Thursday, December 31, 2009

Five favorite expanded or limited-edition score albums of 2009

Are you Team Charger or Team Mustang?
Manigong Bagong Taon. This is the only year-end list I will do because I hate doing these year-end things. Selections from all five of the following CDs can be heard during "Assorted Fistful" on the Fistful of Soundtracks channel.

Dennis Dun as Wang Chi in Big Trouble in Little China
5. Big Trouble in Little China (La-La Land)
The cheesy end title song, in which director/composer John Carpenter does his own singing, hasn't aged as well as the rest of Carpenter's score or the movie itself, which remains subversive for giving its Asian American characters a chance to shine as the heroes of the piece for once in a genre that still doesn't care for Asian American protagonists (and no, Jackie Chan doesn't count as an Asian American lead, shitbird).

4. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (La-La Land)
La-La Land followed up the long-overdue Batman: The Animated Series box set with an expanded version of the score from the show's 1993 feature-length spinoff. Before Christopher Nolan came along, the Bruce Timm incarnation of Batman was the definitive screen take on the Dark Knight. Batman: The Animated Series was also beautifully scored by the late Shirley Walker, who provided music for Phantasm that's both powerful and playful (the choir is actually singing backwards pronunciations of the names of Phantasm crew members and orchestrators).

3. The Split (Film Score Monthly)
I was on a Donald E. Westlake kick during the summer because of the release of Darwyn Cooke's adaptation of The Hunter and the debut--in any format--of an unknown and very sampleworthy Quincy Jones score to a forgotten 1968 Jim Brown flick based on The Seventh. Say the following five words--"caper movie score by Q"--and I'm there, baby.

2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Film Score Monthly)
One cool thing about FSM's reissue of the Khan score is that it gives listeners the option of hearing the film's end title music without Leonard Nimoy's voiceover, an element of the 1982 Atlantic release that annoyed those who prefer not to hear dialogue during score albums. Also, it's nice to finally have the complete score. Somewhere, Ricardo Montalban's smiling.(*)

(*) I hate that Flanders-esque catchphrase from Fantasy Island. It's mostly because a former co-worker I couldn't stand liked to say "Smiles, everyone, smiles" a lot.

Jacqueline Bisset as April O'Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
1. Bullitt (Film Score Monthly)
FSM also stands for Fulla Surprises, Man. Sometimes, I won't visit the FSM site for weeks, and I'll miss announcements like the debut release of Lalo Schifrin's Bullitt score as it was heard in the film (Schifrin's 1968 and 2000 re-recordings of his score, one of which is included on the CD, are both decent, but I always preferred the way the score originally sounded in the film). I didn't know about FSM's Bullitt CD until a couple of weeks ago and immediately snapped it up. The Bullitt score is my second favorite Schifrin film score after Enter the Dragon. The main theme has been covered so often that it's a shame the original rendition hasn't been available on CD until now.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Look at This F*cking Hipster entry bears a stunning resemblance to a couple of my Palace strips

Nearly a year ago, I drew a pair of Palace strips in which Daryl snarks about his hipster co-worker Renfrew and his new ride.

The Palace: Photographed in Single-Panelvision 70, Chapter 3 by Jimmy J. Aquino
The Palace: Photographed in Single-Panelvision 70, Chapter 4 by Jimmy J. Aquino
Last week, I clicked to Look at This F*cking Hipster--stand-up Joe Mande's entertaining blog-turned-upcoming book that collects photos of hipsters committing all sorts of crimes against fashion--and was particularly amused by the December 10 entry for some reason.

Hey, it's Renfrew!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Palace: Death to Skinny Jeans, Chapter 5

The Palace: Death to Skinny Jeans, Chapter 5 by Jimmy J. Aquino

Memorable quotes from commentary tracks #5

'You know what you see/You see a bad mutha.'
James Brown died three years ago today on the day when Santa Claus goes straight to the ghetto (as he once sang), so below is a very lengthy excerpt about the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business from writer/director Larry Cohen's highly entertaining commentrak for MGM's 2001 DVD release of Black Caesar.

When Public Enemies came out on DVD earlier this month, I arranged my Netflix queue so that I could be treated to a festival of gangster flicks I always wanted to watch but kept putting off watching: Public Enemies, Hoodlum, American Gangster and Black Caesar. During the Black Caesar commentrak, Cohen told an interesting story I'd never heard or read before about the Godfather of Soul's short-lived side job as film scorer. Brown's stint resulted in a terrific soundtrack that's been frequently sampled by rappers like Ice-T, Das EFX, Nas and Jin and frequently streamed by me on the Fistful of Soundtracks channel.

'Hey yo, check it out, man, I got Black Caesar at the crib, man. Y'all wanna go check that out?'
"The first choice to do the music was Stevie Wonder, so I was told that we were going to run the movie for Stevie Wonder in the rough cut. I thought, 'Well, how was this guy gonna watch a movie?' But he came in with an entourage and sat in the projection room, and they ran the movie, and he listened to the movie, and then he asked some questions afterwards, and I thought we had a shot at getting Stevie Won... All he asked me was what my birth sign was. He was interested in what sign of the zodiac I was. I think he thought it was too violent for him. James Brown didn't have that trouble.

"But James had never scored a picture before, and it was interesting that this was his first job as a composer for a motion picture, and we went over the whole project with him and his manager Charles Bobbit, and I think Bobbit is with Michael Jackson today. So we gave him a 16mm or 35mm black-and-white dupe of the movie so they could have the movie. This was way before videocassettes. So he had a copy of the movie. We gave him the timing sheets of each scene, and James went off to do the music. Of course, motion picture makers are more at the mercy of composers than anybody because by the time you hear the music, it's already been recorded, it's done and the money's been spent, and if you don't like it, there really isn't too much you can do except go have the music done over again and spend your money twice.

"So James' music sounded great when he came in. He'd written some terrific songs like 'Pay the Cost to Be Boss' and 'Your Mama's Dead' and 'Down and Out in New York City,' which was actually written by Barry De Vorzon, but James recorded it. The only problem was that when James brought the music in, if it was a four-minute scene, James wrote seven minutes of music. Or if it was a three-minute scene, James wrote five minutes of music. Or if it was an eight-minute scene, he wrote 11 or 12 minutes of music. So I called Bobbit up. I said, 'Charles, this doesn't make any sense. It's too much music.' He says, 'Well, the man gave you more than enough.' They didn't have any cognizance that the songs, the music's supposed to fit the length of the sequence...

"I had to take all those long cues and cut them down to fit the scenes that they were in, and we cut the scenes pretty well and made them work. We had to slide the music forward, slide the music back, have some dissolves and segues, but we managed to make the music fit the picture, and American International was so delighted that they went and hired James Brown to do another picture for them. When he did Slaughter's Rip-Off, they went into shock 'cause he delivered the same kind of music, only they weren't equipped to do what I did, which is make it work. They just got infuriated with James Brown and told him that they'd never work with him again, and then when I wanted to make the second Black Caesar picture, Hell Up in Harlem, AIP would not let me hire James Brown to do the music. They said, 'He screwed us on Slaughter's Rip-Off, and we'll never work for him again.' I said, 'He screwed us on Black Caesar, but I made it work, and there's no reason why we can't make it work again 'cause James will give us a great score.'

"So I went back to Bobbit, and I said, 'Mr. Bobbit, the only way American International would consider letting James do the music is if he did it on spec--if he went out, wrote the music and recorded it himself at his own expense and gave us the tapes--and if they like the music, they'll use the music. If they don't like the music, it belongs to you.' And a day later, I got a call from Bobbit. He said, 'The man accepts the challenge! James will write the music and record it as his own expense and bring it to you.' And he did. Unbelievable. Big name like him. And I played the music. It sounded pretty good to me. But I took it to AIP. They said, 'Oh no no no. We got a deal with Motown to do the music on this picture, and Motown's gonna supply us with some big-name artists, and we don't wanna work with James Brown again, and we don't care for the music anyway.' So I had to go back to Bobbit and say, 'Charles, I'm sorry, but AIP has rejected it, and there's nothing I can do about it. This is one area where they're insisting to have their way.' And he said, 'No hard feelings. We'll do what we can with this music.'

Lil' Chris Brown"And he put the music out as an album, and it was James Brown's most successful album. It was called The Payback, and that music is used over and over again in movies today. It was in a movie called Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrels. It was used as music on the TV series New York Undercover. And it's some of James Brown's most famous cuts, and it should have been in Hell Up in Harlem. Kinda breaks my heart. But that was my James Brown story."

--Black Caesar writer/director Larry Cohen

Related links:
-The Deuce's Black Caesar soundtrack page
-Cohen's recent Trailers from Hell commentrak for the Black Caesar trailer
-World of Hurt webcomic creator Jay Potts' witty Black Caesar liveblog ("The kid playing a young Tommy Gibbs... looks a bit too much like Chris Brown for me to root for him wholeheartedly.")

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"On, Donner! On, Blitzen! On, Chuy! On, Tavo! C'mon, Becto!": 10 current favorite Christmas tracks

Alyson Hannigan was looking very Dr. Girlfriend-ish when Harvey Fierstein redubbed her voice in How I Met Your Mother's recent smoking addiction episode.
The following is inspired by a holiday music meme I first saw posted by Matt on Scrubbles.net. Like Matt said in his list, some of us require a bit of acid in our eggnog (or in our DVD players--my favorite holiday movie is The Ref, the film where Kevin Spacey memorably tells his evil mom he'll get her a cross for Christmas so that whenever she feels unappreciated for her sacrifices, she can climb on up and nail herself to it).

10. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, "Fairytale of New York"
Now that's my idea of the perfect Pasko song. The cover version with Dr. Girlfriend as Shane MacGowan and the Monarch as MacColl is hilariously fooked up.

9. OutKast, "Player's Ball"
Andre 3000 and Big Boi's very first single was originally a Yuletide joint, in which the Player's Ball happens on Christmas Day instead of "all day e'ryday." The Christmas Day line is removed from the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik version, but most of the other holiday references remain ("Ain't no chiminies in the ghetto/So I won't be hangin' my socks on no tip").

8. Darlene Love, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
I first heard this tune during the opening credits of Gremlins. I've grown fond of "Baby Please Come Home" because of Love's annual performance of the Phil Spector-produced standard on Letterman's Christmas shows.

7. Donny Hathaway, "This Christmas"
Everyone from Patti LaBelle to woman-beating douches have covered "This Christmas," but Hathaway's 1970 original will always be the best version. It's mostly because of the thunderous percussion and them funky horns. Earlier this month, the Chicago Sun-Times published a terrific article that contains interesting tidbits about the Chicago native's classic recording, like its unlikely ties to film music (the song's bridge was inspired by Elmer Bernstein's Magnificent Seven theme!).

6. Booker T. & the MGs, "Merry Christmas Baby"
Atlantic's 1991 Soul Christmas compilation is my favorite holiday CD, thanks to the inclusion of "This Christmas," Clarence Carter's "Back Door Santa" and the sizzling Booker T. & the MGs cover of singer Charles Brown's 1947 standard, which was featured in David Sedaris' classic 1992 NPR reading of The Santaland Diaries.

5. Vince Guaraldi Trio, "Skating"
This is the only track on the list that's from a film or TV score. My favorite tune from the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack is neither "Christmas Time Is Here" nor "Linus and Lucy." It's the underappreciated "Skating." Guaraldi once said, "I don't think I'm a great piano player." Nah, during "Skating," Guaraldi was a great piano player.

4. The Waitresses, "Christmas Wrapping"
Like in "This Christmas," the horn section sounds so tight during "Christmas Wrapping."

3. Cheech & Chong, "Santa Claus and His Old Lady"
Donde esta Santa Cleese? Another enjoyable Christmas track involving a Latino comedian is Horatio Sanz's "I Wish It Was Christmas Today," which was covered earlier this week by Julian Casablancas and the Roots.

2. Patton Oswalt, "My Christmas Memory"
I lose it every time I hear Oswalt's impression of a slowed-down David Seville from "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)."

God, MTV sucks so much now. I miss that '80s MTV Christmas graphic that was animated by the late Keith Haring to the sounds of 'Christmas in Hollis.'
1. Run-DMC, "Christmas in Hollis"
Jam Master Jay's killer "Back Door Santa" sample is a reason why millions of us continue to exclaim "Goddamn, that DJ made my day!" long after his death.

The Palace: Death to Skinny Jeans, Chapter 3

The Palace: Death to Skinny Jeans, Chapter 3 by Jimmy J. Aquino

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Palace: Death to Skinny Jeans begins Monday and concludes December 28

A sneak peek at The Palace: Death to Skinny Jeans, Chapter 4As with all other arcs of the Palace webcomic, which I've written and illustrated from time to time since 2008, I'll be posting one strip per day for an entire week. I wanted to post the latest arc last week, but I had to make a last-minute change to a script for one particular strip. I scrapped that strip's original sight gag because the subject of that gag--Skids, half of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen's pair of Amos n' Andybots--was just too difficult for me to recreate in pencil and ink. Thanks a lot, Transformers sequel character designers, for making your bots so damn difficult to draw.

(I miss the Boondocks comic strip so much. I wonder how Aaron McGruder would have immediately reacted to Skids and Mudflap. And I wonder if he'll reference them in the Boondocks animated series' forthcoming third season.)

So because of that last-minute change, The Palace's new arc will unfold this Christmas Week, even though the arc isn't exactly Christmassy. But it references some of the most infamous moments involving America's favorite pastime of insulting Asian Americans, race, pop music and fashion in the past year, so I guess it is a good time to post the arc because many of the sites I click to are currently posting their year-end (or in the cases of The A.V. Club and The Playlist, decade-end) wrap-ups.

During this arc, I realized I draw best when I'm hearing music in the background. My computer is broken, and my iPod Nano appears to be on its last legs, so I've had to flip XM's alt-rock, hip-hop and R&B stations on while drawing the latest arc. "Empire State of Mind" does wonders for my illustrator's block. Now that's what I call a banger.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

AFOS: "Four-Star Playlist" tracks


Airing today at 10am and 3pm on A Fistful of Soundtracks is the Fistful of Soundtracks: The Series episode "Four-Star Playlist" (WEB83) from January 1-7, 2007. Each track during WEB83 received at one time or another a four-star rating or higher from Live365.com listeners. I had a bad cold when I recorded WEB83. I sounded like Peter Brady.

The instrumental bed during WEB83's opening segment is "Who Got Da Props" by Black Moon.

The members of the girl group 702 are Pootie Tang's dillie daimes.1. Duran Duran, "A View to a Kill," The Best of James Bond: 30th Anniversary Limited Edition, EMI
2. James Horner, "Main Title," Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, GNP/Crescendo
3. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard, "Vespertilio," Batman Begins, Warner Sunset/Warner Home Video
4. Ennio Morricone featuring Christy, "Deep Down" (from Danger: Diabolik), Canto Morricone: The Ennio Morricone Songbook, Vol. 1, Bear Family
5. 702, "Pootie Tangin'," Pootie Tang, Hollywood
6. Jerry Goldsmith, "Old Bagdad," The 13th Warrior, Varèse Sarabande
7. Bill Conti, "Going the Distance," Rocky, EMI
8. Michael Giacchino, "'Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall,'" Mission: Impossible III, Varèse Sarabande
9. Marilyn Manson, "Resident Evil Main Title Theme," Resident Evil, Roadrunner/UMG Soundtracks
10. Bear McCreary, "Battle on the Asteroid," Battlestar Galactica: Season One, La-La Land
11. Lyle Lanley & Cast, "The Monorail Song," The Simpsons: Songs in the Key of Springfield, Rhino
12. John Barry, "Gumbold's Safe," On Her Majesty's Secret Service, EMI/Capitol
13. Ennio Morricone, "Magic and Ecstasy" (from Exorcist II: The Heretic), A Fistful of Film Music: The Ennio Morricone Anthology, Rhino
14. BC Smith featuring Ulali, "Forgive Our Fathers Suite featuring Wahjeeleh-Yihm," Smoke Signals, TVT Soundtrax

Reruns of AFOS: The Series air Wednesdays at 10am and 3pm. To listen to the station during either of those time slots (or right now), press the play icon on the blue widget below the "About me" mini-bio on this blog.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A sneak preview of The Palace: Death to Skinny Jeans by Jimmy J. Aquino

The seven-part Death to Skinny Jeans arc is the latest arc of my webcomic The Palace, and it's coming soon to this blog. Here's day two of Death to Skinny Jeans, which will be a mostly single-panel arc:

The Palace: Death to Skinny Jeans, Chapter 2 by Jimmy J. Aquino

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

AFOS: "Zero Churn" playlist

An ancient Z Channel graphic
Airing next Wednesday at 10am and 3pm on A Fistful of Soundtracks is the Fistful of Soundtracks: The Series episode "Zero Churn" (WEB69) from November 28-December 4, 2005.

All the tracks during "Zero Churn" come from soundtracks to movies that aired on L.A.'s beloved Z Channel in the '70s and '80s (examples include Nashville, The Harder They Come and the much-maligned Heaven's Gate). The ep's title refers to the Z Channel's "zero churn rate," a fancy business term that means subscribers never cancelled the service.

I never heard of the Z Channel--which was a really interesting and ahead-of-its-time cable channel--until I Netflixed the critically acclaimed Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession documentary by both IFC and director Xan Cassavetes, the daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands. My favorite parts of A Magnificent Obsession are the segments about Z Channel fare like Le Magnifique, Laura Antonelli's Mogliamante and Something of Value (interviewee F.X. Feeney, who wrote movie reviews for the listings guide that the channel mailed to its subscribers, does a funny impression of Winston Churchill's appearance in the prologue for Something of Value). And though Quentin Tarantino should really consider switching to decaf, he tells an amusing story in the middle of the doc about watching a tape of a Z Channel presentation of Mogliamante.

In 2005, I thought an AFOS: The Series ep based on A Magnificent Obsession would be a cool idea because the playlist would be eclectic, just like the channel itself was back in the day.

'A poem, by Henry Gibson.'
1. Nino Rota, "La Strada," Fellini & Rota: I Film, Le Musiche--Movies & Music, CAM
2. Jean Constantin, "Générique et Car de Police" (from The 400 Blows), Cannes Film Festival: 50th Anniversary Album, Milan
3. Giovanni Fusco, "Titoli" (from L'Avventura), I Film di Antonioni, Le Musiche di Fusco, CAM
4. The City of Prague Philharmonic, "The Bomb Run" (from Dr. Strangelove), Dr. Strangelove... Music from the Films of Stanley Kubrick, Silva Screen
5. The City of Prague Philharmonic, "Train Montage" (from The Wild Bunch), Cinema Century: A Musical Celebration of 100 Years of Cinema, Silva Screen
6. Bob Dylan, "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (from Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid), Movie Music: The Definitive Performances, Columbia/Epic/Legacy
7. Jerry Fielding, "On the Road" (from Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia/The Killer Elite, Intrada
8. Pino Donaggio, "Tema di Clayton" (from Amore piombo e furore, a.k.a. China 9, Liberty 37), Spaghetti Westerns, Volume One, DRG
9. Jimmy Cliff, "The Harder They Come," The Harder They Come, Island
10. Henry Gibson, "200 Years," Nashville, MCA Nashville
11. David Mansfield, "Overture," Heaven's Gate, Rykodisc
12. Ennio Morricone with Gheorghe Zamfir & Edda Dell'Orso, "Cockeye's Song" (from Once Upon a Time in America), The Ennio Morricone Anthology: A Fistful of Film Music, Rhino
13. Piero Piccioni, "La Bella Signora" (from Tutto a posto e niente in ordine, a.k.a. All Screwed Up), (Italian Girls Like) Ear-Catching Melodies, Dagored
14. Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle, "Introduction/Puttin' on the Ritz," Young Frankenstein, One Way
15. Jerry Goldsmith, "Love Theme from Chinatown (End Title)," Chinatown, Varèse Sarabande

Count me as a Heaven's Gate hater, but God, the overture by Mansfield is such a beautiful piece of music.

Reruns of AFOS: The Series air Wednesdays at 10am and 3pm. To listen to the station during either of those time slots (or right now), press the play icon on the blue widget below the "About me" mini-bio on this blog.

A new addition to "Assorted Fistful": George Shaw

J-ok'el is not about Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel. Although that would have been interesting.
I wish A Fistful of Soundtracks had more Asian American listeners. On my station, I stream a lot of '70s scores that Asian American beatheads would get a kick out of (as a longtime beathead, it's impossible to resist the themes from say, for example, the original Assault on Precinct 13 or Superfly, which are in rotation on AFOS of course). I think I know why film and TV score music doesn't appeal to many Asian American listeners, besides the fact that it can be an acquired taste for listeners of any color. It's because there are barely any Asian American film composers for listeners like the folks from the Boston Progress Radio crowd to follow and support in the same way they follow the API hip-hop, spoken word and indie pop artists who get airplay on BPR.

The world of American film and TV music is a very white world. So it's always wonderful news for us aspiring writers or filmmakers of color (who want to see more diversity behind the scenes) whenever an up-and-coming film composer of color comes along, and he's really good at it. George Shaw is one such composer, so I've added some of his score cues to "Assorted Fistful" rotation. I've only seen one feature film George wrote score music for (the James Kyson Lee rom-com Asian Stories), but I've heard his cues from low-budget thrillers like J-ok'el and Marcus and enjoyed those pieces. "J-ok'el" and "The Search" from J-ok'el and the Black Christmas-esque Marcus cue "Carol of Death" can now be heard during "Assorted Fistful" on AFOS.

I can count on one hand all the Asian American film music heads who are active on the blogosphere. There's me... and George. He's such a huge John Williams fan that he made a brief shout-out to Williams' Superman: The Movie score during a moment when an actor referenced the Superman character in J-ok'el.

There are a few things I regret about my absence from BANANA (I'm glad I'm not the only blogger who thinks the event name makes little sense--that's like if a panel of African American bloggers called their event "HOUSENEGRO"(*)--or maybe Lac Su and Steve Nguyen were being wry). One of those things is not getting to meet George face-to-face. I'm sure we would have talked about politics (we share the same political views) and film music. Here's George discussing the craft of film music:



(*) "Banana" is slang for an Asian American Uncle/Auntie Tom, and none of the panelists who were there are Michelle Malkin-style Toms.

I bet George will someday overtake Gary Chang as the most prominent Asian American film composer. He's that talented.

"Sampler" went through several different titles before I finally settled on "Sampler"

A panel from 'Sampler' by Jimmy J. Aquino and Erwin Haya

Here's something I recently found in an old laptop I temporarily used in 2007, back when Secret Identities was searching for writers and artists. It's a list of title ideas I came up with for the Secret Identities treatment that became "Sampler":

"The Dry Cleaner's Daughter"
"Thanks Would Be Nice"
"If Only They Knew"
"Uncredited"
"Unappreciated"
"Cleaner"
"Stain Removal"
"Toucher"
"One Power at a Time"
"Not Just Another"

I'm glad I didn't go with the craptastic "Toucher" or "Cleaner." People would have confused my story with The Cleaner, the recently cancelled Benjamin Bratt/Grace Park show about rehab. "One Power at a Time" sounds like it involves Valerie Bertinelli, Mackenzie Phillips and a way-too-shouty Bonnie Franklin.

My beef

AfterSCRUBS
Scrubs was one of my favorite shows for its first few seasons on NBC. You gotta love a show that gave us an episode like the tokenism-mocking "My Fifteen Minutes" or "My Screw Up" and had the balls to pull off 916-CALL-TURK (when I dialed up that number, I got Bill Lawrence himself and then during another call, "Nervous Guy"). During its first season on ABC (which actually produced Scrubs since its 2001 debut on NBC and was so pleased with its ratings last year that it ordered another season), Scrubs experienced a creative resurgence. Denise (Eliza Coupe), a.k.a. "Jo" (because her butchiness reminded J.D. of Jo from The Facts of Life), is a great addition to the show.

While I'm somewhat glad to see the slightly rebooted Scrubs back on the air, I wish the show delayed J.D.'s return. "My Finale" was such a perfect farewell to Zach Braff and J.D. that seeing Braff immediately again as a lead (but not the lead due to the emphasis on the new medical school setting) undermines that episode. I wouldn't have minded a Scrubs (or as I like to call it, AfterSCRUBS) with Donald Faison as the lead because he's such a funny presence as Turk and because that would have slightly fixed my major problem with AfterSCRUBS so far: the lack of diversity.

'Yay, I'm so white!'
I always enjoyed seeing the likes of Charles Rahi Chun, Lela Lee and a pre-Heroes Masi Oka pop up on Scrubs. Last season, Sacred Heart had three Indian interns. That was especially cool to see. I know Aziz Ansari is a busy man (and Tom on Parks and Recreation is a far more interesting douchey character than Ed), but they couldn't bring back Sunny, the Indian girl who wasn't afraid of the Janitor and made out with Jo to mock J.D. and Turk's guy love? I liked her despite her eternal perkiness. The Sacred Heart med school is all-white now? Sacred Heart Hospital wasn't this white. Yeah, I know there were Asian extras at the school, but c'mon, man.

And after all these years of medical shows, I have yet to see a Filipino nurse or doctor as a regular (the Filipina receptionist from Elliott Gould's E/R--"Stay back of the white line!"--doesn't count). We fucking run Kaiser, so why the hell are we missing from these shows?