Thursday, April 02, 2009


(warning: I've had way too much coffee today so this post is a bit at your own risk!)

When I was only 23 years old, with hardly a care in the world, things were pretty good. I was living in a fun apartment in Waltham, MA with two of my girlfriends. We had tons of parties. Our laundromat was across the street from Bambino's Sports Bar (which often led to us forgetting that we had clothes in the dryer for hours at a time because we were too busy boozing it up at the bar. Might have been the only time in my life that I looked forward to "laundry day!"). All in all, life was pretty fun.

I remember at the time thinking that it was strange that there were two hospital dramas premiering at the same time on TV, both set in Chicago. For no real reason other than the fact that I watched NBC pretty diligently on Thursday nights already (watching Seinfeld and an interesting new show called "Friends"), I decided that I would give "er" a shot over "Chicago Hope." I remember at the time that I also found it strange that NBC was putting a show on the air called "er," because hadn't there already been a TV show called "er" some years before? (I later would learn that I was correct, the difference being that the original "er" was a half-hour sitcom, with the ironic twist that one of the sitcom's stars was George Clooney!)

Anyways, I fell in love with er almost instantly. After all, it starred Goose! (side note: we went to college with an Anthony Edwards look alike; but no one really knew the actor by his real name at that time, and our friend wound up with the nickname "Goose" permanently...come to think of it I don't even remember his real first name...Brian, maybe?)

Needless to say, ER was pretty popular that first season (at least with the women I knew), due to some familiar faces (Dr. Benton a.k.a. the Soul Glo guy from "Coming To America"), and due to some new, fresh (a.k.a. hot!!) faces...Noah Wyle and George Clooney are coming to mind here...I mean, let's be real here, what woman didn't fall in love with Doug Ross, and didn't absolutely want to cuddle up with that young, adorable John Carter?

(sorry...I got a bit carried away for a moment, I think I am regressing back to what it felt like to be 23!)

By the following year, almost every girl I knew (including myself) was getting "The Rachel" haircut, and many many guys I knew were adopting the Clooney "Caesar" hair. (not that ANYONE could pull it off as well as George....*sigh*....sorry, getting carried away again!)

But it wasn't just the beautiful people on "er" that made me tune in week after week, year after year. It was the stories they told, the realism of the show with all the medical jargon and fast-paced action.

(Another side note: one of my very best friends is a surgeon, and has done rotations in the emergency room. At a wedding recently, we were discussing the various "Medical" shows on TV, such as er, Grey's Anatomy, etc. We asked him which tv medical show was the most accurate portrayal of what it is truly like to be a doctor working in a hospital, and without skipping a beat his response was "Scrubs." Classic!)

And I absolutely loved the drama in this show. Thinking back, "er" has had some of the most heart stopping scenes I have ever witnessed on screen. One of my favorite episodes of all time (déjà vu, I think I've blogged about this before?) was when Lucy and Doctor Carter were both stabbed in the er by the crazy patient. Carter falls to the floor, and it is only then that he sees Lucy, also on the floor, dying before his eyes while he is helpless to assist her. All the while, the rest of the staff is having a freakin' Halloween Party and has no idea what is going on!!! BRILLIANT TELEVISION!

Or what about the episode when Josh Lyman brings his pregnant wife in to the hospital, and she winds up prematurely giving birth and dying...I cried so hard during that episode, and still have a hard time watching it when I catch it on reruns...

And hey, when Mark Greene was divorced and started dating, does anyone remember when he was dating that slightly crazy lady named Cynthia Hooper? Did you know that was Mariska Hargitay, long before "Law & Order SVU"?

Who can forget when Romano lost his arm to the helicopter blade? (Did you know that he was in the original movie "Fame")? I have to admit though, it was pretty silly when he wound up being killed by yet another helicopter accident.

There have been rumors circulating that the way they are going to bring the entire cast back for the finale is with John Carter dying and everyone attending his funeral. I certainly hope that is not the case, because I barely got through Mark's death in Hawaii.

What a ridiculous post this has been! I am overtired, and it is going to be interesting to see if I can even stay awake for tonight's series finale. And with my Tivo not working properly, I kind of don't have a choice.

I have hung in there for all fifteen years of this show, and it has never let me down. I can hardly believe it is all over and I am sooo not ready for Thursday nights at 10:00PM to be taken over by...Jay Leno? Ewww....

If you have a favorite "er" episode or memory, let me know.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that Clooney is going to be on the finale tonight? ;-)