Friday, April 03, 2009

end of an ERa


i didn't think i'd be so emotional...

so last night was the last episode of ER.
although i can't say that i watched it from the very first episode, i can say that it has been a staple of m,y must-see-tv thursday nights for the past 12 years at least; the frenetic, emotional, unpredictable, moving medical drama to cap off a night of what was usually some pretty good comedy. for the longest time, thursday night was the ONLY night i watched any television; friends, seinfeld, will and grace, all those wannabe hits in between...and ending with the ER staff and patients at county. it all was part of the package, part of the experience.

i might have said before how the show first grabbed me. living with my then-girlfriend, dani, we had watched the comedies and would leave the tv on in the background as we would talk and do other things. we were just sitting there chatting, vaguely aware of what was going on on the show, when a very violent trauma rolled through the ER doors--a man had fallen in front of a train on the elevated tracks outside the hospital. the body was a mess, unrecognizable, but when the docs tried to page one of the interns who was supposed to be there...the pager went off on the body.
dani and i hadn't even realized that our conversation had dropped off as we were both drawn into the intense action, and we both breathed incredulous gasps as the horror unfolded. incredible.
we were hooked.

thursday night now had an anchor on the other end and we would watch religiously. our friend, drew, started coming over every thursday for the ritual and we three soon realized how much these characters meant to us, their ups and downs, their successes and failures, their lives.
my folks watched it and my mom and i would discuss it each week. mike and i watched it and had great in depth conversations about the characters the storytelling, the good story lines and the bad. about four years ago, when abby (maura tierney) was going through such a sad time and the show was actually kinda depressing, we agreed to stop watching, both of us too sensitive to watch our friend have to go through anymore of that. three weeks later we admitted to each other that we were still secretly watching, that it was too hard to tear away. couple of wusses.
craig and i watch it. we do the rundown of all the thursday night shows on friday morning, reliving them and reciting our favorite lines from the comedies and telling how much we love the characters on ER.
since sharon's moved in, she's watched it with me and i've had a chance to enjoy it all all over again when i have to give her the backstory on this character or, lately, returning character.

i'll miss ER. because it's become a part of me. i'll miss the characters, i'll miss my friends.
when my mom was dying three years ago, hospice had come in and set up a bed in our living room where we could all be around her and where she could watch television. from 10 am 'til noon TNT ran back to back reruns of ER and my mom wanted it on. the show, for all of it's intense emergencies and graphic surgeries, was comforting. it is. we would say, "are you sure you want this on? stories about dying and, especially, cancer?" she did. because the show wasn't about death and dying, it was about hope. i also think that, as my mom slipped away from us that sad january morning with an episode on, that she felt that she was surrounded by her family...and friends.

i watched the show last night with tears in my eyes. it wasn't that it was such an emotional episode--it was nice--but i was sad for the end of something special. special to me, anyway. yes, like any show, there were good seasons and bad, ups and downs, characters that i loved and others that never did anything for me. but it's 15 year run has coincided with a really exciting period in my life; i first started writing comics 15 years ago. ER has been my friend through my ups and downs, my successes and failures, and especially, my wins and losses.

thank you, ER. i will miss you.


4 baby asian otters

tv land
"five for friday"
name the following classic tv series...







not the show; name the actresses...

(i was always partial to sabrina...)

have a great weekend!
smell ya later!


Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

1. Father Knows Best.

2. Gun Smoke

3. Mod Squad

4. Bonanza

5. Rawhide

Bonus. Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackscon. I know Farah was the one with the best selling poster, but Ms. Smith was my favorite.

Hmmm, I'd say I watch too much TV, but I got Rawhide without ever seeing an episode thanks to Clint "Rowdy Yates" Eastwood.

todd said...


stupid me!

mike estelle was kind enough to point out to me that, by scrolling over the various pics in the five for friday, the titles of each show come up in the lower browser.

i'm an idiot with technology.

sorry, gang!

Anonymous said...


You know I forgive you for the faux pas with the pics because, despite my being a child of the "new millennium" I didn't think to look for that mistake nor was I able to identify more that 2 of the TV show casts you presented.

In reference to your tribute to the magnificence that is ER, what more could the writers and the late great Michael Crichton hope to hear as feedback for their show. If there was one thing they set off to accomplish with this milestone in American TV programming, aside from great ratings, you named it in this one blog posting.

Also, I think the Watchmen movie sucked.


Jared W. Adams

P.S. I think we should come up with a term to describe the act of confusing an MLB player with a Marvel Comics scribe since, earlier this evening, being a Red Sox fan, I confused famed Kick Ass writer Mark Millar with former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar in the midst of an intense game of Beer Pong with various colleagues.

P.S.S. Lufthold is the greatest place ever created.

~ Wendy ~ said...

I, too, loved ER and watched it from the start but am sad to say that have not watched the last couple years of it. I do remember the episode with the pager and was shocked when Carter tried paging and it went off in the pocket of the person in the ER.. shocked - what a great show. Just when you thought it was perdictable - WHAM!

Warren said...

I never watched ER, but it is good to see a show go out while it's still popular and putting out quality episodes. I hate watching a show (like say, the Simpsons) limping along way past its prime.

Better to go out while people will still miss you when you're gone.

Hope something equally as good replaces it.

Matt Wieringo said...

ER lost me the first time with when Sherri Stringfield's "crazy" sister showed up, an annoying plot device that keeps popping up in all my favorite shows. I came back for a short while, then quit again. Then came back and the last time I stopped watching was when the jerk doctor (Emil from ROBOCOP) lost his arm in the helicopter accident. It seemed like they were trying to outdo themselves each week in horror and anguish. As much as I like horror movies, I couldn't take it on a work night. Never saw another complete episode even though Suzanne kept up with it.

Brian said...


ER, along with all of NBC's other 10:00 p.m. shows, will be replaced by Jay Leno next season as his new prime time show is scheduled for five nights a week at 10.