January 30th, 2007


My current song obsession is one I discovered watching Scrubs. I can’t recommend the show 100%, but it does some things very well. One thing it does well is balance comedy and tear-jerking drama almost perfectly, all within the same 22-minute episode. There are many episodes that have caused me to tear up, and they are invariably my favorite episodes.

Another thing Scrubs does well is use music to not only advance the plot but also capture a particular mood.

While I was sick last week I started Season One and ended up getting through all of it and Season Two. One of the characters in Season Two, Episode 13, “My Philosophy,” needed a transplant and prospects were grim. At one point J.D. (the main character) is talking to her about death and she says she hopes it’s like a big Broadway musical. As sometimes happens, things go bad and she doesn’t make it. At that point that show goes into “musical mode” and she and the cast sing this song:

Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I’ll keep checking the horizon
I’ll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don’t you understand
I already have a plan
I’m waiting for my real life to begin

My real life to begin

But don’t you understand
I already have a plan
I’m waiting for my real life to begin

On a clear day
I can see
See a very long way

While I think the music is beautiful, the staging of it on the show made it more poignant. You might not feel as attached to the characters, but seeing it might still help you see why it makes me tear up:

There’s something about that concept of “waiting for my real life to begin” that hits me. It’s the idea that all of the mistakes I’ve made up to this point were just practice and that the real deal is starting any minute now, so I’ll be able to start in on this plan I’ve got in mind.

I like the way the song makes me think. I’ve listened to it literally 20 times today. I’m sure I’ll burn out on it soon, but for now I’ll keep hitting replay.

I already have a plan
I’m waiting for my real life to begin

17 Comments on “Waiting”

  1. TheBon says:

    We're super big Scrubs fans here and no matter how many times I watch it, that episode will always make me cry. Zach Braff has a lot to do with what music is in the show and he's really got a talent for it.

  2. TheBon says:

    On a second thought, the song was written by Colin Hay, and I can't recommend his music enough. The CD Man at Work is a great one [it's a compilation from his other cds.] There are two versions of a Men at Work hit, but most of it is in a fairly different vein than what he did with the band.

  3. MadMup says:

    I've been trying to find Colin's "Going Somewhere" CD (this song's on it) but no one in town has it. I'll get it off Amazon some day.

    For the time being, I was able to … procure both a version of him singing it and the Scrubs version. The Scrubs version is winning hands-down in the play-off contest.

  4. ZiggyTQuirk says:

    I like the Colin Hay version, and it's one of the songs i have that I stop what I'm doing when it comes up on my playlist. Because I want it to be true, so very badly.

    As for Scrubs… I don't think I ever loved a show so much, and I don't think any show ever walked that line between comedy and tragedy without any hint of mawkishness (M*A*S*H almost did, but there were a lot of corny moments in that).

  5. G-Knee says:


  6. TheBon says:

    The song is also on Man at Work [which is partly why I recommend it.] I think we found it at our local Borders, but I can't remember at this point.

  7. Wahooty says:

    While I love the staging of the song within the context of the episode, I have to agree with Carolyn – I prefer the full Colin Hay version. His voice just stirs up all kinds of extra feelings for me – it wins hands-down the title of "most late-night play when I'm feeling pensive and self-indulgent" out of my music collection. :) Scrubs has definitely made me a fan of his on more than one occasion.

  8. the obscure says:

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

    Or so the guy says.

  9. M. Kate says:

    Sounds to me as though Colin is winning "hands down" – it certainly has more "draw you in" capacity.

  10. MadMup says:

    I have nothing against the Colin version, I'm just a bigger fan of female voices.

    I'll just go ahead and admit right here that I loved Rufus Wainwright's version of "Hallelujah" until I heard k.d. lang's version, and Maggie Gyllenhaal covering Billy Joel also wins for me.

  11. TheBon says:

    "Hallelujah" doesn't sound right to me unless it is John Cale. And no one, and I do repeat no one, should cover Billy Joel. That's sacrilege.

  12. MadMup says:

    There again, I'd normally agree with you, but Maggie's voice is just so silky smooth…

  13. Jeremiah says:

    Not a big scrubs fan…but i have heard from other nurses who do like it…that it is the only show that actually protrays the true interactions between doctors, interns and med students. From what i have heard.


  14. A person says:

    I have never seen Scrubs, so maybe that's why, but I thought this was really ODD.

    That aside, would you mind sending me some Maggie tunes in email whenever you feel like it? dew44bear at yahoo dotdeedeedot com. :o)

  15. TwoSticks says:

    The more I see Scrubs the more I hate other "docter" shows (ER, Gray's and everything in between). Also, there are only two shows I will watch syndicated reruns of, Seinfeld and Scrubs.

  16. Coach C says:

    I want to be like Turk, but I fear I am JD.

  17. Matt says:

    That is the ebst use of music on a television show EVER.

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