I remember rushing to get home from work every Thursday night in time to see ER.....................never failed that no matter how I hurried I would ALWAYS get stuck at the RR crossing for 15 minutes....................ARGH! Finally had to figure out how to program the VCR ..................hard to believe it was 15 YEARS ago! Oh MY!!!
Thank You, George Clooney, for Reminding Us That "ER" is Special
by Stephanie Reid-Simons on March 13, 2009
The year was 1994, and aÂ certain-to-be legendaryÂ new medical show was about to debut on Thursday nights at 10. Strong cast, famous creator, fast-paced drama, all the good stuff. Critics raved. The show?Â Chicago Hope, of course. And David E. Kelley's Hope was terrific, but it got hit by theÂ freight train that was Michael Crichton'sÂ ER, which debuted at the same time. I'mÂ proud to say IÂ broke from many of my fellow TV criticsÂ then by choosing ER as the winner of theÂ Thursday night faceoff (I'm not infallible, by any means, as I also predicted great things for Fired Up).
ER brilliantly balanced adrenaline, jargon and heart. AndÂ it's no suprise that Nurse Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) fell for Dr. Doug Ross (George Clooney) -- we did too, despite his roguish nature. We wereÂ so happyÂ to see the two of them head off into the sunset together in Seattle back in season six, and I don't know about you, but I always hoped we'd see them again. Clooney's reappearance back then was brief, a cameo. This time around, with the series finale looming, he's got a whole storyline, with Susan Sarandon to play off of (!). The Clooney episode, called "In Times of Old," aired last night (and is available to watch now at Amazon Video On Demand). ItÂ spends a lot of time in Seattle, at the University of Washington Medical Center, where Dr. Ross is an attending andÂ Hathaway is aÂ transplant coordinatorÂ who needs to learn how to say Spokane (Spo-CAN, not Spo-CAIN). Even if you've notÂ seen the show for a while, you'll find that it's easyÂ to slip right back in, largely because there are so many familiar faces, including those of Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle,Â the original who stuck around the longest)Â and Dr. Benton (Eriq La Salle). Depending on when you lastÂ watched the show, you may be surprised to see Dr. Lockhart (Maura Tierney) and Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) out of the picture, on to their happy ending together in another city.Â Also out of Chicago: Dr. Weaver (LauraÂ Innes)Â and Dr. Lewis (Sherry Stringfield), though we may yet see them again. Dr. RosgotraÂ (ParminderÂ Nagra)Â is still there.Â SamanthaÂ Taggart (Linda Cardellini) ably carries the beloved nurse mantle and John Stamos is the hot doc. Dr. Banfield (Angela Bassett) is running things and Dr.Â Morris (Scott Grimes) has grown from pot-head screwup to responsible guy. Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards), Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane), Dr. Gallant (Sharif Atkins)Â and Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) are still dead, though that hasn't stopped ER from bringing some of them back for occasional appearances (like Dr. Greene in the current-season episode "Heal Thyself").Â
I remember when David Caruso made his triumphant return in theÂ last seasonÂ of NYPD Blue. Oh wait: THAT NEVER HAPPENED!!! That's because it's rare for a TV star to leave his top-rated show for movie glory, achieve said glory and come back for a classyÂ victory lap years later. Bonus points to Clooney for being Dr. Ross, not just Movie Star on TV Show. And bonus points to the show for advancing itsÂ current characters, most notably Bassett's. I'm hooked again, ready to watch through the end (coming April 2), even though I'll need to figure out who Dr. English AccentÂ is and what's going on with him and Dr. Rosgotra.Â -- Stephanie Reid-Simons, Amazon Video On DemandÂ Â
P.S. Want to seeÂ what elseÂ ER stars have been up to? Check out this great list, starting with Noah Wyle asÂ anÂ atypical action hero in The Librarian: The Judas Chalice.Â