It started in 2004 when I first saw Garden State which was despite the fact that the "quality" of the movie is constantly debatable, it had a huge impact on my life. At that point in 2004, I was Andrew Largeman. I was getting ready for college and I had no clue what do with my life and my relationship with my family wasn't the strongest in the world (it's funny how some things don't change much). I knew that the movie was starring, written and directed by this guy Zach Braff that was only really known for some hospital show Scrubs. At the time I worked at an old folks home in the cafe with a man named James (who I still would rank as one of the best - if not the- best bosses I've ever had). He was a huge fan of Scrubs and constantly told me that i reminded him of the main character J.D. (he was the first in a long line of people to do so).
My freshmen year of college I got a netflix account and put this Scrubs show on my queue. I remember chuckling a little bit during the first two episodes. But then came an episode called My Old Lady this episode is not only my favorite episode of the show but it's also one of the only things that will make me cry EVERY TIME I WATCH IT. There was a piece of me that realized that I really WAS J.D. and that what this dying lady was telling him to do was what I SHOULD BE DOING. Beyond that she reminded me alot of my grandfather and what it was like to watch him except death so positively.
I immediately went out and purchased the first 2 seasons on DVD and made many of my friends and family members watch it. As college continued I got more and more "J.D. comparisons". Whenever a new season came out I'd call out of work or skip classes or whatever I needed to do and bought the season and gathered with friends to watch it together. There were lots of laughs and occasionally misty eyes. We'd gather and watch the new episodes as they aired on NBC and constantly tried to figure out how the show was going to end.
When the show moved to ABC we prepared for what was suppose to be the last season, but was definitely Bill Lawrence (the show's creator) and Zach Braff's last season. I've never been so committed to following a TV series as I was with Scrubs specifically in this final season. As we get to the conclusion of this series we see our hero J.D. getting ready to move on with his life. He's got his girlfriend Elliot (who we were promised he'd never end up with on various commentary tracks), a new job and a new home located closer to his son. The Finale takes place on J.D.'s last day at work and he desperately wants a memorable send off which Elliot and Turk provide. However, Dr. Cox the man who J.D. has desperately wanted the love and affection of will not acknowledge this departure as significant in any way, shape or form.
J.D. finally tricks Dr. Cox into finally expressing his true emotions and while it was a humorous moment, that's when the "choking up" offically began for me. J.D. turns around the corner where he's greeted (in his head) by anyone that ever had anything to do with the show including various characters who died. One of these characters is the women from My Old Lady just seeing her and hearing her ask "Did you ever get to go on that picnic" began the waterworks for me. We conclude with J.D. looking at an imaginary movie screen (created by the 'Goodbye J.D.' sign that his best friend Turk has hung up) and to the PERFECT music choice of The Book of Love by Peter Gabriel, J.D. imagines his future. Marrying Elliot, her having a baby, his son and Turk's daughter getting married and him living happily ever after. As J.D. walks past a Janitor (played by Bill Lawrence in a simple by symbolic cameo) who's throwing out the Goodbye J.D. sign he thinks "why can't, just this once, my fantasy be a reality."
I'm going to miss this show and it's impact. But this is the way it MUST end. To continue it would be a great injustice to the show and it's fans. What's been bothering me is that every time I watch this episode, I still get upset. It's because this episode has shown me how much like J.D. I truly am (or rather have become). I've lived in a lifestyle where my family isn't very open about their emotions and my friends are even more shut off. I have never, ever imagined that a TV show would have this much of an impact on me and even furthermore, show me a side of myself that I didn't know I had.
While I sit in my bed still bitter about a break up that happened months ago, I'm watching my friends moving on with their lives. They're getting married, having kids and careers. I'm constantly afraid of being forgotten. In fact the only fear I have is that one day I'm going to die and not a single person will notice that I'm gone.
I've also realized that over the last few weeks/months. I've spent a large bulk of my time as a comforter to my friends. I've helped them through break ups, stress and even helped someone I hardly knew get a new job (meanwhile I still remain unemployed). I don't know why I do these things. I don't think that I should be applauded or patted on the back for helping people. It seems silly really. Anyone can help a friend and most people do. But it seems like when I meet people, they instant take trust in me. I don't know why this is. But I hope to God that if nothing else, when I die (be it tomorrow or 50 years from now), people will say that I loved people.