we heart (and will miss) ER

Photo: www.nbc.com/ER

Photo: www.nbc.com/ER

It’s with bittersweet feelings that we’ve got our calendar cleared for the three hour ER send off on Thursday night. We’re super excited to see the retrospective of all 15 seasons and can’t wait to see how it all ends. Yet, we’re also sad to see a television touchstone end. I mean think about it, 15 years is a big chunk of time to sustain almost anything, none the less a television show that will keep you tuning in for more. Back in 1994, when ER first hit the airwaves, the wht founders were just leaving their home state of Pennsylvania to explore life in Southern California. We were wide eyed, 20 year olds searching for entry level jobs, learning the joys of paying rent and budgeting for things like electricity. Now, we’re married homeowners (well, one of us is!) happy and settled, working in great fields and living our dream of launching our very own site.

The fact that ER has been able to maintain it’s place on our must see list of television shows, while so many things around us has changed, is a testament to the writing and acting of this great drama. We loved the characters and sometimes loved to hate them. We were drawn into medical emergencies and traumas that we couldn’t quite understand (not that we didn’t pick up a lot of medical jargon over the years), but the beauty of ER was that you didn’t need to understand exactly what the doctors were saying while laboring over a patient, to understand what was happening. And yes, we were moved to tears by both the personnel lives of the doctors and nurses, as well as by the joys and tragedies found everyday in County’s Emergency Room.

So, before the big finale, we’re looking back on the some of the characters and moments that made ER our Thursday night ritual:

Favorite Episode: Hell and High Water, Season Two
This is the episode that made me sit up and pay attention to this show. You knew deep down that Doug would be able to save the trapped kid from a drowning death, yet I defy you not to be riveted to your screen, hoping it all works out.
Runners Up: Love’s Labor Lost, The Lost

Best Relationship: John Carter and Peter Benton
I loved watching this relationship grow from the beginning when Dr. Benton was his hard-assed self and Carter was a whiny, bumbling intern, to years later when they built a friendship based on trust and respect. Double aww for this seasons continuation of this awesome relationship with Dr. Benton once again showing he’ll always have Carter’s back.
Runners Up: Abby and Neela (yay for loyal, female friendship on tv without a cat fight in sight), Doug and Carol

Biggest Tearjerker: Dr. Mark Greene succumbing to cancer and shuffling off this mortal coil as Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow ” plays. Honestly, I wasn’t a big fan of this character for a few seasons, but I still cried buckets at this departure (that song!)
Runners Up: This seasons Long Strange Trip (featuring the return of William H. Macy!), Love’s Labor Lost

Hottest Doctors: Dr. Luka Kovac, Dr. Neela Rasgotra
Runner Ups: Dr. Michael Gallant, Dr. Doug Ross, Dr. Ray Barnet

Best Holy Crap Moment: Occurred during Season Three’s Night Shift when a practically DOA patient arrives at County after jumping in front of a subway train. When the ER staff beeps the long suffering Gant to come in and help out, they soon realize the patient coding in front of them is Gant!
Runners Up: Romano vs. the Helicopter, Part One

Worst Moment: All right, having Dr. Romano lose an arm to a helicopter was a great story; it was a complete shock and watching him come to grips with attempting to be a one armed surgeon was great. However, I try to block out Romano vs. the Helicopter, Part Two. Come on! Another killer helicopter? And I was sad that they ended such a great character with such a cartoonish death scene. Dr. Romano (and the wonderful Paul McCrane), not to mention the ER audience deserved better.
Runners Up: After a while the amount of carnage and death in the typical ER workers life started to wear thin. Warning: unless you want to risk you friends and family to death, rape, kidnappers, overdoses and killer helicopters, don’t accept a job at County General!

Best Redemption: Well, even the best shows have some down moments. It’s how you can turn it around that matters. After Romano’s death, I detested Dr. Archie Morris, the lazy, inept Resident who helped lead to Romano’s death. Five years on, Dr. Morris has become one of my favorite characters and not in a love-to-hate-him sort of way. Archie has grown and matured into a competent Doctor and leader who is full of compassion, a loyal friend, sort of goofy but incredibly sweet and he has a fantastic voice to boot!
Runner Up: The entire writing staff of ER. For the last few years, as ER has slipped a bit in the ratings, there has been rumblings that the show was way past its prime. Yet, this last season has been a true treat for the fans. The acting, writing and storylines have been top notch as the series winds down by giving us some closure on the current cast and bringing back old favorites in subtle, fitting ways. Bravo!

Let’s here from our fellow ER fans! What do you think were the best moments and episodes over the last 15 seasons? Who do you think was the hottest doctor? Where were you in life when ER first hit the air?

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Written by Tyna Werner

20 Comments

  1. Profile photo of kate2004rock
    kate2004rock

    I’m plugging in my votes:

    Favorite episode: Be Still My Heart/All in the family. When Carter and Lucy get stabbed by the schizophrenic patient. One of the best story lines! It changed carter forever!

    Best relationship: Dr. Greene/Dr. Corday – they’re love was just so true and they really understood each other and he grief was so painful when he died.

    Biggest Tearjerker: I concur with Stef/Tyna on this and the runner up. I BAWLED like a baby! And Long Strange Trip made me cry also. REALLY good.

    Hottest Dr.: Hello, John Truman Carter!!! LOVE HIM!
    Best Holy Crap moment: Luca was alive and well in Africa when Carter went to serach for him even though we were supposed to believe he had died in the Congo

    Worst moment: Oh, Carrie Weaver in general. She just had no sense of humor.

    Best redemption: Dr. Morris. I agree – he was so annoying when he started but I’ve been rooting for his happy ending more than anyone else this last season!

  2. Profile photo of corinneburns
    corinneburns

    I admit, I’ve fallen in and out of watching ER on a regular basis, but like you said, this last season has been great! And now that I’ve been sucked back into the series, I am sad to see it go.

    A few notes on my bests:

    Relationship – it’s a total cliche, but Doug and Carol 4-eva!

    Tearjerker: Agreed with your picks and adding the episode where the Head Doctor’s (?) son dies of cancer and Jeanie (? – sorry my memory is crap!) sings a cover of “Time of Your Life”

    Hottest” duh, Doug and Carol! Oh and Benton got me going too

    Holy Crap: I’m going with Katie – the stabbing of Lucy and Carter made me gasp out loud

    Thanks ER for 15 great years!

  3. Profile photo of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    I was supposed to add my picks into this post, but when T told me hers, I really didn’t think I had much to add! But here’s my 2 cents anyway…

    I can’t believe Dr. Ross saving that kid from the storm drain was season 2, it really seems like yesterday. I think that was the precise moment I decided that George Clooney is the best thing since sliced bread. Luka was so obviously a Dr. Ross fill in. Don’t get me wrong, super hot. But no George Clooney.

    Worst Relationship: Abby with ANYONE. My god, she was always so uptight.

    Holy crap: I’m using Katie’s favorite episode too. The stabbing of Lucy and Carter was some good tv!

    Tearjerker: Agreed, I cried more when Dr. Green died than almost anything else I’ve ever seen on TV (sans real life stories or the Six Feet Under).

    Worst Moment: The Killer helicopter. Really, it makes you wonder what that actor did to the writers. He was such a great character and it was such a lame demise.

    I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do with myself Thursdays at 10:00. I already hate Southland (?) just out of principle!

  4. Profile photo of winnie
    winnie

    Wow! I can’t believe how much you all remember! I haven’t watched it in about 9 years! I think i even stopped before dr.green died. On another ER note, i am looking forward to new show by ER creaters, Southland. I hope its good. Who was killed by a helicopter?

  5. Profile photo of Tyna Werner
    Tyna Werner

    B- click Romano vs the helicopter one and two for both helicopter incidents. I heart youtube!

    As for Southland, I’m kind of interested, from the promos I’ve seen. If you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at that damn Jay Leno! I bet NBC would have squeezed another year out of ER, if they weren’t planning on Jay taking over the 10 spot every night.

  6. Profile photo of suzan
    suzan

    I’m so sad to see ER go. I don’t think I’m as sad as John Stamos since it finally got him out of his Uncle Jessie type cast.
    I pretty much agree with all the picks above with the exception of Kovac being hottest Doc, my vote would have to be for Clooney although I think he’s way hotter now.

  7. Profile photo of Tyna Werner
    Tyna Werner

    Aww, I liked it. I loved all the call backs to the pilot and got teary over a number of things (Benton & Carter hugging, when I recognized rachel, Franks face when he recognized Rachel) and I was So Relieved that nobody died. I keep waiting for someone/anyone to collapse and I’m glad it didn’t go that route.

    Oh and i would absolutely love to watch ER the Sequel with Rory as the Carter character. Love her to pieces and I had no idea she would be in the finale!

  8. Profile photo of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    Oh…I’m a bit disappointed at that ending too. It was kind like “wha? that’s it?” And I totally waited for previews for a good minute too!

    I’ll tell you what I did really like though. The deaf actor who played Reese as a baby coming back to play him as young teen. That touched me.

    Rachel Green wanting to intern. That was a nice touch.

    And that darn Ernest Borgnine! He had me sobbing.

    But in general, I enjoyed the recap show way more than the finale. Dr. Greene’s dying scenes had me bawling like it was yesterday. Hubby even got a tissue for that (shh, don’t tell).

    Awww, I’m sad it’s over…

  9. Profile photo of Tyna Werner
    Tyna Werner

    I liked the softer, subtle touch. And I really liked the idea that the people – doctors, nurses, patients – may change but the ER goes on – life and death and people trying to help. Nothing wrapped up in a nice bow and than that closing shot of all of County (and Carter back again!) working triage and the theme song playing with the El above them? neat. I say it again – I liked it!

    Oh yeah – I also loved the mash-up of the original credits with the current doctors.

  10. Profile photo of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    I agree with you T. I liked the subtle touch. I like that no one died. And I like the whole “the ER goes on” thing. But I would have liked a bit more emotion in that final scene…something! If they would have saved Sam and Tony’s hand holding till the end. Or Romano’s ghost flew by in a ghost helicopter and waved with his good hand.

    That reunion show reminded me how much I loved his character. That scene were he used sign language on Reese w/out letting anyone know was a favorite moment.

  11. Profile photo of suzan
    suzan

    I enjoyed the final episode. I was all ready for a good cry and I had some moments where I welled up but I didn’t turn in to the blubbering mess I thought I would.
    I really liked that they took it back to the ER roots starting with Morris catching some sleep on the night shift.
    For a moment I thought the pregnant woman with twins was Hathaway.
    I loved Frank looking at Rachel, that got me.
    I’m glad they didn’t do any “jump the shark” type stuff like a killer helicopter. I was so worried Sam was going to take off in the new car and plunge into a river.
    The part with the old couple and her dying got me too.
    The reunion show was probably one of the best I’ve seen. That opening was amazing! I love the shot of Benton in the hallway with his Karate chop.
    I’m still wondering what happened to the mom with the heart condition though. She came back because the heart was failing but unless I missed something they didn’t re-adress the issue.

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