Hi friends, welcome to TV Tuesday. Today I’m about to embark on a journey. I spent the last three years watching ER, now here I am, finally sharing all my thoughts. This is going to be a long series, so I hope you enjoy. Today I’ll be talking about the first season.
My opening thoughts on ER is that it’s an alright show. The first episode felt like it took place in the dark a lot, not that that’s a bad thing or anything just an interesting choice. I do like how they set the first episode up as 24 hours in a doctor’s shoes, that was definitely a good choice because it gives time for the viewer to get to know these characters.
Obviously there are a multitude of characters and after just one episode you can’t know who is who, or how you feel about them yet. I only got like 4 of the doctors/residents and I know as I continue to watch I’ll figure it out.
First off I know that George Clooney plays a paediatrician named Dr. Ross; his intro was rather abrupt as he comes into the hospital hungover and he sleeps it off until shift. I think this is supposed to make him look like a bad guy, but when you see him work with patients he seems like a decent guy.
There’s also Dr. Mark Greene; I think he’s the main doctor the show chose to focus on he seems to be the one who has to put out all the fires and make sure everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to. We also learn that he has a wife and a kid, but it looks like things aren’t going so well. His wife says he ever sees him anymore, and when he says he’ll call her back he doesn’t. This sounds like recipe for disaster.
You can also see him toying with the idea of leaving the ER for a more permanent doctor position, like a physician, but he doesn’t want to give it up.
There’s Dr. Benton who seems to be always angry and wants to do things himself. I’m not really sure what his deal is yet. He has a third year medical student who is on his service Dr. Carter and you can tell he’s nervous and scared. I love the talk Greene gives him about leaving his feelings out of it or he’ll be sick a lot. It was meaningful because by the end of the episode he’s more sure of himself.
I know there are other doctors, but they didn’t really standout as much as these 4.
Now I’m not a doctor, or work anywhere near a hospital, but this looked authentic and like how a real hospital works unlike other doctor shows that show more of the drama than anything else.
So in the first episode one of their own overdoses on meds and tries to kill herself. Now, the second episode takes place eight weeks later we find out a little more in the fact that Doug, Dr. Ross, used to date her for two years and he blames himself for what happened. It takes a lot of courage for him just to go see her, but when he does, you can tell she still feels something for him.
We’re led to believe things are going well with Mark and his wife after we find out she passed her bar exam and they get caught having sex in the hospital. But alas, things aren’t as rosy as they seem; she knows he’s not going to leave the hospital for a more stable and set houred job, and he doesn’t say anything because she speaks the truth, even if he doesn’t want to admit it out loud.
For some reason I’m really attached to Mark; I like his character.
The new guy, John, Dr. Carter makes his first life save. All he really wanted was to get away from a messy job so he makes an excuse to check on another patient, only to find him coding. The poor guy he looks so confused and everyone is off busy with something else, he literally grabs he paddles, dragging the rest of the cart to save him. I got a little worried, but when they saved the man! I felt really proud for him.
He’s also got this weird girl now hanging around. Before she tried to get into Mark’s pants, but now it’s looking like John is an easier target. I feel like she could be permanent.
The girl who tried to kill herself, I have learned is named Carol and it’s now her first day back to work. Everyone is kind of on edge, and she has a lot to think about. You can tell she’s thinking a lot about life. Then there’s Doug who wants to get back with her, but I’m glad she sees through him, as it looks like he’s just asking out of guilt. As much as Doug looks like a sweet guy, (like just look at how he handles babies and kids!) I’m sure he has his flaws.
I do like how they all come together in the end to wish Carol back; it’s so sweet to see how they all care for her.
Also, stray observation, I think her name is Susan, her closeness to Mark, I like them as friends, but I won’t be surprised if something happens between them at any point in this series.
I thought I had a soft spot for Mark, nope it’s actually for John. He loses his first patient, a teenage boy, and it feels too close and too real. Then he gets the patients parents wrong, poor guy (but I kinda did see that coming). It’s when he’s trying to figure out why he’s trying to become a doctor that a woman giving birth abruptly shows up and he pretty much delivers the baby. Truly a heartwarming scene.
We are starting to get a sense for who these characters are. Benton is still an ass, and he’s becoming even more of one. We learn that something is wrong with his mother and it’s his siblings who take care of her, and he storta wants nothing to do with her; pretty much saying that his job is more important. Ugh. Plus, he’s got this competition going on with a doctor named Sarah who’s in the year above him. Fun tension.
Doug is seriously crazy if he thinks Carol is going to take him back. I’m glad she goes over him to tell him no. Like he can’t just drunkenly waltz back into her life.
But he is really sweet when he goes above and beyond to give this woman money so she can keep her daughter healthy.
Mark’s wife gets a job offer in Milwaukee, which would mean they would have to move from Chicago, and now he really has to think about things. It isn’t until he sees a middle aged man dying and his wife and daughter left to pick up the pieces that it clicks for him; he’d do anything for his family… even move.
He consults Susan about it and of course she thinks it’s career suicide. Ugh.
So it’s Susan’s birthday and she’s been dating Div, a psyche doctor and I can’t stand him. When her sister shows up high/drunk out of her mind and has a meltdown, Div still wants to go out and pretty much pretend like nothing ever happened. I do not like this guy. I get that his job isn’t easy, but it doesn’t give you an excuse to be rude and awful.
I like that it’s Dr. Carter who she ends her night with, he’s a good guy.
Jerry is funny. He shows up every once in a while, he does a lot of the paper and admin stuff at the ER desk, but he always has these lines, he seems like a very reliable guy too.
Dr. Benton has this interview for a fellowship and he’s the youngest being interviewed for it. I don’t know if he’s going to get it, but it’s definitely going to drive him crazy if he doesn’t.
Carol is caught between two lovers. She kisses Doug, but she’s also seeing another doctor at the hospital, some guy named John (not Dr. Carter). She says she’s moving in with John, but we’ll see.
Dr. Benton doesn’t get the fellowship, surprise, surprise. It goes to Sarah. He acts like he knew he wasn’t going to get it, but we all knew he thought he was better than everybody else. He admits to the fact that losing sucks and it hurts, so that’s a step in the right direction.
But now he’s sorta changed. He’s acting nicer to people, which is very unusual for him.
I feel so bad for Dr. Carter. He has a patient who is a transgender and she wants is to be a woman, but the world doesn’t see him that way. So she gets on the roof to jump. Carter desperately tries to save her, but it’s no use. Uh my heart goes out to him.
Then there’s Div who is clinically depressed, but doesn’t want to admit it. Then he sorta does. So now Susan is waiting for him for thanksgiving dinner and we see that he’s out in the middle of the street trying to kill himself.
We need to unpack Bob. So I don’t know where she came from, but all of a sudden she showed up and she was just helping out. We find out she’s Polish, and then when they get this giant rush in the middle of a storm and she’s watching two nurses trying to save a patient. One minute she’s on the sidelines, and then the next she’s in the patient saving their life.
She runs out thinking she’ll never get to work in the hospital. Obviously it’s Dr. Carter who finds her, and that’s when she opens up and says she was a surgeon in her country, but she has to take the board test to become one in America, but she doesn’t speak English well enough to. That’s when Carter says he’ll teach her English so she can. This guy I swear he’s too sweet!
So Carol’s Dr. John guy, who he goes by Tag proposes to her and she says yes. Doug on the other hand has gotten himself a superficial girlfriend; Linda. She’s all about the looks and the money, and that is so not Doug. Doug constantly thinks about Carol, so on Christmas he goes to her apartment to ask her out again, and profess his love. Well that doesn’t go very well for him because she says no, again. Poor guy is really hooked on her.
We still know that Benton is fast to jump, but donating a guy’s organs before the wife gives consent, dude. It’s lucky that Mark was able to talk her into signing the papers because she wasn’t going to. * eye roll *
So Div is just gone. Vanished. Okay then. I hope we get more on that. Susan is obviously crushed, then to top it off her crazy sister says she’s pregnant. Yikes! Oh, but it only gets better; now her sister is planning to move to Texas. Alright then.
Susan’s life just can’t seem to catch a break because after this she loses a patient after she didn’t properly look after him and the family is now suing.
I don’t get Benton’s deal. His mother needs to be put in a home where people can look after her, but he doesn’t want to, plus his mother doesn’t want to go, but at the same time he doesn’t want to look after her. I feel like he thinks his family are just in the way of everything and he’s rather not have them.
There’s also a new student in town under Benton’s watch and of course he makes Carter do everything. It is good to see Carter in a more authoritative role.
Also WHAT is with Ross all of a sudden saying he has an eight-year-old son?!?!?! Are we going to get more on that?
I do like that Ross is getting close to this kid named Jake. They shoot hoops, it’s quite cute.
Of course it’s Benton who abuses nurses and I love that Carol (who is a nurse) jumps at him and tells him like it is – that nurses are pretty much what make the ER run. I love how much this show appreciates them because they are so under appreciated.
Mark gets offered a job as attending next year, as he’s still a resident, and he’s overjoyed. But when he goes home to tell his wife, well that’s a different story because she’s not very happy. She wants him to put his career on hold so that she can pursue hers, just like how she put her career on hold for him.
So Benton has to take time off to be with his mother, and so he’s trying to get some to take his shift, and it’s been noticed that he has been taken time off. He’s told that maybe he should take some time off and rejoin the program next year. Damn, that sucks, and obviously that is a big no-no in Benton’s book.
Everyone is thinking about next year; I wonder where everyone is going to end up.
They have this young girl, Tatiana, come in and she only speaks Russian. The woman who brought it in just adopted her from Russia, but she can’t really deal with her. Carol gets very attached to her and when the woman leaves, Carol is so mad. On top of that they found she has AIDS. I have a feeling she’s going to take her in.
I was right! She wants to adopt her, and she brings this up with Tag, and he is so not on board. I’m so curious where this going to go!
Well it doesn’t go very far. Things are looking good, that is until they find out she tried to commit suicide a year ago, now she has no chances. It’s so heartbreaking to see. I knew she was going to see Doug because he’s the only one who believed in her that she could do this.
To add to the sadness, Mark’s wife tells him she’s leaving him. She can’t deal with the separation that they already have and she hates that he’s never given up anything for her and her career.
Benton thinks he’s super human (although we already knew that) and thinks he doesn’t need sleep so he goes 48 hours on shift without sleeping… no idea how he manages that. Well he gets through and fakes that he’s slept. He’s agreed to watch his mother while his sister goes away for the weekend, but he’s so tired he falls asleep and doesn’t hear her and she falls down the stairs. I have a feeling she’s not going to make it.
Ok, I was wrong; Benton’s mother doesn’t die, but this really makes him understand that his mother needs more help than any of them can give her. When he asks for help, you can tell it hurts him, and when he has to tell his mother, that hurts him too; but I think he’s finally starting to see clearer.
That episode with the pregnant woman, wow. I’m not keen on having children, and I think that episode sealed the deal for me. This poor woman, anything that could go wrong, went wrong and she ended up dying. This greatly affects Mark. It’s so hard to watch Mark deal with this. He’s becoming a completely different person and I’m not liking it. I’m not liking this sad dangerous path he’s on. He then goes through anger… but now that I think about it, I think he’s truly going through the stages of grief.
I also have to say, Bradley Witford guest-starred as the father in that episode. He’s such a good actor, like you feel his pain. I love his acting!
Well Mark is starting to get better. I think he doesn’t want the job anymore; now that they have a new chief in town, Mark does not get along with him so he doesn’t think he’s going to get the job. Now he’s looking at places to live in Milwaukee to be closer to his family. But it’s looking like his wife is taking him back, which I’m happy about, I like that he’s starting to become the happy Mark again.
And I was right, Benton is changing, he’s nicer now, saying thank you, which surprises everyone. I could get used to this new Benton.
When they find out Carter is loaded (which is only speculation, it was never confirmed) as he went to school with one of the top donors to the hospital. This is an interesting plot they’ve added for him.
Well Susan’s sister, Chloe is back… Texas didn’t last very long, she’s still very pregnant and Susan doesn’t want to take care of her. Her parents don’t really want to either. Just when we thought their parents were going to help out, their mom backs out… she says she already raised her kids she doesn’t want to do it again. I felt bad that her parents didn’t want to help out.
I do like that we get to see more of a background to Susan.
The birth of Chloe’s baby was actually really beautiful. Susan is really attached; I have a feeling that she’s going to end up taking care of the baby.
Carol is going crazy with the wedding, I’m starting to doubt she and Tag will get married.
Oh shit, Benton’s mother does end up dying, and it’s just really sad. Just when he was becoming a better person, I hope this doesn’t completely ruin him.
Doug, Doug, Doug. He’s been seeing Diane, Jake’s mom, but when she mentions moving in, he freaks and she finds him hanging out with another woman… oh Doug, you really messed up big time. I get being scared, but don’t run to another woman.
The season ends on a sad, yet happy note. So Carter had to figure out what he’s doing next year and since he turned down the ER residency thinking he’d get the surgical one. But when it comes that he didn’t get the surgical one, he’s left with nothing. So he’s found placement at another hospital. This means he gets to fill out an evaluation of Benton. He’s really mean about it, but when he 1) finds out that a spot opened with Benton in the fall and 2) Benton wrote a high praise of him, he has to take back what he wrote. I love that Carter isn’t leaving, I think I would cry if he was; he’s definitely a favourite of mine.
I also want to add that the backstory we learn about his sick brother who didn’t make it, uh such a personal touch as to why he’s so good with all his patients.
Then there’s Susan, see I knew it; so Chloe leaves, up and leaves, leaving Susan with the baby. I had a feeling this would happen, but I think she’ll make a good mom!
Then damn, Tag and Carol! It’s their wedding day, everyone looks good… but they can’t find Tag. Carol does, and he fuckin’ breaks up with her. I cried for her; after everything she’s been through in the past year, she doesn’t deserve that. I love that she goes to her own reception and she has a good time with her family and friends, it shows how strong she is. Fuck Tag.
Anyways, I’m completely hooked and I can’t wait to see what season two has in store!