Thursday, April 2, 2009

End of an ERa

I think I have watched every episode of ER. Back in the first couple of seasons, every single episode brought me to tears. Watching Dr. Carter fumble his way through his internship, while helping an old man lose his longtime spouse; or attempting to talk a transgender man (to woman) off of the roof (she plunged to her death and I wept along with John Carter) made this a show that was poignant and compelling. Who wouldn't love the playboy pediatrician in Doug Ross? I remember an episode were he near lost his mind on a parent who was abusing his kid. Who does not want to see that passion and that protectiveness of a child (by a sexy man)?

My friends used to come over every Thursday night to make dinner and watch the show. My sister made this the one show she watched (though my brother had a knack for calling right as the show started). We all gathered together to watch Susan Lewis's departure and were really sad. It did not seem right to lose her. In the meantime, we have lost everyone save for Nurse Haleh. Some people came back again, but mostly it seemed like a hospital would be, with occasional changes in staff. I was sad at the loss of characters that I had come to love but the stories were so well written that I believed in every new character and I wanted to know their lives.

We even had actor changes for some characters. Mark Greene's daughter, one a raven haired cutie (whose sister was on the Nanny and now on Californication) became a curly haired blonde girl. Strangely, the first actress looked like the woman who played her mother while the second looked more like her new stepmother, Elizabeth Corday. Sam Taggert traded her son in for a new model, too.

Another thing I noticed a long time ago was that Frank, who is now their desk guy, had been a cop. He was married to the nurse Lydia (or dated her or something). But they never addressed that once he started working in the ER. I can't seem to find proof of this though, so I may be wrong. But I really have the two of them together in my memory. Prove me right or wrong if you can, please.

The cinematography was incredible for the time. It was gritty, bumpy and realistic. They moved so quickly and you never knew which way the camera would veer off. Everything moved quickly. It was easy to believe you were really in the ER. I think it was the first time they used long steady-cam shots on television. They never stopped to explain what they were doing which is why I learned a flippin' boatload from this show. I used to tape it and watch it with my finger on the pause button so that I could look up what the heck they were talking about in my medical dictionary. I got so versed that when I took a practice MCAT for fun, I did extremely well.

Oh, and the cast. The beautiful cast. George Clooney upending the world with that Caesar haircut. The sweet cuteness of Noah Wiley. A former nerd being The Man in the hospital. Sherry Stringfield and Maura Tierney were so cool to me (and I could go on and on about Linda Cardellini and Parminder Nagra and others). Even Goran Visnjic who was not sexy to me at all in "Practical Magic" was super sexy as Luka Kovac. Maybe I like the scrubs. Mmmm.

The triumphs and tragedies that the characters faced were so deep that I felt like they happened to friends. Yes, I am a crazy TV watcher, but even I turn the TV off and stop thinking about characters. Still, this show affected me. I can't imagine how the loss of Michael Crichton in 2008 affected the cast and crew. But I can say that the loss of Mark Greene saddened me.

My favorite character was Susan Lewis. I loved her. She didn't tolerate any crap. One of my favorite episodes included some guy who was being rude to her. He was on a bed in curtains, lying on his stomach. She told him she was taking his temperature, but then stuck a sunflower in his bum and opened the curtain for all to see. Ha!

Do you guys remember when Dr. Carter was shocked by Chen and her accidental application of the defibrillator paddles? Or the twelve seconds that Maria Bello was on the show, and how she just disappeared without warning? Or how annoying Mariska Hargitay's character was on the show yet how cool and sexy she really seems to be? What about the guy who saved the turkey from being killed for Thanksgiving only to be attacked by it. He broke its neck and went to the ER for stitches and Tag was in an exam room plucking it for dinner. Feathers everywhere!!!

This would not be a retrospective without Dr. "Rocket" Romano. Marci and I met him in New Jersey and he could not have been a nicer, more soft-spoken person. But what a character on the show. And how gross was the attack on him by the helicopter, twice!?! I must have rewound that and watched a million times.

It is weird to think that our portal into an emergency room is closing. I am really sad. And once again, the show brought me to tears. This time in the first few moments of the retrospective, and the tears never stopped.

Thank you.

No comments: