Harman Patil (Editor)

My Life in Four Cameras

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Episode no.  Season 4 Episode 17
Written by  Debra Fordham
Original air date  February 15, 2005
Directed by  Adam Bernstein
Production code  417

"My Life in Four Cameras" is the 17th episode of the 4th season of the American sitcom Scrubs. The episode, the series' 85th, originally aired on February 15, 2005.



This episode is an homage to the traditional multi-camera sitcom, and, specifically, Cheers (which also aired on NBC). Unlike traditional sitcoms, Scrubs uses a single camera setup, no laugh track, and is not filmed before a live studio audience. During an extended dream sequence, J.D. imagines what his life would be like if it were a sitcom. This sequence was actually filmed in a multi-camera setup with a laugh track and studio audience; as well as featuring low-cut outfits for the female characters, a less realistic hospital set, brighter lighting, broader humor, a fairly contrived plot, and a guest star named Kenny (Clay Aiken). In addition, a featured patient in the episode is fictional Cheers writer Charles James, a combination of Cheers' three creators James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. The episode makes repeated comments about these "traditional" sitcoms.

As the episode opens, Carla is trying to compete with the idea of Kylie and J.D.'s relationship, but Turk isn't reciprocating her attempts. A new E. coli scare on the news then results in a huge crowd of people coming to a hospital worried that they are infected.

Kelso needs to do some budget cuts, and he figures out he has to fire someone. Dr. Cox bets that he can do it without firing anyone, but after many hours of working, he finds that it is inevitable. The next day at lunch, Janitor points out all the lunchroom workers Dr. Cox shouldn't fire. Finally he points out Kenny, who pours the coffee; he happens to be the newest lunchroom worker. When the show switches to "sitcom mode", a talent show happens at the hospital (with the prize being exactly the same amount that the hospital needs to save). Everyone tries their best, J.D. doing his famous "World's most giant Doctor" act, when finally Kenny sings and wins the money. However, it turns out the sitcom mode is fake and Dr. Cox does have to fire Kenny.

Also, J.D. and Turk meet a famous writer for Cheers. It turns out he has lung cancer. In sitcom mode, he lives following the discovery that his chart was mixed up with that of another patient with a similar name ("This chart isn't for Charles James, it's for James Charles!"). After we return to the show's "normal" setting, we find out that he has died.

Production Details

  • The version of the Cheers theme song performed by Colin Hay in the original airing of this episode has been removed from subsequent airings and is not heard in the DVD release due to copyright laws.
  • According to commentaries, many of the male cast "suggested" to Bill Lawrence that the scantily-clad nurses should remain in the series.
  • The Janitor's uniform used in the "sitcom" part of this episode was used again in My Big Move.
  • Critical Reception

  • Brian Ford Sullivan of thefutoncritic.com listed the episode as one of the top 50 television episodes of 2005.
  • Featured Music

  • "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder, performed by Clay Aiken.
  • "Let's All Go to the Lobby" Theme song, written by Quincy Jones, parody performed by Donald Faison
  • "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" (a.k.a. "Cheers" Theme song) Written, and originally performed by Gary Portnoy, but in this case Colin James Hay's version was featured on the episode.
  • References

    My Life in Four Cameras Wikipedia