Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
SilverStormm

All Episodes Talk: What's Up Doc?

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, lastminutemaniac said:

I've been watching this series for the past few months and I'm in the middle of season 8 now. Got a real love-hate relationship with it. It really does have its moments, which have kept me watching all this time, but other times.......man, does it piss me off!

When it's good it's phenomenal, but gosh...it's rife with odd plot decisions and SO many mean-spirited (or just plain gross) jokes. I really had to quit watching "Secrets and Lies" after Carter revealed he "lost his virginity" to a 25 year old woman when he was 11 and Susan and Abby laughed. A child molestation joke, and they just sweep it under the rug. Made me sick. I bet it's never going to be brought up again. I have no idea why anyone thought that was a good thing to include. Nobody through the whole production process spoke up and said "Hey, maybe we shouldn't turn child sexual abuse into a joke?" 

Spoiler

You are correct.  It is never mentioned again.

That entire episode was probably the worst of the series, IMO.  First, we had the pissing contest between Carter and Luka over Abby, no less, possibly the worst girlfriend/wife ever.  And, the ongoing character assassination that was Susan's return to the show.  She joked in a previous episode about wanting to see Carter's scars from the stabbing like it was hilarious, she's been 'dating' Carter for a couple months and they haven't slept together, then she cackles like hen over the notion that Carter was molested by a maid when he was 11.  Susan knew about his brother's death, she knew he had a difficult childhood; her going along with the group and laughing about Carter's wealthy upbringing was just appalling.  I don't remember if it was Susan or Abby, but one of them actually asked if his parents paid the maid to have sex with him.  What kind of person even thinks that, let alone would say it out loud and laugh?  The end of the episode where Susan actually encourages Carter to pursue Abby like it was a good idea was just frosting on a very ugly cake.  Old school Susan would have never behaved that way.

As for Abby, that episode kind of summed up why I found her so unlikable:  the snottiness about being a nurse and not a doctor (knowing she was going back to med school about 10 minutes later), the contest to find out who was the youngest to lose their virginity which she proposed, the back and forth playing Carter against Luka...  Abby was really a horrible human being.  I suppose that means MT was a very fine actress in the role; because she sure sold Abby.  Not too many shows allow their female leads to be so flawed and selfish.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Secrets and Lies is one episode I never watched again.  I loathe it.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
32 minutes ago, RedbirdNelly said:

it was really bad. Surprisingly bad. It's hard to imagine what they were thinking writing it.

The only redeeming parts were Luka talking about losing his virginity on his wedding night because he loved his wife and that's what she wanted. And that it was a wonderful memory. It put the juvenile snickering and smirking over the others' first experiences to shame.  Then, he got to recite Hamlet's soliloquy in Croatian and the TV melted.  It still wasn't enough to rescue this episode from the trash heap though.  And the contrast between Luka's maturity and the immaturity of the rest of the bunch didn't help any of the characters.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

"Secrets and Lies"...barf. I don't know anyone that liked that one. Myself included. And it made all the characters involved look awful. Not one character was spared. Luka had the scenes above, but the fact that even he participated in the juvenile antics that landed everyone there...well, this was an episode best forgotten.

But then, the latter half of the show became increasingly juvenile if not downright lazy with tanks and Choppers of Doom and such. I think S7 was the turning point to dark and dreary (often even literally with the then-new set!) and generally infantile.

At least the show did a nice rebound for its final year.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

You know in a different era I wonder if Carter and Benton would have gotten together eventually. They had amazing chemistry. They respected and you could say loved each other. In a different era of network tv i could see them getting together. 

And I dare say Noah Wyle and Eriq La Salle probably would be comfortable with it as they remain extremely close friends to this day.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 10/4/2019 at 6:57 AM, doodlebug said:

...then she cackles like hen over the notion that Carter was molested by a maid when he was 11.  Susan knew about his brother's death, she knew he had a difficult childhood; her going along with the group and laughing about Carter's wealthy upbringing was just appalling

What made it even more awful was that the writers/directors seemed to know it was a messed-up joke, they had Gallant looking concerned and Carter half-smiling like he’d really rather not talk about it. He told that anecdote so listlessly. Somebody somewhere during the production process was like, Carter knows this is fucked up, and it’s gonna show on his face. Anyone would know it’s messed up. I can't imagine anyone hearing that story not immediately being worried. (despite how a lot of guys on the internet seem to respond to stories of an older woman abusing a young boy with shit like “lucky kid!” or “pin a medal on him!” because people are monsters, I guess.)

It’s worse if you overthink it, like I did: Carter’s brother died 20 years ago, when Carter would have been about 11, and about the time his mother checked out emotionally. He might have been grieving, seeking out a mother figure, and some 25 year old maid took advantage of that. It’s noted that Carter has an inclination for older women. Like…..oh man.

Somebody deliberately put that line in there without a second thought and not one person involved in the project said anything. How did they think audiences would react? Like, are we supposed to laugh at the fact that Carter was abused as a child, and furthermore, that nobody cares? 

(Sorry to rant but.... that scene got me thinkin about the larger issues at hand and now I'm just really angry)

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post

Upon rewatch one thing that bugs me throughout the series is the immaturity during custody battles.

Rachel Greene was the first and only case where a couple that was able to act fairly maturely about custody.

But ...

Susan and Susie - okay I understood that it was a difficult thing for Susan to trust Chloe with little Susie. I understand that Chloe was a totally toxic personality. But we saw that their entire loves Susan and Chloe had a loving if difficult relationship. But Susan wants to adopt Susie full-time? And Chloe and her can't compromise? Finally Chloe moves to Phoenix and Susan decides she just wants to upend her life too? 

Carol, Doug and the twins - total character assassination to have Carol refuse Doug's child support and Doug abandon the babies. Carol and Doug always had a loving relationship through all the ups and downs. But Carol gets pregnant with twins and Doug is MIA and Carol can't even call him? I'm glad George Clooney showed up in Season 6 for the cameo and Carol and Doug raised the twins together in Seattle. But that one makes me furious.

Peter and Reese - again, character assassination for Peter to perjure himself on the stand to get full custody of Reese. Peter is cold and distant, but he's not unethical. Also I refuse to believe that two adults who love a child can't decide that a special needs kid like Reese can always do with one more loving adult in his life. I also hated how Peter treated Cleo-bot as a glorified babysitter and that continued even in the final season. Carter asks about Reese and Peter just says (without caring too much) "he's with Cleo." No love or enthusiasm there. No marriage, no more kids with Cleo. Cleo's just a babysitter. 

Kerry and Sandy's family - okay this one I can sort of get behind. Times were different then and in conservative families I could see Kerry's lesbianism being an issue. But again, Kerry's not allowed to SEE Henry? It just seems really contrived.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

Carol, Doug and the twins - total character assassination to have Carol refuse Doug's child support and Doug abandon the babies. Carol and Doug always had a loving relationship through all the ups and downs. But Carol gets pregnant with twins and Doug is MIA and Carol can't even call him? I'm glad George Clooney showed up in Season 6 for the cameo and Carol and Doug raised the twins together in Seattle. But that one makes me furious.

Peter and Reese - again, character assassination for Peter to perjure himself on the stand to get full custody of Reese. Peter is cold and distant, but he's not unethical. Also I refuse to believe that two adults who love a child can't decide that a special needs kid like Reese can always do with one more loving adult in his life. I also hated how Peter treated Cleo-bot as a glorified babysitter and that continued even in the final season. Carter asks about Reese and Peter just says (without caring too much) "he's with Cleo." No love or enthusiasm there. No marriage, no more kids with Cleo. Cleo's just a babysitter. 

Kerry and Sandy's family - okay this one I can sort of get behind. Times were different then and in conservative families I could see Kerry's lesbianism being an issue. But again, Kerry's not allowed to SEE Henry? It just seems really contrived.

Considering that a huge part of Doug's history was his father's abandonment of him and his mother, it particularly made no sense.  We also saw Doug and Carol decide to have a child together and Carol pursue fertility evaluations while she was with Doug.  Therefore, we have to assume that the twins were a planned pregnancy and neither expected Doug would lose his job and leave Chicago (neither did the viewers, we'd spent 3 seasons watching Doug change his life up to that point).  For Carol to refuse to let Doug know she was in labor, for Doug to not drop everything and be there was completely out of character for both.  And, for Carol to refuse child support was just mean and unfair to her kids, for that matter.  The writers should've never written the pregnancy, as it also led to Luka's kinda creepy fascination with Carol as a replacement for his late wife and kids.

The custody battle over Reese Benton also was pure character assassination.  First, we had Carla retcon her relationship with Peter as well as Reese' paternity.  Then, we had Peter seemingly jealous of Carla's widower who had a strong, loving relationship with Reese which was ridiculous.  He knew that Jackie was not a reliable caregiver at that point, there was no reason to shove Roger aside.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, doodlebug said:

Considering that a huge part of Doug's history was his father's abandonment of him and his mother, it particularly made no sense.  We also saw Doug and Carol decide to have a child together and Carol pursue fertility evaluations while she was with Doug.  Therefore, we have to assume that the twins were a planned pregnancy and neither expected Doug would lose his job and leave Chicago (neither did the viewers, we'd spent 3 seasons watching Doug change his life up to that point).  For Carol to refuse to let Doug know she was in labor, for Doug to not drop everything and be there was completely out of character for both.  And, for Carol to refuse child support was just mean and unfair to her kids, for that matter.  The writers should've never written the pregnancy, as it also led to Luka's kinda creepy fascination with Carol as a replacement for his late wife and kids.

The custody battle over Reese Benton also was pure character assassination.  First, we had Carla retcon her relationship with Peter as well as Reese' paternity.  Then, we had Peter seemingly jealous of Carla's widower who had a strong, loving relationship with Reese which was ridiculous.  He knew that Jackie was not a reliable caregiver at that point, there was no reason to shove Roger aside.

I've always ignored the illogic of the Doug situation based on the fact he left the show. Otherwise it would have been different (or in my brain I would hold Doug accountable and what the hell, let him know Carol. . . ). But that still leaves us with "why did the writers have her get pregnant?" I don't know. Bad idea on their part because what transpired really did not fit the characters at all.

I did hate the way they had Peter react to Reese's situation. It wasn't true to Peter.

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, RedbirdNelly said:

I've always ignored the illogic of the Doug situation based on the fact he left the show. Otherwise it would have been different (or in my brain I would hold Doug accountable and what the hell, let him know Carol. . . ). But that still leaves us with "why did the writers have her get pregnant?" I don't know. Bad idea on their part because what transpired really did not fit the characters at all.

I did hate the way they had Peter react to Reese's situation. It wasn't true to Peter.

What they should have done was written him out better, something that didn't have him burning all his personal and professional bridges. There was a terrific fanfic called "One Candle Burns" that had him doing a Doctors Without Borders type gig like Carter did.

As far as how badly and cruelly Peter acted regarding Reese's custody, I've seen how death can bring out the worst in people--when my sister died abruptly, my mother and BIL had an ugly falling out that resulted in none of us getting to see her younger son for over a year.

That doesn't excuse Peter's behavior, but it might explain it.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Camille said:

What they should have done was written him out better, something that didn't have him burning all his personal and professional bridges. There was a terrific fanfic called "One Candle Burns" that had him doing a Doctors Without Borders type gig like Carter did.

As far as how badly and cruelly Peter acted regarding Reese's custody, I've seen how death can bring out the worst in people--when my sister died abruptly, my mother and BIL had an ugly falling out that resulted in none of us getting to see her younger son for over a year.

That doesn't excuse Peter's behavior, but it might explain it.

I guess what pissed me off about the Peter perjuring himself storyline was that it was obviously the writers' way of writing out Eriq La Salle. It left a sour taste in my mouth the way Doug's exit did -- these were beloved characters, and to have them exit the way they did almost felt like they were shooing these characters offscreen, character assassination be damned.

Nothing Doug or Peter ever did in their years on ER ever made me rethink their "good guy" badge. It doesn't mean they didn't have flaws and moments when they were shits. But all of a sudden when they exit they do something terrible/awful? It just pissed me off.

Thankfully both were good enough sports to come back in the final season and there was some closure and we could see that Doug and Carol were very happy and Peter ... well he seemed to have a new beginning with Elizabeth. So I'm hopeful for Peter too. That final season really saved a lot of things I was angry about ER.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, Camille said:

What they should have done was written him out better, something that didn't have him burning all his personal and professional bridges. There was a terrific fanfic called "One Candle Burns" that had him doing a Doctors Without Borders type gig like Carter did.

As far as how badly and cruelly Peter acted regarding Reese's custody, I've seen how death can bring out the worst in people--when my sister died abruptly, my mother and BIL had an ugly falling out that resulted in none of us getting to see her younger son for over a year.

That doesn't excuse Peter's behavior, but it might explain it.

the part of Peter's departure they handled really well was the last episode with him and Carter. Carter gives him the subway token with a very Carter sentimental story and Benton reacts in a very Benton way--the opposite of sentimental--but you could see the bond. I'm glad they at least handled that really well. It was written in a manner that did pay attention to the characters and didn't have Benton suddenly start hugging people, etc.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, RedbirdNelly said:

the part of Peter's departure they handled really well was the last episode with him and Carter. Carter gives him the subway token with a very Carter sentimental story and Benton reacts in a very Benton way--the opposite of sentimental--but you could see the bond.

But even that didn't work, because we never saw such a scene beforehand. Why not refer to Benton taking him to rehab, or saving his life, or Carter doing Benton's appendectomy?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
15 minutes ago, Camille said:

But even that didn't work, because we never saw such a scene beforehand. Why not refer to Benton taking him to rehab, or saving his life, or Carter doing Benton's appendectomy?

Or, Carter going to Benton's for Thanksgiving or Benton walking in on Carter and first Abby or Benton and the 'jazz club' or Carter losing Benton's slides for his big presentation in a fire?  There were so many different stories that would've worked.

TPTB also did well in the final season when they wrote Carter's kidney transplant storyline and had Benton keeping an eye on him.  Benton's face when he sees a picture of Kem and realizes that Carter married a 'sister' is priceless.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
56 minutes ago, Camille said:

But even that didn't work, because we never saw such a scene beforehand. Why not refer to Benton taking him to rehab, or saving his life, or Carter doing Benton's appendectomy?

I just thought it would have been a really great thing if Carter gave Peter a plane ticket (doesn't really matter where) to pay him back for the time Peter flew Carter down to Atlanta for rehab.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, doodlebug said:

Benton's face when he sees a picture of Kem and realizes that Carter married a 'sister' is priceless.

Carter chuckling before he gives Benton the picture and making a "come on, get it over with" gesture because he KNOWS Benton's going to bust his chops is even better.

Edited by Camille
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

I rewatched "Ambush" the other night and I don't understand why the critics savaged it so much. First of all, I think it was incredibly gutsy for the cast and crew to do this type of show live. Secondly, although I was very aware that the actors were acting, overall, I felt that it was ultimately pulled off very well as a TLC/Discovery type documentary episode. 

Edited by Camille
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 10/20/2019 at 8:41 PM, Camille said:

I rewatched "Ambush" the other night and I don't understand why the critics savaged it so much. First of all, I think it was incredibly gutsy for the cast and crew to do this type of show live. Secondly, although I was very aware that the actors were acting, overall, I felt that it was ultimately pulled off very well as a TLC/Discovery type documentary episode. 

I think at the time people were pissed that the episode didn't really touch on any major storylines, just seemed to be documenting a normal day in the ER. It just seemed a bit anti-climactic. But I agree looking back it was well-done.

I also think it was cool to see some of the actors with more of their real-life mannerisms. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

I think at the time people were pissed that the episode didn't really touch on any major storylines, just seemed to be documenting a normal day in the ER. It just seemed a bit anti-climactic. But I agree looking back it was well-done.

I also think it was cool to see some of the actors with more of their real-life mannerisms. 

Yes, at the time, I think it was done more as an experiment, Clooney was very interested in doing live drama on TV and he convinced TPTB to do it.  Because of the nature of the process, they kind of put most of the stories on hold and went for a lot of action sequences that were well choreographed.  It was the premiere episode of that season and I think a lot of people were disappointed that it didn't advance the storylines like the usual premiere would have done. 

It really was an accomplishment, though, to coordinate so much live activity with so many different characters and extras

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Someone said that if you look at the TV in the break room, the east coast feed showed the beginning of a baseball game (live) and the west coast feed showed the end of the same game.

  • Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
37 minutes ago, Driad said:

Someone said that if you look at the TV in the break room, the east coast feed showed the beginning of a baseball game (live) and the west coast feed showed the end of the same game.

That was way too long ago for me to remember that level of detail, but I do remember there was something about the game footage, so that's probably it.  I had (and probably still do) both versions on tape, because I - in Los Angeles - exchanged with a friend in Boston, so we could both see both versions.  I remember in one version there was a bit of a problem in getting to a commercial break because the actor had to get through the extras brawling to shove a hand in front of the camera, and that took longer than anticipated.  And one or two dropped props.  But it was mostly just differences in mannerisms and line deliveries.

I had no idea it wasn't well received at the time.  I thought it was fun.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Driad said:

Someone said that if you look at the TV in the break room, the east coast feed showed the beginning of a baseball game (live) and the west coast feed showed the end of the same game.

This is absolutely true.  The episode was filmed live, so the game was in the early stages in the east coast feed.  The game itself was Cubs vs Astros.  At one point, Doug says it is 8-1 in the bottom of the 8th, which was verified as being the actual score at the moment he said it.  There is also a point where someone hits a triple and it can be seen onscreen on the show, once again, more confirmation that it was a live broadcast of both the game and the show.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

At the time I recall thinking it was kind of cool that George Clooney "live" had the same mannerisms that "Doug" would have. 

The actor/actress that I think differed the most in mannerisms was Julianna Marguiles. Carol was (mostly) a pretty serious character and the Carol on the live show giggled a lot, which was played off in the storyline as her making sex jokes with Doug that were caught on mic. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 10/22/2019 at 4:02 PM, Bastet said:

had no idea it wasn't well received at the time

People magazine put it on its "Worst Of Tube" list for that year.

My main complaint was that it felt very rushed. But like I wrote, overall, I think the cast and crew did a good job pulling it off.

The whole thing was rather "tongue in cheek", IMO--after ER premiered, networks started putting out workplace documentaries like "The Real ER". To this day, I'm certain that the plethora of such shows on TLC, et.al is because of ER's success. It makes perfect sense that at the height of it's popularity, ER would put out an episode like that.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I thought the premise of the episode was very smart - To have a documentary crew filming them, so there was an explanation for cameras in shot and an excuse for going again if they screwed up.

I know there were two versions, but the one I've seen is the one where Gloria Reuben messes up a line and looks to the documentary director and asks if she can say it again. That's the only obvious, 'this is live, pal' moment I can think of.

It was actually the first episode I ever watched, and it was certainly good enough to hook me on the show.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Danny Franks said:

I thought the premise of the episode was very smart - To have a documentary crew filming them, so there was an explanation for cameras in shot and an excuse for going again if they screwed up

Apparently, that's precisely why they chose that scenario for the episode.

2 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

know there were two versions, but the one I've seen is the one where Gloria Reuben messes up a line and looks to the documentary director and asks if she can say it again. That's the only obvious, 'this is live, pal' moment I can think of.

To this day I don't know if that was Gloria or her character Jeanie flubbing it.

Dateline did a segment the next day where they listed all the mistakes and the differences between the East and West coast versions.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
13 minutes ago, Camille said:

To this day I don't know if that was Gloria or her character Jeanie flubbing it.

It's Jeanie; she does it in both versions.  Unless I am totally misremembering that moment, but I definitely remember that Jeanie was played as being extremely aware of the camera, at one point just standing there staring at it, instead of going about her business like they wanted everyone to.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size