Friday , June 21 2024
How the mighty have fallen.

Taking ER Off Life Support

I made an incredibly hard decision this past weekend. It was one that was a long time coming. It cut me to the quick, but I found that I had no other choice. It was one of the harder decisions I’ve had to make in recent times, but now that the decision over with, the trigger is pulled, I stand by it. Hard though it was, this was the right decision.

After watching every episode for over 12 years, ER has been removed from my TiVo. 

I truly didn’t have an easy time pulling the plug on the show, weak shadow of its former self that it may be, but I just can’t devote 44 minutes of my time 22 weeks a year to it anymore. It gnaws at my insides and just tears me up, but I’ve reached an endpoint.

It’s gone. It’s over. I’m done with it. Is it the rehashing of old storylines? Is it that every person that was there from the beginning has left as have many of their replacements? Is it the fact that the new people simply aren’t that interesting? Is it the substitution of moody, dark, lighting for actual drama? Yes. It’s all that and more.

I know that I’ve been complaining about ER all season long, but I’ve finally had enough, I simply can’t stomach it anymore. The show lost its creative direction years ago, and has been coasting aimlessly ever since. I’ve chosen to get out now, when I can still remember the good old days of Carter and Benton and Greene. The days when Ross was still a lovable loser instead of a savior. A time when Hathaway was still getting over her failed suicide attempt. That was an ER that was innovative; it was new and different, fast-paced and fun. Today’s ER in no way resembles that show that I grew to know and love. 

Today’s ER is entirely driven by the love lives of the doctors and nurses; patients and maladies are a complete afterthought. The number of romantic couplings, and near couplings, have grown to extraordinary proportions. The staff’s own personal foibles and issues at one time influenced the way that they treated patients; now we’re shown them as a substitute for having to have the doctors treat patients at all. 

I’ve been watching this new version of ER for years, and I’ve had enough of it. I can’t watch it anymore. 

Yes, if ER ends in the next two or three years I’ll tune in for the final episode. I’ll come back to the show in order to say goodbye, farewell, and amen. But, at this point, that’s just about it. Maybe if Mark Greene comes back from beyond the grave to explain to everyone at County just what it is that they are doing that is wrong I could still be a part of it, but even that might come off as just too hokey. 

Honestly, it’s my hope and dream that come the final episode of ER, the audience will be treated to a final shot in which Benton’s mom is sitting there in her bed, alive and well, looking at a snow globe with Country General inside it. At this point, that’s just about the only sort of apology that might be acceptable. 

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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