Preparing to leave the 'ER'

I stopped watching the megahit ER some years ago. It just seemed to be more and more of the same illnesses, accidents and that ridiculous revolving bedroom door. But I was intrigued at the promos heralding the return of many of the actors who've departed as the show wraps up its long run.

Speaking of departed, I didn't mean it in the sense of the dearly departed, but if you're familiar with the show you'll know that the writers managed to kill off at least five of the main characters over the years, rather high odds, considering that most of the unfortunates were in their thirties. I understand they this pesky little detail didn't stop them from bringing back Anthony Edwards' character of Dr. Mark Greene, in a flashback episode I didn't see but I understand was tied in to the development of Angela Bassett's character.

But I caught the latter two-thirds of last week's show, curious to see where the characters are today. I was pleasantly surprised to see that a number of established relationships are continuing. I'm not sure what's up with John Carter (Noah Wyle) and his African wife (Thandie Newton), who wasn't at his side when he needed a kidney transplant, but he certainly gave me the impression that he's still in love, and as I said I missed part of the episode.

Peter Benton (Eriq LaSalle), sporting a wedding ring, told Carter that his son was "home with Cleo," meaning that he and Cleo Finch (the unseen Michael Michele) are still together and likely married (with the onscreen deaths of Michael Gallant [Sharif Atkins] and Greg Pratt [Mekhi Phifer] and the offscreen death of Al Boulet [Michael Beach], Benton may well be the show's sole surviving black male character).

Another still-happy couple are Carol Hathaway and Doug Ross (Juliana Marguiles, George Clooney), although I didn't see their twin girls.

It gave me the warm fuzzies to see that these relationships are continuing. I wanted to see more, but last night's show had no familiar faces. I did learn that the long, tumultuous relationship of Abby Lockhart and Luka Kovac (Maura Tierney, Goran Visnjic), now married, walked off into the sunset together on an earlier episode with their little boy. So at least four couples on the show are living the happily ever after.

Ah, love. Isn't it just . . . lovely.

Do you watch the show? Have you been a viewer since the beginning, or, like me, did you stop watching somewhere along the way?

I'll leave you with a little medical humor. I was transcribing a consult on a comatose, non-responsive patient the other day, and the doctor concluded with, "Thank you for asking me to participate in the care of this very pleasant patient." Duh . . . I know this is the standard line, but the patient is in a coma, Doc! How can they possibly be pleasant?

Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

Bettye, I was a huge fan of "ER" for several seasons. (Yes, I had a little crush on George Clooney.:-)

I watched every episode until they killed off Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards), then I kinda lost interest. Most of my faves were gone by then anyway. Hey, what happened to Jeanie Boulet (Gloria Reuben)? Did she die, too? I'd hoped "Grey's Anatomy" would take ER's place, but I could never get into that one.Right now I'm head over heels for "Brothers & Sisters"--Reon :-)

bettye griffin said...

Reon, who didn't have a crush on ol' George. In fact, he still looks good to me!

Jeanie Boulet did not die. She came back to the show briefly last year, or maybe the year before. She was the one who related that her first husband had died of AIDS. Unfortunately, Jeanie was separated from her second husband, so they are not one of the happy couples whom I blogged about.

I'm so glad you said you couldn't get into Grey's Anatomy; I was thinking I was the only person around who couldn't. But I don't watch much TV anymore anyway. My sister raves about Brothers and Sisters, and it certainly looks like quality television; I just don't have time for it.

Thanks for posting!

Ladysilver said...

I was a faithful watcher, then too many of my favorites were gone and it was too much for me. I had no clue Pratt was killed off. I caught part of the show, but I watch Greys and The Practice faithfully, so I did not see it all. I forgot for a while when ER was on because so much had changed that I felt lost watching it once.

bettye griffin said...

The Practice is another show that I would watch if I had more time to devote to television. My problem is that I often forget what day it is and forget to tune in!

I know what you mean about feeling lost at all the changes, Ladysilver. Thursday night I was saying, Who are these people?

Patricia W. said...

I only watched off and on the last couple of seasons but knew enough to keep up.

Dr. Greene was the doctor in the ER when Angela Bassett's character lost her son many years ago. Now her character is heading up that same ER, and hoping for another baby. Hence, the flashback episode.

Dr. Carter's wife is in France because one of her parents are sick. In the three episodes that he's been back, it becomes apparent that there's also some strain on their relationship although the specifics are not given. He called her after his surgery so there's hope for their relationship.

Hate that Greg Pratt (Mekhi Pheifer's character) died and won't return during this final season. Love that Hathaway and Doug Ross are still together. One of the nicer final TV seasons I've seen.

DonnaD said...

Bettye, I could do an entire blog post on ER as I've watched from the beginning, fell off and came back. I think I will blog about it today.

Also I'm going to email you about your book and your most recent post about black actresses.

bettye griffin said...

Patricia, it sounds like a skillful blending of past and present to incorporate Dr. Greene into Angela Bassett's past. Thanks for filling in the holes.

Donna . . . you're going to email me about my post of today? Am I in trouble? (haha!)

I'll look for your email. I'm interested in knowing your thoughts about my book.

shelia said...

I've only seen maybe one or two episodes of ER. I recently got season 10 on DVD to review but since I haven't seen the show my review might not be as accurate as a true fan of the show.

bettye griffin said...

Thanks for dropping in, Shelia! I know you're super busy these days.