Friday , March 1 2024
To ER or not ER, that is the question.

Mark Greene Returns to the ER, Should I Follow?

I'm on the fence, well and truly on the fence.  Anthony Edwards returns to ER this evening.  Yes, Mark Green died years ago, but why should that stop the once venerable drama from bringing back one of its original stars?  I was once the most devoted fan ER ever had.  I watched every episode for years on end, even once I was convinced that the show was horrific, I continued to watch.  I watched ER for at least three seasons past when I really should have.  Once Noah Wyle was no longer fulltime I should have given the show no time.

Now however, Anthony Edwards is back… for one last episode.  Apparently he's only there in flashback mode, which helps make the whole thing palatable, but I just don't know whether or not I should dive in again.

Some would say something like "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me," and that might apply here.  I don't want it to though because it would mean that I was fooled for a few too many seasons.  Consequently, I'm going to not go with that adage, and even have come up with a spiffy argument to convince myself that I'm right.

See, I am refusing to be suckered back in to watching on a weekly basis.  I was already debating watching the upcoming Noah Wyle episodes (I love that John Truman Carter III), so I might tune into those too, but that's it… unless of course Eriq La Salle opts to appear on camera instead of just behind it, or George Clooney comes back, or Julianna Margulies, or maybe even Erik Palladino.  If those people come back I'm totally going to have to watch again (Sherry Stringfield already came back once, so I need not witness another return of hers).

But seriously, there will be no return to weekly watching for me, my only question is if it'll be worth tuning in to a few of the final episodes (including the return of Doc Greene).  On the pro side is that I'm hugely interested in what happens. I'm curious to find out if they get cutesy with trying to wedge the story into a portion of the show's timeline that I'm already well familiar with or if it's some heretofore unknown bit.  Enquiring minds want to know.  Plus, Greene was a great character and Edwards was great as him.  It might be nice to see the man reprise the role.

There is, however, also a huge negative side.  It's entirely possible – nay, likely – that if I watch the episode I'll be massively disappointed.  Massively.  Disappointed.  I don't want that to happen.  I like remembering Mark Greene the way he was (prior to the inoperable brain tumor, of course), I don't want to watch if he, like the show, will only be an empty shell of its former self.

On the other hand (again) maybe it'll be great.  Maybe it'll help resurrect the once great drama.  Maybe the show is going to go out on a high note, maybe it'll be the next "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen."  That would be something.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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