Wednesday, October 2, 2013

KIM. Or, why I hated Elizabeth Banks.

When I first started watching movies as an adult with a mind of my own (by which I mean, when I realized that the live-action "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is one of the worst movies of all time, instead of looking forward to it at the holiday season), I was ambivalent to many actors and actresses. Over time, my opinions thereof have changed dramatically. Most of these (Nick Cage, ARGH) are stories for another day, but today I wanted to talk about one actress in particular: Elizabeth Banks.


She's Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games movies; in Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno, she's the titular (lulz, see what I did there?) Miri; she was the sweaty, crying mess of a pregnant woman in What to Expect When You're Expecting; she was even J. Jonah Jameson's secretary in the Toby Maguire versions of Spider-Man. 

(whose name is apparently Betty Brant. Thanks, Wikipedia!)
(also, what IS it with Stan Lee characters having alliterative names?
Betty Brant, Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, J. Jonah Jameson, Pepper Potts...)

But where I first became aware of Elizabeth Banks was a little-known show called Scrubs, where she played urologist Kim Briggs from season 6 on, sometimes as JD (Zach Braff)'s girlfriend, and sometimes as THE MOST EVIL CREATURE EVER TO SET FOOT IN SACRED HEART.

If you haven't watched Scrubs and plan to, beware: ahead there be spoilers. If you are already a Scrubs viewer, you well know that JD accidentally knocked her up on their first date; they decided to keep the baby; JD drove to Tacoma to be there for their first ultrasound, and she revealed to him that she'd had a miscarriage. They parted amicably. At the end of the episode, it cuts to Kim actually getting the ultrasound, because...SHE HAD LIED ABOUT HAVING A MISCARRIAGE. I MEAN REALLY. Then, as if that's not bad enough, through sheer chance JD discovers later in the season that she DIDN'T miscarry and is actually 8 months pregnant, at which point she reappears in his life and begs him to take her back. When he says no, she's really upset.

So, recap: she lies about miscarrying his baby. He finds out otherwise. She begs him to take her back, and then has the nerve to BE UPSET when he says no. (And then all of JD's friends get mad at HIM for not being supportive of her. WAT.)

Shown here with Dr. Acula. (via

This whole fiasco led to my brother and I declaring an Elizabeth Banks embargo. If she appeared in anything we saw, we glowered at the screen and growled a fiercely negative "KIM." I despised Elizabeth Banks for YEARS.

Well, over the course of said years, the pain of her Scrubs betrayal began to fade, and I enjoyed her immensely as Jack Donaghy's hot baby-mama Avery Jessup in 30 Rock; as a love interest in Stella; as a camp counselor in Wet Hot American Summer; etc etc etc.

Avery Jessup (via

My "KIM." growl started to fall by the wayside, and I found myself arguing forcibly with friends as to why it should have been Elizabeth Banks, instead of Katherine Heigl, to star in Knocked Up. (For one, she doesn't have Katherine Heigl's big flat pancake of a face.) Plus, she runs a fairly boss website over at, and has featured dear (albeit crazy-liberal) Aunt Peaches as a craft guru several times. 

All was well and good in my Banksiverse...until I started powering through Scrubs again, this time courtesy of Netflix. (I own all the seasons on DVD [except for the much-loathed "season 9," of which we shall never speak again], but Netflix means I don't have to get off the couch to change out discs every 5-6 episodes.) This time, when Kim appeared, I thought "Ah, I like Elizabeth Banks now! I shall not get my panties in a twist over Kim this time."



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