. That's why if you look up the show, it will say: Comedy/Drama. If you've ever seen the episode where Laverne died, where Dr. Cox's brother died, the end of "My Lunch" where all of Dr. Cox's patients die, (which you should of since I posted the video in the first round) You would know that Scrubs is not a mediocre at best when it comes to Drama, in fact, the dramatic scenes is precisely what makes Scrubs such an amazing show. The comedy makes it a good show, the drama is what makes it a great show.

And since my opponent stated that Scrubs had only some comedy, I beg to differ, if you have ever watched an episode of Scrubs in your life. How could you not love Rowdy, J.D and Turk's dead dog? He is hilarious. The Janitor goes down in history as one of the greatest characters of any sitcom. Ever.

Realism:
My opponent argues that Scrubs "contains only trace amounts of realism,' however, characters like the Todd, Janitor, Snoop Dogg resident, Beard Face, and the Colonel Doctor are only there for the comedy, yet are rarely ever used in the actual plots, (with the exception of the Janitor and the Todd, but they're awesome), and they don't change because they're not important. You can't have everyone in the show, including the unimportant people, change into better people, because that would just grow dull and boring. And you can't really argue that it's unrealistic, because do you notice people in your everyday life that are unimportant to you?

Yes, these minor characters could be related to Seinfeld, Friends and The Office. But I'd like to point out that the Office started years after Scrubs, so they couldn't have been copying the multiple pregnancies from them. (Unless you're talking about the British version, but that also started at the same time as Scrubs). Plus, there are so many other shows that came and went that any character/storyline you could come up with is probably somehow related to another show, even if it's a show you've never seen before.

And for Elliot's and J.D's on-again, off-again relationship and the undefined relationship between Dr. Cox and Jordan, you have to have SOME drama, otherwise the show just wouldn't be that interesting. And some may argue that their relationships aren't very unrealistic, because lots of people have problems with their relationships nowadays.

For all the wackiness, for all the in-jokes, fantasy sequences, for all the musical numbers and puns, Scrubs has always been about death. While ER got credit as the first hospital show where patients died regularly, Scrubs was the comedy with the highest body count. And it was the specter of death, the understanding that hospitals are merely a stop-gap, a place where life begins and ends, that gave the show its core power. And its relatively casual attitude towards death has been one of the reasons why Scrubs remains the most realistic medical show on television according to most actual doctors and nurses.

Theme Song: Yes, I admit that it's short, but 90% of theme songs are short too. The theme song doesn't actually apply to why Scrubs is the best medical show, it's just a bonus for being catchy, and does relate to the main characters in the earlier seasons, you said it yourself

Polarity: I have never been even somewhat confused during any episode of Scrubs. Scrubs blends comedy and drama better than any show I've ever seen. That is a critical success

Life Lessons: While yes, it is not the only show consistently showing life lessons in each episode. But it is the only show that delivers them so flawlessly, which makes it the best medical show there is.

Music: Con says that it's annoying to hear the same piece of music in each episode. That's not true. Here's a link of every song ever played in Scrubs, they are not all similar.
http://scrubs.wikia.com...

Personal Growth: Contrary to Con's belief, the characters have changed a lot. Elliot is no longer as socially awkward and a way better doctor, and earned the respect of Dr. Cox and Dr. Kelso.
Turk becomes a father and is married to Carla.
Carla and Elliot are now best friends, compared to the first few episodes when they hated each other.
J.D's only problems are no longer hospital-related anymore. So they do grow into better doctors and better people.

All of my opponent's arguments have been refuted, I look forward to seeing what his next arguments would be. Thanks for taking this debate, socialpinko

Vote Pro.
socialpinko

Con

Humor

My opponent in his response to my rebuttal fallaciously assumes that presenting a dramatic concept makes a show a good drama automatically. I was not saying that the show never explores dramatic subjects(Dr. Cox's alcoholism comes into play frequently), I was pointing out that one notices(as in, in a dramatic scene) that the show focuses too much effort on comedy, and that when a dramatic turn of events occurs, the show does not handle it well. Compared to the fantasy sequences and general tone of the show, any dramatic scene goes completely against the focus. This point(with the fact that a combination of comedy and drama are needed to make a show enjoyable to watch) by itself should be enough to show why Scrubs is not the best medical show, since other medical shows are able to blend drama and comedy in a much more fluent way.- See video 1

Realism

My opponent points out that the fact that there are a large group of unchanging but consistently shown background characters used only for comedy is not a point against the show's realism since they're not important. He misunderstands my point though. I was showing that this(along with my other two sub-points) is as realistic as any other Sitcom like Friends or Seinfeld. As to the show's use of multiple pregnancies as plot pushers, my opponent responds by saying that The Office started after Scrubs and thus cannot be used as evidence. However, my opponent misses my point entirely. Neither The Office nor Scrubs were the first to use a pregnancy to forward the plot. The show Friends was using this before Scrubs even started, let alone used it for themselves. My point stands that quite a lot of the show's plot revolves around generic sitcom formula(weddings, pregnancies, on-again - off-again relationships, etc.)

Death

In touching on the point about death making Scrubs more realistic, Pro argues that since Scrubs is a comedy and not a drama(E.R., House), this should allow it special credit in regards to how it portrays death. But I ask, how does a comedy showing death a lot make it better than a drama that does so?

Theme Song

My opponent has stated that this point didn't apply to his reasoning for the upholding of the resolution and so I will not make more out of it.

Polarity

My opponent argues that he has never been confused by the show's polarity. However can he speak for everyone else? Take Laverne's death for example. Laverne dying affected everyone greatly but the episode about it was filled with comedy and then drama and then comedy again. Carla being so distraught over Laverne's death appears to hallucinate her but then cracks jokes with her the entire episode. Was Laverne's death really a dramatic point of the show?

Life Lessons

My opponent argues that only Scrubs delivers so flawlessly life lessons. However what about House or Nurse Jackie consistently incorporating anti-drug lessons(though subtely). The main characters pill addictions are what drives quite a bit of the conflict in the shows. Or take E.R. with it's portayal of stress and preserverence. These are series wide themes that are explored over several episodes or even seasons while Scrubs abandoned it's central them three seasons in. As far as life lessons are concerned, Scrubs is definitely not the best.

Personal Growth

Elliot's social awkwardness still comes into play, mostly as a comedic bit, up until the end of her part in the series. Turk also stays jocky and boyish even when he shows patterns of father and husbandhood. Refer to my example about the picture in blood on his Scrubs. Also, as far as Carla and Elliot's friendship goes(also a trick of sitcomes to advance the plot), this happened over a series of only a few episodes with them being best friends with little evolution throught the rest of the series. As to J.D., my point was not that he was a bad doctor, but that he was still a nerdy and flamboyent person. This, instead of being downplayed as his character supposedly grew, was only magnified throughout the series.

Vote Con

Debate Round No. 2
hithere297

Pro

Humor:

My opponent says that in a dramatic scene:

"I was pointing out that one notices(as in, in a dramatic scene) that the show focuses too much effort on comedy, and that when a dramatic turn of events occurs, the show does not handle it well. Compared to the fantasy sequences and general tone of the show, any dramatic scene goes completely against the focus. This point(with the fact that a combination of comedy and drama are needed to make a show enjoyable to watch) by itself should be enough to show why Scrubs is not the best medical show, since other medical shows are able to blend drama and comedy in a much more fluent way.-See video 1.

Let me point out, that if you watch the videos I posted during the second round, you'll find yourself laughing hysterically (much more than you would on House or any other Medical Show), but then you watch the video with Laverne's death. Now your sad (unless, of course you don't have a soul).

The reason why it focuses a lot on the comedy is because, well, it's a comedy. It says it in the description and has been said countless times in this debate. It's comedy is laugh out loud funny, not "smile-a-little-because-the-joke's-kind-of-funny" type of funny like the House video. In fact, the comedic moments blending in with the dramatic moments is what makes the scenes for me. It reminds you that, while bad things are happening, there's always something good.

You said that "since other medical shows are able to blend drama and comedy in a much more fluent way", I ask, when, in an episode of House, or Grey's Anatomy or ER, have they featured a joke during a very emotional part? Yes, there are some jokes by House while diagnosing a patient, but what about when it turns serious? The ability to sneak in some comedy during dramatic parts is what make scrubs amazing.

Scrubs knows when to stop with the comedy too. "My Lunch", a beautiful written episode in the fifth season, featured the first half of the episode with top-notch comedy that had me falling of my chair. Then at the end of the episode was the saddest part of any show I've seen. There was no comedy, because any comedy at all would of been out of tone, and so much funny stuff happened in the beginning.

And the comedy is 5 times funnier than anything I've seen on House, which would probably be the second best medical show (I'll save that for another debate), and the ability to have a hilarious comedy mixed with drama is a remarkable achievement in itself.

Realism

My opponent says that quite a lot of the shows plot revolves around generic sitcom formula, but hasn't just about every show featured a wedding, pregnancy, on-again, off-again relationships? All three have been used in just the first episode of season 7 of How I Met Your Mother, which had featured a couple weeks ago, long after Scrubs ended. Are you saying that no other medical show has any of these plots either? Almost every show has used at least one of these plots.

And are these unrealistic to begin with? People have weddings. People have off-again, on-again relationships (it's going on with two of my friends right now for the last couple months) and lots of people get pregnant. In case you didn't know, doctors are allowed to have relationships with people, are allowed to marry, or get pregnant, especially since the main characters are all in their late-20's, early 30's, the age where everyone seems to be getting married and everything.

Con also asks how a comedy showing death makes it better than a drama. The answer is: Most comedies don't feature deaths almost every episode, yet are still hilarious. Go on you television, right now, and go to the first sitcom you see. Is someone dying? Is one of the main characters going through postpartum depression? Is one of the main character's brother suffering from cancer? This isn't your regular sitcom.

Polarity:

When Laverne died, Carla imagines her and cracks jokes with her the entire episode. Well, most of the jokes (if not all of them) were made by Laverne, because Carla just wanted her to leave her alone because she was afraid to say goodbye to her forever. This was acceptably because
  1. It's a comedy
  2. It shows how Carla was just afraid to say goodbye to her forever so imagined her in her head so she didn't have too. (but eventually did)

But when it came time for her to say goodbye, she did, ending the episode in a tear jerking emotional scene. Yes, it was a dramatic point of the show, and it gets bonus points for being a comedy, too, as I mentioned countless times before.

My opponent also argues that, while I have never been confused by the show's polarity, I can't speak for everyone else. While yes, I can't speak for everyone else, however I'm pretty sure it doesn't take a genius to realize the message made by the show, probably because J.D usually narrates the moral at the end, making it relatively obvious.

Life Lessons:

While yes, shows like House, Nurse Jackie, and E.R have life lessons like pill addictions, and the portrayal of stress and perseverance, Scrubs does too. As you said, Dr. Cox's alcohol addiction comes into play frequently, not just in one episode. And they do show J.D, Turk and Elliot's major stress and perseverance, which goes on for seasons too, and are very wide themes. When it comes to Life Lessons, Scrubs is brilliant.

Personal Growth:

Yes, Elliot's social awkwardness still comes in play, but nowhere near as much as it used to. Whether you believe it or not, Turk did mature surprisingly a lot. J.D is still a nerdy and flamboyant person, but that's one of the main sources of comedy in this show: Nerdy J.D and his hilarious daydreams.

A few more things I'd like to point out because this is my last post of the debate:

IMDB:

If you look up Scrubs, on IMDB, you'll find that it has a rating of 8.9, the highest of all the medical shows I've looked up. House was an 8.8, not as good, but close. But considering that over 70,000 users rated Scrubs, and only 33,000 users rated House, (almost twice as much), The Scrubs rating is most likely more accurate. Other medical shows I've looked up:

  • Grey's Anatomy: 7.2
  • ER: 7.7
  • Nurse Jackie: 8.0
  • Hawthorne: 5,9

As you can see, Scrubs is the highest rated Medical show, maybe there is another medical show with a higher rating. If there is, feel free to inform me of it, but for now, IMDB stands as proof, that Scrubs is the best medical show.

Acting:

The acting in this show is amazing. John Mcginley is amazing as Doctor Cox, and Zach Braff was born for the role of J.D.


I believe all of Con's arguments have been refuted in the best way possible. Vote Pro

socialpinko

Con

Humor

My opponent argues that there are funny parts and dramatic parts of Scrubs, however he misses my point entirely. I have not been arguing that there are no dramatic or no comedic scences. I have been arguing that Scrubs does not blend the comedic and dramatic scenes well. As my opponent stated, "it's a comedy". Unlike House, which is a superb drama and manages to cut in hilarious and shocking comedic monents, Scrubs is left with a good part of comedy, but lacks quality in regards to drama, As pro pointed out, it is not the main intention of the show and so the creators treat it as a secondary effect while House incorporates comedy into every scene as an intrinsic plot element. My opponent also asks when shows like House or Grey's Anatomy show a joke during an emotional part. I do recall the episode of House where Foreman has been infected with a deadly virus and House cracks jokes about him as he desperately races against time to save him. But that it beside the point, the point is that House blends comedy with it's drama, not only giving it a great drama-comedy balance, but also furthering the development of it's title character.

Realism

My opopnent argues that most television shows incorporate elements such as weddings, pregnancies, or on-again off-again relationships and that these things are part of everyday life for most people. His proof of this first point is that the television sitcome, How I Met Your Mother recently incorporated all of these elements in an episode. However, like Scrubs, it is a sitcom. Also, if most television shows incorporate these plot elements, how does that make Scrubs any different from them? On House, Chase and Cameron were married, House has an on-again off-again relationship with Stacie and Foreman has one with Thirteen, and a major sub-plot was Cuddy adopting a child. My opponent cannot have it both ways. Either these elements are just generic plot-concepts that don't make a television show special, or they are and House is on par with Scrubs at least in this sense.

Pro also argues that most comedies do not feature death as main plot elements. However, drawing on his reference to How I Met Your Mother, a major sub-plot of the last season was Marshal trying to get over the loss of his father. Or, to take an example of a medical show, on House, Cutner's suicide was a tragedy to the team and to House in particular, yet he consistently joked about it to mask his feelings. This is an example of comedy mixed with drama and comedy again being used on House to further the plot and/or character development.

Polarity

My point about polarity and confusion was not that people would not understand what was occuring, but that the show is unclear on whether the sub-plot(Laverne's death) was in fact meant for comedic or dramatic purposes. The show took her death in such a light hearted way for most of the episode and then at the end made it emotional? This goes back to the point of comedy and the comedy-drama balance that it needed. While Scrubs does incorporate both types of themes, they are not blended together in a way that makes it enjoyable or entertarining to watch.

Life Lessons

On the point of life lessons, my opponent argues that Scrubs also incorporates them sometimes for multiple episodes or seasons. However, unlike Scrubs, shows like House, Nurse Jackie, and E.R. incorporate these themes throughout the entire show. They don't just focus on them for a few episodes or a season, but the show itself is an analysis of these themes, allowing the creators to explore them more deeply then just a few episodes.

Personal Growth

My point is that Elliot's preserverence to get past her social awkwardness is seen as being successful in more dramatic scences, but during comedic scenes it seems to be reversed. This not only adds character inconsistency to the show but reenforces my point of realism and the show's trouble at blending comedy and drama. Turk did mature, but just like Elliot he seems to have different personalities during comedic and dramatic scenes. The same could be said of J.D., the point is that the show doesn't seem to know how to blend different elements(drama and comedy). In House for example, House's personality does not change when he is cracking jokes. He is still a mean curmudgeon. However, Elliot for example, changes from confident and mature woman to quarky and obseessive nut job. Unless the show is portraying her and others as having multiple personality disorder, this point detracts from Scrubs being the best medical show.

IMDB

While IMDB is user rated and does not necessarily reflect critical opinion, but popular opinion, the fact that House and Scrubs are off the rating by a mere 0.1 is not evidence for Scrubs higher quality or House's lower quality.

Acting

No evidence, just opinion here.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Rusho 2 years ago
Rusho
Con won in my opinion. The whole argument is opinionated, I personally find that house is about 1,000 times better. And what even constitutes Scrubs as a medical show, other than its in a hospital, other than that it has nothing to do with medicine. House better fits the criteria of "Medical" and is therefore better, one could argue. Unfortuneatly I can't vote, sorry.
Posted by socialpinko 2 years ago
socialpinko
I asked him about that.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 2 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
1st history genius, stop votebombing and voting for who you agree with.
Posted by hithere297 2 years ago
hithere297
Yes, but when 70,000 people rate it, it's actually a big percent.
And besides, it doesn't matter how much better the show is than house, all it means is that it's better than house, no matter how slightly
Posted by socialpinko 2 years ago
socialpinko
Statistics? You mean where Scrubs was ranked 0.1 point higher than House in an Internet poll?
Posted by hithere297 2 years ago
hithere297
The thing is I'm new here and I don't know how to fix the voting period to make it longer, does anyone know how?
Posted by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
Two weeks is a very short voting period. I will likely accept this challenge if that period is extended to at least a month.
Posted by eltigrey 2 years ago
eltigrey
This is a debate you wont lose
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 2 years ago
1Historygenius
hithere297socialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: A very good debate and I agree with pro.
Vote Placed by eltigrey 2 years ago
eltigrey
hithere297socialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Impressed, both portrayed excellent work in this debate, but sorry pro, gonna have to give this to the con.
Vote Placed by dappleshade 2 years ago
dappleshade
hithere297socialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I also have never watched Scrubs. I think the deciding factor in an intriguing debate was the statistics though :)
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 2 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
hithere297socialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a surprisingly interesting read. I've never watched scrubs before, and by the end of this debate I was convinced that Scrubs is an excellent show, yet as Con argues for better shows than Scrubs in various categories like drama-comedy and realism negating the resolution. Pro had a heavy burden proving that Scrubs is the best in every category, while Con showed why it is not giving different examples for each. Pro would have been better off saying that on balance, scrubs is the best.