Television Top Trumps - Stella Zinman vs Elliot Reid

Sarah Chalke wasn’t content with starring in just one sitcom. Anyone can do that. That’s easy. Instead, she decided to take on two at once, and so spent large chunks of 2008 appearing both as Elliot Reid in Scrubs and Stella Zinman in How I Met Your Mother.

Yes, she’s the common denominator between two shows that both ended so very, very badly, but it actually isn’t her fault. Really. She’s just had the bad luck of appearing in two sitcoms that utterly ballsed up – either with an ill-advised final season, or with an ill-advised final pairing. Neither of which we’re still angry about. There definitely haven’t been any screams of “WHY?” while writing.

Still, instead of getting stuck in a misery-inducing debate about who messed up worse, let’s lighten the mood and have a look at the good doctors Reid and Zinman, shall we?

CAREER

Stella: Doctor. Although she’s a dermatologist, which various medical dramas have led me to believe is pretty much the easiest way of being a doctor. No offence to any dermatologists out there, but TV leads me to believe that it’s basically just giving out ointments. 3/10

Elliot: Also a doctor, but apparently more of a Proper Doctor. Unless you believe the surgeons, who seem to look down on the medical doctors. Honestly, the medical profession sounds a bit exhausting what with all these hierarchies to adhere to. At least Sarah only had to remember one fake profession, though. 7/10

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OVERLY INVOLVED EX-BOYFRIEND

Stella: Ah, Tony. He does karate. He pines for his lost love. He’s a bit of a deadbeat dad. And then he inexplicably becomes a hugely successful screenwriter, because things like that happen all the time. 6/10

Elliot: Oh, JD and Elliot. Good old JD and Elliot. Yet more proof that all sitcoms exist in a world where repeatedly breaking up with someone is a sign that you’re destined to be together, rather than that you’re an absolute romantic catastrophe. But at least he’s a loveable catastrophe. 8/10

RUNAWAY BRIDE MOMENT

Stella: Ditches Ted Mosby at the altar. Seriously, right before the wedding. She’s got her dress on and everything. It’s terribly poor form. Although, given that Ted Mosby is one of the worst people on TV, you can’t really blame her too much. 9/10

Elliot: Ditches the terribly chiseled Keith days before the wedding. At least she gives him some warning and attempts to be nice. But still, it’s not exactly cricket. 7/10

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OFFSPRING

Stella: Lucy, her eight year old with aforementioned overly-involves ex-boyfriend Tony. She seems sweet enough in that mildly irritating way that all sitcom kids have about them. 5/10

Elliot: She’s pregnant during the final series that nobody talks about, but since nobody talks about that series and we all pretend it didn’t happen, that clearly never happened. It all ends when JD walks out of the hospital on his final day, you see. All ends there. No more after that. None. Promise. 0/10

WILLINGNESS TO COHABITATE

Stella: Insists that Ted will have to move to New Jersey once they’re married, which is apparently the worst thing that a person can ever insist upon. And then promptly moves into the city when she shacks up with Tony the ex. Not moving for Ted’s fair enough though, really. He is awful, after all. 3/10

Elliot: Never one for confrontation, Elliot instead elects to ‘sneak move in’ to JD’s place by gradually moving all her furniture there. Like her bed. Normal people would leave a toothbrush, but not Elliot. She leaves a bed. Totally standard behavior. 10/10

EMOTIONALLY NEEDY COWORKER

Stella: Britney Spears. Except she’s not actually Britney Spears, obviously – just Britney playing a needy receptionist called Abby who is apparently in love with Ted. Which is probably indicative of deeper issues on her part than just being a bit needy. Have we mentioned that Ted’s awful? 6/10

Elliot: Remember JD, that overly involved ex-boyfriend? Well, he’s also the neediest man on earth, as pretty much all the staff of Sacred Heart will attest. Which is probably why he’s not all that freaked out by his girlfriend moving her bed into his place without telling him. That probably does actually seem like standard behavior to him. 9/10

THE VERDICT

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Elliot breezes it, with 41 to Stella's 32. Even seeing sense and not marrying Ted Mosby wasn't enough to save her.

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