Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Star Wars as Cultural Phenomenon: Scrubs and Phineas and Ferb

Scrubs is one of those shows that I rarely watch on purpose but always enjoy when I run across it by accident.

"My Two Dads" pits Dr. Dorian's two mentors against each other. Dr. Cox, naturally, is Ben Kenobi (all in white). Dr. Kelso is Darth Vader, all in black!

Scrubs is a natural recipient of Star Wars iconography. The essence of the show is Zach Dorian's imaginative responses to everyday life, an imagination that is heavily informed by popular culture. He demonstrates a true mix of high, low, urban, and everything else culture, distilled into one mindset.

The comparison of Dr. Cox to Kenobi and Dr. Kelso to Vader is doubly interesting because it remains flexible. Just as Vader proves ambiguous in later movies, Dr. Kelso proves to have multiple sides. His bottom-line ideology is based on reality: treating patients costs. Dr. Cox, although the more likable . . . ah . . . appealing man, is too adamant, too much a zealot. While adopting Dr. Cox's patient-oriented philosophy, Zach eventually becomes more well-rounded than his chosen mentor; his compassion will eventually enfold even Dr. Kelso.

The imagery is great! As Zach says, "It's an old story." And I love Dr. Cox's beard!!

I had never seen Phineas and Ferb. Ah, the life of a person without cable. 

My favorite part of "The Chronicles of Meap" is when the evil (random) carpet guy keeps saying, "But that's another back-story. Well, that's another back-story." It reminds me of superheroes--you want to "get" this character? Here's a billion back-stories!

I also like Ferb's British accent: "Well, it occurs to me that perhaps not all of the modifications I made are technically street legal." And I love Phineas's nonchalant attitude towards being threatened: "Hi!" 

There's multiple sci-fi references: Back to the Future, Star Wars (of course), and Star Trek (slingshot around the sun, universal translator) plus ET. Regarding Star Wars, there is the non-round space station, "I am NOT your father," not to mention the Yoda-like fighting of Meap!

Like any good cultural phenomenon, Star Wars has seeped into our lives; although this list has addressed many deliberate uses of Star Wars, it ends with shows that take the movie's influence for granted. Doesn't everybody know what a light-saber is?

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