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SilverStormm

All Episodes Talk: What's Up Doc?

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11 hours ago, Camille said:

So sorry to hear. I've worked with several Weaver-types myself and they're awful.

As weird as this might sound, that was one of the worst things about Kerry, that she was realistic. Someone like Romano would have been probably been fired thanks to all the bigoted things he blatantly said and did, but Kerry kept advancing because all of her crap was so underhanded.

Also Kerry was more like a day to day annoyingness that often is invisible to supervisors. Or is visible, but the supervisors enjoy having a snitch/bad cop. For instance I'm a teacher and Kerry 2.0 at work reported the salacious gossip that I was ... (drumroll) ... eating grapes while teaching!!!! 

As for Carter I wonder whether he was bad in bed or had BO because if you think about it he was kind of a loser in love. He was always getting friendzoned or dumped for another guy. He was the only main character in the final season to still be unhappy in love -- Kem was speed walking away from him in the finale.

It was a real contrast to how Benton and Lizzie were speed walking towards Lizzie's car.

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10 minutes ago, Growsonwalls said:

For instance I'm a teacher and Kerry 2.0 at work reported the salacious gossip that I was ... (drumroll) ... eating grapes while teaching!!!! 

You should be stripped of your teaching license and never be allowed to work with children again.

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7 hours ago, littlebennysmom said:

Watching the season 10 premiere (Now What?) where Carter returns from Africa.  His reaction to Abby's eye rolling, "give me back my key" nonsense seemed so unrealistic.  He saw the worst of poverty, illness, and was this close to being shot in the forehead.  I would think her "poor me, I've been so WRONGED" shit would have had him laughing his way out of her jank apartment, saying "au revoir, la pute!"

I think the show changed its creative direction over the break between seasons 9 and 10, and the guy who had been pushing Carter/Abby left. Whoever took over simply wasn't a fan of the couple, and perhaps knew that Noah Wyle was on the verge of leaving the show, so I think the brief was 'get this relationship closed off asap' and no one really cared how terrible both characters looked.

It's funny how many characters they brought in to be Carter's love interest, and none of them really worked out - Harper, Anna, Lucy, Abby (not counting the various blondes he dated, who were often quite a bit older than him). I guess Abby worked out as a main character, but I'd stopped watching by that point.

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5 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

Also Kerry was more like a day to day annoyingness that often is invisible to supervisors. Or is visible, but the supervisors enjoy having a snitch/bad cop. For instance I'm a teacher and Kerry 2.0 at work reported the salacious gossip that I was ... (drumroll) ... eating grapes while teaching!!!! 

As for Carter I wonder whether he was bad in bed or had BO because if you think about it he was kind of a loser in love. He was always getting friendzoned or dumped for another guy. He was the only main character in the final season to still be unhappy in love -- Kem was speed walking away from him in the finale.

It was a real contrast to how Benton and Lizzie were speed walking towards Lizzie's car.

I know it proved unpopular overall, but I still wonder about the show maybe dropping hints about something restarting with Susan, as was speculated here some pages back. It was her he was only too happy to walk back arm-in-arm to County with, with Rachel tagging along; it was she and Kerry who merited the Carter Foundation private tour, and then there was Susan's offhand remark about her divorce from Chuck and dating younger men.

I guess that is left up to interpretation. But maybe it was TPTB's idea to plant seeds or throw a bone to Carter. He seemed happier at that mini reunion (not just with Susan but damned well everyone!) and at County than he ever did with Kem, IMO.

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4 hours ago, WendyCR72 said:

I know it proved unpopular overall, but I still wonder about the show maybe dropping hints about something restarting with Susan, as was speculated here some pages back. It was her he was only too happy to walk back arm-in-arm to County with, with Rachel tagging along; it was she and Kerry who merited the Carter Foundation private tour, and then there was Susan's offhand remark about her divorce from Chuck and dating younger men.

I guess that is left up to interpretation. But maybe it was TPTB's idea to plant seeds or throw a bone to Carter. He seemed happier at that mini reunion (not just with Susan but damned well everyone!) and at County than he ever did with Kem, IMO.

It's funny, because Carter and Susan really had a nice connection in the first couple of seasons. She was sort of big sisterly to him, but with a slight edge - not least when they almost kissed, in the first season - and Carter clearly had a crush on her from the off.

But when they brought Susan back and put her and Carter in a sort of quasi-relationship that never really went anywhere, there was nothing. No heat, no chemistry, and Carter seemed incredibly boyish and callow about the whole thing. I mean, obviously it was just a delaying tactic before the writers put Carter with Abby, but they still could have made it a passionate fling.

I do think that they introduced Anna to be his long term love - the Carol to his Doug (I'm doing Bello and Clooney a slight disservice there, I think) - and that they planned to build that as a main focus of the show. But somehow they didn't get Maria Bello tied to a longer contract, and were always kind of scrambling afterwards. Noah Wyle put the kibosh on Carter/Lucy, because he didn't think Carter would date a med student, and then they brought Maura Tierney in, supposedly with the intention of filling the role they had pegged out for Maria Bello.

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Noah Wyle put the kibosh on Carter/Lucy, because he didn't think Carter would date a med student

But apparently ok for him to shag Peter's superior...

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14 minutes ago, Hiyo said:

But apparently ok for him to shag Peter's superior...

Carter was the med student in that scenario and much was made of the inappropriateness of the relationship.  NW felt it was not a good look for the show to condemn that one season and, just 2 years later, condone it.

There was also the fact that NW and Kellie Martin just did not hit it off and he wasn’t keen on having to do love scenes with her. In recent years, he has expressed regret about how badly he treated her.

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True but that relationship ended only because the actress left the show...not because the characters realized how wrong the relationship was.

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4 minutes ago, Hiyo said:

True but that relationship ended only because the actress left the show...not because the characters realized how wrong the relationship was.

Of course.  And had she stayed, I think Carter/Lucy was endgame and the less than ethical way they got their start would’ve been ignored.  I also think that at least part of the reason NW was so outspoken about the ethics of a C/L romance was because it sounded better than saying he personally disliked KM and didn’t want to work with her.

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12 minutes ago, doodlebug said:

Carter was the med student in that scenario and much was made of the inappropriateness of the relationship.  NW felt it was not a good look for the show to condemn that one season and, just 2 years later, condone it.

There was also the fact that NW and Kellie Martin just did not hit it off and he wasn’t keen on having to do love scenes with her. In recent years, he has expressed regret about how badly he treated her.

I didn't think they made too much of the inappropriateness of his relationship with Dr. Keaton. It was mentioned, but the illicit nature of it was kind of brushed away and they focused on the comedic side of things when Benton found out.

But they had Ross sleep with Harper Tracy the season before, and Mark made a bigger deal of that than anyone did over Carter's relationship with Keaton.

I didn't know that Noah Wyle didn't care for Kellie Martin, though. I've often wondered why she was written out after just a season and a half, after they made a fairly big deal of introducing her - she gets the opening scenes of season 5, if I remember correctly, and much of that episode is seen through her eyes.

Lucy did seem to be a bit lost as a character after the Carter/Lucy thing petered out. They never really found a new role for her, and I always figured she asked to leave because of that.

I've also wondered why Maria Bello left after just one year - Whether she wanted to do movies, didn't enjoy the TV schedule, or had personal differences with someone.

 

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7 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

I didn't think they made too much of the inappropriateness of his relationship with Dr. Keaton. It was mentioned, but the illicit nature of it was kind of brushed away and they focused on the comedic side of things when Benton found out.

But they had Ross sleep with Harper Tracy the season before, and Mark made a bigger deal of that than anyone did over Carter's relationship with Keaton.

I didn't know that Noah Wyle didn't care for Kellie Martin, though. I've often wondered why she was written out after just a season and a half, after they made a fairly big deal of introducing her - she gets the opening scenes of season 5, if I remember correctly, and much of that episode is seen through her eyes.

Lucy did seem to be a bit lost as a character after the Carter/Lucy thing petered out. They never really found a new role for her, and I always figured she asked to leave because of that.

I've also wondered why Maria Bello left after just one year - Whether she wanted to do movies, didn't enjoy the TV schedule, or had personal differences with someone.

 

Maria Bello said in interviews she didn't like working on tv. At that time I think she wanted to become an A list movie actress. That didn't happen obviously.

https://www.nydailynews.com/archives/nydn-features/payback-time-maria-bello-left-er-silver-screen-struck-gold-mel-gibson-co-star-article-1.835678

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10 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

Lucy did seem to be a bit lost as a character after the Carter/Lucy thing petered out. They never really found a new role for her, and I always figured she asked to leave because of that.

 

She had just recently lost her sister to lupus before starting ER, and working on a hospital set was too much. Plus they kind of forced her upon us, which is also partly why the rest of the cast who’d put in 4 years of work already didn’t warm up to her until it was too late and she was leaving anyway. 

Edited by MVFrostsMyPie
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1 hour ago, MVFrostsMyPie said:

She had just recently lost her sister to lupus before starting ER, and working on a hospital set was too much. Plus they kind of forced her upon us, which is also partly why the rest of the cast who’d put in 4 years of work already didn’t warm up to her until it was too late and she was leaving anyway. 

And then, despite the fact that ‘Day for Knight’ did not make to audience fall in love with Lucy; TPTB did the same thing a couple years later when they shoved Abby down our throats with a virtually identical episode, ‘Abby Road’.  

The only differences were that MT was a better actress who had every intention of staying for the duration and that many of the priginal cast members were already gone or on their way out.

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Of course.  And had she stayed, I think Carter/Lucy was endgame and the less than ethical way they got their start would’ve been ignored.

I wasn't referring to the actress for Lucy, I was referring to the actress who played Keaton...

It was a funny repetition for a while, hooking up Carter with a blond whose actress kept leaving the show (Harper, Keaton, Anna). I guess Lucy was the one who finally broke that cycle.

I wonder what would have happened had Harper stayed on the show, I remember Christine Elise left ER to star in a show about attractive firefighters that bombed.

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And had she stayed, I think Carter/Lucy was endgame

I think the same could be said about Carter/Harper or Carter/Anna had those actresses stayed as well...

But I do agree with others, when the initial Carter/Lucy relationship went nowhere, the writers just didn't know what to do with her.

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18 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

Maria Bello said in interviews she didn't like working on tv. At that time I think she wanted to become an A list movie actress. That didn't happen obviously.

https://www.nydailynews.com/archives/nydn-features/payback-time-maria-bello-left-er-silver-screen-struck-gold-mel-gibson-co-star-article-1.835678

Well, she's had some prominent roles in some acclaimed movies - The Cooler and A History of Violence are probably the best - but she's apparently back working in TV these days.

Can't help but think another couple of years on E.R. would have helped her profile in general, but that's all ancient history now.

14 hours ago, MVFrostsMyPie said:

She had just recently lost her sister to lupus before starting ER, and working on a hospital set was too much. Plus they kind of forced her upon us, which is also partly why the rest of the cast who’d put in 4 years of work already didn’t warm up to her until it was too late and she was leaving anyway. 

Yeah, that sucks. A very tough position for any actor to be put in, but when you also have to deal with resentful co-stars, I can see why things didn't work out.

I wonder if Laura Innes had to deal with anything like that, when she joined the cast? Or Alex Kingston? I guess season 6 was when we started to see real changes with Clooney having left and been replaced by Luka,  and Malucci and Finch as well.

11 hours ago, Hiyo said:

It was a funny repetition for a while, hooking up Carter with a blond whose actress kept leaving the show (Harper, Keaton, Anna). I guess Lucy was the one who finally broke that cycle.

I wonder what would have happened had Harper stayed on the show, I remember Christine Elise left ER to star in a show about attractive firefighters that bombed.

I think the same could be said about Carter/Harper or Carter/Anna had those actresses stayed as well...

It seems like the writers had a real run of bad luck, when it came to Carter's love interests. I never really thought Harper was intended to be a permanent addition, but the abruptness with which she dumped Carter and then disappeared a couple of episodes later, you can see the point at which the writers knew she wasn't sticking around.

Anna was the one I really liked, and the one I think had the most storyline potential - her working class roots, her disdain for the rich and her history with the drug addicted boyfriend would all have fuelled tension in their relationship, and Carter's ability to put his foot in his mouth would have helped too.

Or hell, they could have hooked him up with Chen, because Noah Wyle and Ming Na had good chemistry, and Chen was a character who often got the short end of the plot stick.

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4 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

Or hell, they could have hooked him up with Chen, because Noah Wyle and Ming Na had good chemistry, and Chen was a character who often got the short end of the plot stick.

I would have liked that pairing a lot, I think.  They really never did her character justice.  Her last year with her father's illness and then just sending her to China, never to be heard from again...what a waste.  ON the other hand, at least they didn't kill her off! 

Lucy was a horrid character from the start.  They made her really obnoxious and annoying.  I don't know if they intended to soften her and make her more likeable, but she never became less irritating to me.

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11 hours ago, MVFrostsMyPie said:

It didn’t help that Lucy’s voice was kind of grating. Anyone? Just me? 😆

Absolutely.  I think the reason Laura Innes and Alex Kingston were better accepted as regulars were 1. they were introduced organically, they weren't given big storylines from the start, they built their characters first before being given major screentime.  And, IMO, both of them are far better actors than KM and 2.  Neither of them had ever been a regular on a hit series and they weren't well known to the public

Kellie Martin had been one of the main characters on 'Life Goes On' since she was a teen and the show got a lot of attention and good press.  From what I understand, she came to ER expecting to be given the screen time and attention that her character on LGO had gotten and that she had a lot of fixed ideas about who Lucy was and how she was going to play her and wasn't interested in hearing anyone else' opinions.  Rumor has it that not just NW was put off by her attitude and her expectation that ER would adapt to her and not the other way around.  Considering it was a runaway hit for 4 seasons already and the formula for the show had obviously worked really well (and the likes of Steven Spielberg and Michael Crichton had created it); it was naïve of Kellie to think that her prior experiences were more relevant than what an entire team of very talented people had worked years to create.

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I was shocked to learn from the above discussion that Lucy was only on the show for 1.5 seasons. It felt much longer to me---because she was that annoying to me.

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18 hours ago, MVFrostsMyPie said:

It didn’t help that Lucy’s voice was kind of grating. Anyone? Just me? 😆

Kellie Martin is grating to me; she bugged me in Life Goes On (granted, pretty much everything about that show bugged me, but I kept trying to like it because of the subject matter and Patti LuPone), and went on to do the same in everything I came across her in.  It's a visceral thing.

 

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On ‎1‎/‎12‎/‎2020 at 11:57 PM, Hiyo said:

I wasn't referring to the actress for Lucy, I was referring to the actress who played Keaton...

It was a funny repetition for a while, hooking up Carter with a blond whose actress kept leaving the show (Harper, Keaton, Anna). I guess Lucy was the one who finally broke that cycle.

I wonder what would have happened had Harper stayed on the show, I remember Christine Elise left ER to star in a show about attractive firefighters that bombed.

I think the same could be said about Carter/Harper or Carter/Anna had those actresses stayed as well...

But I do agree with others, when the initial Carter/Lucy relationship went nowhere, the writers just didn't know what to do with her.

Glenne Headley, who played Abby Keaton, was only signed for a short term story arc, she was always meant to be leaving the show.  Amongst other things, she was hugely pregnant when they filmed her episodes and she left not long before delivering.  Abby Keaton was never meant to be Carter's forever love.  Same thing with Christine Elise, she was never a cast member, only a guest star and was slated to leave the show exactly when she did.  It had nothing to do with her subsequent roles.  Neither of them had long term contracts and neither ever had series regular status and were never in the credits.  Their story arcs were set from the start.

On the other hand, Kellie Martin was signed to a long term contract as a series regular and put in the opening credits for her first episode.  She was meant to be there over the long haul and it is only after her character failed to catch on with the fans and that Lucy/Carter was a total dud that she asked to be released from her contract and Lucy's story completely rewritten. 

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A few random notes from Season 11, which I've been watching these past few days:

Abby's boyfriend Jake, her med student, was creepy as fuck.  At least, he always creeped me out and I could not understand that relationship at all. 

Couldn't stand Kem, either.  Felt terrible for Carter when he flies to Paris to be with her because her mom is sick and whoops, there she is with her old/current boyfriend!

Forgot all about Kerry's mom coming to Chicago and finding her.  Big applause for Kerry telling her that she didn't want her love without acceptance (of her being gay).

The episode where Cynthia Nixon plays a mom who had a stroke, and we see the entire episode through her eyes and from inside her head was great.  It made me wonder, though, if any of us would get the same kind of care, investigation and timely treatment she did or if a doctor/hospital would be like, yup, she had a stroke, too bad, so sad, buh-bye and we'd end up incapacitated forever. 

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It was weird to see Elizabeth Mitchell in her not-very-hot romance with Kerry, because I thought she had amazing chemistry with the other LOST characters.

Look at the eye-fucking in this scene:

 

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On 1/14/2020 at 11:26 PM, izabella said:

Couldn't stand Kem, either.  Felt terrible for Carter when he flies to Paris to be with her because her mom is sick and whoops, there she is with her old/current boyfriend!

The whole Carter/Kem storyline was so weird. Okay, Noah Wyle is leaving the show, so why not just give him a relatively happy sendoff, instead of the parade of misery that was his baby dying, his wife leaving him, being depressed, relapsing and turning up to work drunk, having a brief relationship with yet another blonde woman who ended up dumping him.

It felt like the writers had a grudge against the character.

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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2020 at 5:26 PM, izabella said:

 

The episode where Cynthia Nixon plays a mom who had a stroke, and we see the entire episode through her eyes and from inside her head was great.  It made me wonder, though, if any of us would get the same kind of care, investigation and timely treatment she did or if a doctor/hospital would be like, yup, she had a stroke, too bad, so sad, buh-bye and we'd end up incapacitated forever. 

I remember that episode. It was really well done. And when she's trying to somehow tell her husband to consent to the procedure. . . Got to me!

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Watching season 10, laughing at the fact they made the nurse Sam a carbon copy of Abby (tough, knows more than the docs, has difficult personal life, etc.).  And the whole instant relationship thing with Luka ("I don't want anything exclusive", 5 minutes later after seeing Luka kiss Jillian in the hallway she heaves a suture kit at him OVER THE BODY OF THE PATIENT the group is trying to revive) makes me think the same writers who developed Abby had some weird attraction to frowning, obnoxious women.  

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12 hours ago, littlebennysmom said:

Watching season 10, laughing at the fact they made the nurse Sam a carbon copy of Abby (tough, knows more than the docs, has difficult personal life, etc.).  And the whole instant relationship thing with Luka ("I don't want anything exclusive", 5 minutes later after seeing Luka kiss Jillian in the hallway she heaves a suture kit at him OVER THE BODY OF THE PATIENT the group is trying to revive) makes me think the same writers who developed Abby had some weird attraction to frowning, obnoxious women.  

The Suspiciously Similar Substitute trope. One of my least favorites. What's the point of bringing in a new character if he/she is going to be just like the one they're replacing?

And her attitude towards Luka was infuriating and unprofessional. One of the things I liked about Doug and Carol is that no matter how tense things were, that never carried over into whenever they were treating a patient.

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Add Luka to the list of people I wish had never been on the show (Abby will always hold top spot). He was just so wooden and boring, and a really terrible replacement for the token 'hot doctor' role after Clooney left. Heck, even uncle Jesse replacing Luka as the next token 'hot doctor' was less painful to watch. Beyond looks (and even that's up for debate), I'm not sure what anyone interested in either Luka or Abby found attractive. It's not like their personalities were beacons of sunshine. 

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On 1/16/2020 at 9:31 AM, Danny Franks said:

The whole Carter/Kem storyline was so weird. Okay, Noah Wyle is leaving the show, so why not just give him a relatively happy sendoff, instead of the parade of misery that was his baby dying, his wife leaving him, being depressed, relapsing and turning up to work drunk, having a brief relationship with yet another blonde woman who ended up dumping him.

It felt like the writers had a grudge against the character.

I agree, at least with Mark's send off and death it felt like full circle for the character. Or even with Peter, it felt more intune with the character, even years later where he ended up. With Carter, I felt it was just a horrible send off and then when he was back it was: "Oh remember, how much you hated Kem, let's show she still hasn't moved on in her life and Carter and her are still in a depressing marriage." Why? Couldn't just have it where Carter found a way to move on in life and despite his tragedies in life, he found a way to move on? Yet, Kem it was: "Oh her mother died, her son died, and she is all wo is me still." Losing a child is something no one TRULY gets over. However, at one point you have to live your life and not let it DEFINE your life. 

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11 hours ago, MVFrostsMyPie said:

Add Luka to the list of people I wish had never been on the show (Abby will always hold top spot). He was just so wooden and boring, and a really terrible replacement for the token 'hot doctor' role after Clooney left. Heck, even uncle Jesse replacing Luka as the next token 'hot doctor' was less painful to watch. Beyond looks (and even that's up for debate), I'm not sure what anyone interested in either Luka or Abby found attractive. It's not like their personalities were beacons of sunshine. 

For me, that was a huge problem in the later seasons; the constant doom and gloom and depression.  In the early seasons, there was a lot of lighthearted humor.  The romantic couples actually had fun and enjoyed one another's company.  At work, there was a lot of camaraderie and good feelings.  As the years wore on; the problems of the characters became more burdensome.  

In Season 1, yes, we had Carol's return from a suicide attempt, but, ultimately, it was her engagement and almost-wedding to the wrong guy that highlighted her year.  Susan had crazy parents, a drunken sister and a boyfriend who disappeared.  Mark, like a of people in 2 career marriages; was facing figuring out his marriage and his career.  Doug was starting to face the consequences of his immaturity.  Carter was learning on the job, hoping for the surgical sub-I and competing with Chen. Peter was dealing with a demanding residency while facing his mother's decline into dementia and failing health.  These were problems, and serious ones, but nothing like the latter seasons where the issues were piled on and then hammered repeatedly. 

While these were serious issues, they were the kinds of things to which most of us could relate.  Lots of people have had broken engagements dealt with depression, copes with sick parents or siblings with substance abuse issues.  Many of us knew people who were slow to mature or competitive or vying for a work opportunity.  They were real people with the sorts of issues that real people have.  By the latter seasons, that was no longer the case.

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11 hours ago, MVFrostsMyPie said:

Add Luka to the list of people I wish had never been on the show (Abby will always hold top spot). He was just so wooden and boring, and a really terrible replacement for the token 'hot doctor' role after Clooney left. Heck, even uncle Jesse replacing Luka as the next token 'hot doctor' was less painful to watch. Beyond looks (and even that's up for debate), I'm not sure what anyone interested in either Luka or Abby found attractive. It's not like their personalities were beacons of sunshine. 

I always say Luka as the most direct cast replacement the show gave us - he literally does the same 'moping in the dark and thinking about the disaster that is my life' thing that Doug would do, and he careens through relationships that don't make him happy because of his trauma. But he didn't have a fraction of the undeniable charisma that George Clooney gave to Doug, just a permanent hangdog expression and sad eyes.

I don't remember the details of that whole subplot with James Cromwell's priest, but it bored the living shit out of me, and seemed to go on forever.

22 minutes ago, readster said:

I agree, at least with Mark's send off and death it felt like full circle for the character. Or even with Peter, it felt more intune with the character, even years later where he ended up. With Carter, I felt it was just a horrible send off and then when he was back it was: "Oh remember, how much you hated Kem, let's show she still hasn't moved on in her life and Carter and her are still in a depressing marriage." Why? Couldn't just have it where Carter found a way to move on in life and despite his tragedies in life, he found a way to move on? Yet, Kem it was: "Oh her mother died, her son died, and she is all wo is me still." Losing a child is something no one TRULY gets over. However, at one point you have to live your life and not let it DEFINE your life. 

That's something Carter learned, but Kem never did. Even in the series finale, it seems that she is still mourning the loss of the child, and sees Carter as little more than a contributor to that pain.

Oh, and we can add that to Carter's parade of misery too - he needs a kidney transplant because he got stabbed in one (though I'm sure Anspaugh and Benton confirmed in season 6 that they'd saved his kidney) and got Africa in the other. Yet still, he ends the show hoping Kem will finally relent and act like a human towards him. Ugh.

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1 hour ago, Danny Franks said:

That's something Carter learned, but Kem never did. Even in the series finale, it seems that she is still mourning the loss of the child, and sees Carter as little more than a contributor to that pain.

Oh, and we can add that to Carter's parade of misery too - he needs a kidney transplant because he got stabbed in one (though I'm sure Anspaugh and Benton confirmed in season 6 that they'd saved his kidney) and got Africa in the other. Yet still, he ends the show hoping Kem will finally relent and act like a human towards him. Ugh.

Right, even it the end, it felt that Carter still got a middle finger to his life. That everything he did, everything he tried to do, everything he rose above it. The only thing that would have saved that scene was when Kem walked away and Carter was watching her, if he would have said in a soft voice: "Goodbye". Which would have been Carter realizing he is done, time to divorce and go live his life and hope that someday Kem would move on too. 

  The story also was back handed with the doctor who told them both they needed to say goodbye to Joshia or it was going to haunt them. Sadly, it backfired because Kem's biggest problem was; "It's always about me." 

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5 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

Oh, and we can add that to Carter's parade of misery too - he needs a kidney transplant because he got stabbed in one (though I'm sure Anspaugh and Benton confirmed in season 6 that they'd saved his kidney) and got Africa in the other. Yet still, he ends the show hoping Kem will finally relent and act like a human towards him. Ugh.

It could be that, even though they didn't remove Carter's kidney, it was too damaged and didn't function, at least that was my thought.

 

3 hours ago, readster said:

Right, even it the end, it felt that Carter still got a middle finger to his life. That everything he did, everything he tried to do, everything he rose above it. The only thing that would have saved that scene was when Kem walked away and Carter was watching her, if he would have said in a soft voice: "Goodbye". Which would have been Carter realizing he is done, time to divorce and go live his life and hope that someday Kem would move on too. 

The only thing that gave me hope that he was figuring out that Kem was never going to be the wife he wanted was, after tentatively making plans to meet her for breakfast; Carter went back to the ER to help with the multiple trauma.  I was hoping that it was a sign that he wasn't going stress over getting to see her again; he'd realized that he was happier in Chicago working in the ER and that was now going to be his priority

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12 hours ago, doodlebug said:

For me, that was a huge problem in the later seasons; the constant doom and gloom and depression.  In the early seasons, there was a lot of lighthearted humor.  The romantic couples actually had fun and enjoyed one another's company.  At work, there was a lot of camaraderie and good feelings.  As the years wore on; the problems of the characters became more burdensome.  

In Season 1, yes, we had Carol's return from a suicide attempt, but, ultimately, it was her engagement and almost-wedding to the wrong guy that highlighted her year.  Susan had crazy parents, a drunken sister and a boyfriend who disappeared.  Mark, like a of people in 2 career marriages; was facing figuring out his marriage and his career.  Doug was starting to face the consequences of his immaturity.  Carter was learning on the job, hoping for the surgical sub-I and competing with Chen. Peter was dealing with a demanding residency while facing his mother's decline into dementia and failing health.  These were problems, and serious ones, but nothing like the latter seasons where the issues were piled on and then hammered repeatedly. 

While these were serious issues, they were the kinds of things to which most of us could relate.  Lots of people have had broken engagements dealt with depression, copes with sick parents or siblings with substance abuse issues.  Many of us knew people who were slow to mature or competitive or vying for a work opportunity.  They were real people with the sorts of issues that real people have.  By the latter seasons, that was no longer the case.

I think the show really jumped the shark when Romano lost his arm in a chopper accident. After that the show became disaster and trauma porn. Everything was just extra extra bad. Romano being killed off in another chopper accident was just an insulting send off to a character who in the earlier seasons was a villain but a human one.

it’s a real contrast to season 1 when we saw that the characters had good days and bad days. Normal ebb and flow of life. Carol and Doug had moments of tension and moments when they got along. Same with Carter and Benton. 

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Same thing with Christine Elise, she was never a cast member, only a guest star and was slated to leave the show exactly when she did. 

No, but she was recurring in the same way that Kerry and Genie were before being added to the show. It wasn't impossible for her to be added that way to the show as well, had things worked out. The timing of her leaving was pretty synced with that LA firefighters show, who knows.

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Abby Keaton was never meant to be Carter's forever love. 

I never said she was. But she did seem to fit a pattern the show had for Carter and his love interests (intentional or not) up until Lucy.

And to be honest, had Maria Bello stayed around, we probably wouldn't have had Lucy.

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After that the show became disaster and trauma porn

The Lucy/Carter stabbing kind of gave the series a jolt, both with critics and viewers, at the time, so I guess the writers after that felt they needed to top themselves and sadly we ended up with one shocking crisis hitting the hospital every once in a while.

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6 hours ago, Hiyo said:

And to be honest, had Maria Bello stayed around, we probably wouldn't have had Lucy.

She definitely wouldn't have been as prominent a character, and probably wouldn't have been played by Kellie Martin. Lucy was a scramble when Maria Bello upset the plans they had for her character. I don't know if they had an inkling that she might leave, because season 4 ended with her having the offer of going back to Philadelphia with the her ex.

With Lucy, they seemed to be trying to kill several birds with one stone - replace Anna as a love interest for Carter, get a new med student character so they could redo the whole 'what do I want to be?' storyline, and help fill the impending star-power gap that George Clooney was about to leave. 

6 hours ago, Hiyo said:

The Lucy/Carter stabbing kind of gave the series a jolt, both with critics and viewers, at the time, so I guess the writers after that felt they needed to top themselves and sadly we ended up with one shocking crisis hitting the hospital every once in a while.

It's a shame, because the stabbing was incredibly well executed and genuinely shocking. I remember being incredibly grateful that Sky One aired both episodes back to back, because I could not have waited a week to find out what would happen with Carter and Lucy. The drama worked because it was out of the ordinary, and a real departure from the normal E.R. storylines. We'd had Mark get beaten up, which was also shocking, but that was really the only 'one of our own is in trouble' storyline the show had done, to that point.

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18 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

She definitely wouldn't have been as prominent a character, and probably wouldn't have been played by Kellie Martin. Lucy was a scramble when Maria Bello upset the plans they had for her character. I don't know if they had an inkling that she might leave, because season 4 ended with her having the offer of going back to Philadelphia with the her ex.

With Lucy, they seemed to be trying to kill several birds with one stone - replace Anna as a love interest for Carter, get a new med student character so they could redo the whole 'what do I want to be?' storyline, and help fill the impending star-power gap that George Clooney was about to leave. 

It's a shame, because the stabbing was incredibly well executed and genuinely shocking. I remember being incredibly grateful that Sky One aired both episodes back to back, because I could not have waited a week to find out what would happen with Carter and Lucy. The drama worked because it was out of the ordinary, and a real departure from the normal E.R. storylines. We'd had Mark get beaten up, which was also shocking, but that was really the only 'one of our own is in trouble' storyline the show had done, to that point.

The tension at the end of 'Be Still My Heart' with the Lo-Fidelity All Stars pounding in the background as Carter was stabbed followed by his glimpse of Lucy on the floor as the screen went dark was just outstanding.  As most of you know, Laura Innes directed that episode.  I remember the buzz that that episode created and the excitement as we waited for the next episode to air.  Also, social media wasn't as prominent, there was no announcement that Kellie Martin was leaving the show before 'All in the Family' was aired which made the whole thing so much more exciting and buzzworthy.

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No, but she was recurring in the same way that Kerry and Genie were before being added to the show. It wasn't impossible for her to be added that way to the show as well, had things worked out.

Christine Elise' Harper was also recurring in the same way as Ron Eldard's Shep and Christine Harnos' Jen.  The fact is, most recurring characters do not become series regulars and the odds are stacked againt them ever joining the main cast. Also, her role was mainly as a love interest for Carter while Kerry and Jeannie were mostly used as ER staff members.  It is way easier to add a character who fits organically into the setting of the show rather than one whose main purpose is to be the girlfriend of one of the main characters.

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because the stabbing was incredibly well executed and genuinely shocking.

Yeah, I will say out of all the shocking torture/death/major calamity porn this show gave us,  Carter and Lucy's stabbings were executed extremely well (and not just relative to all the other incidents that followed), as was the episode where Lucy died.

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Christine Elise' Harper was also recurring in the same way as Ron Eldard's Shep and Christine Harnos' Jen.  The fact is, most recurring characters do not become series regulars and the odds are stacked againt them ever joining the main cast. Also, her role was mainly as a love interest for Carter while Kerry and Jeannie were mostly used as ER staff members. 

Jeannie was initially brought on as a love interest for Peter. So not that different from Harper. Plus Harper was brought on early enough in the show (same season as Kerry) where you could see her possibly still being added. Shep, unlike Harper, didn't even work in the ER, so his chances of being added to the show were even less. Same with Jen. Pretty much all the recurring characters who were upgraded to main cast members worked in the ER. So them doing the same with Harper isn't that out of left field.

 

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2 hours ago, Hiyo said:

Jeannie was initially brought on as a love interest for Peter. So not that different from Harper. Plus Harper was brought on early enough in the show (same season as Kerry) where you could see her possibly still being added. Shep, unlike Harper, didn't even work in the ER, so his chances of being added to the show were even less. Same with Jen. Pretty much all the recurring characters who were upgraded to main cast members worked in the ER. So them doing the same with Harper isn't that out of left field.

 

You sound like you have inside information that Christine Elise was offered a long term contract and main cast status on ER and turned it down to do a different series.  I've never heard that before, do you have a source?   Everything I've heard indicates that she was always meant to be a short term recurring character like the dozens and dozens of other short term characters on ER and virtually every other TV series.  If she turned down ER, the top rated show at the time which then went on to run for more than a decade longer, that was some seriously poor thinking on her part.

As far as Jeannie being a love interest for Peter, I don't think that is why she got main cast status.  After all, by the time she was added, Jeannie and Peter were no longer a couple.  First, I think the viewers liked Gloria Reuben and she scored well with them.  Then, TPTB came up with the HIV positive storyline and realized that they could do a lot with it over the long haul.  It was when they came up with things for Jeannie to do other than sleep with Peter that she stayed.  I don't think Christine Elise was a fan favorite with the viewers and there wasn't anything to do with her character that they hadn't just done with Carter as a med student; so there was never any thought of continuing her story beyond the single arc.

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29 minutes ago, doodlebug said:

You sound like you have inside information that Christine Elise was offered a long term contract and main cast status on ER and turned it down to do a different series.  I've never heard that before, do you have a source?   Everything I've heard indicates that she was always meant to be a short term recurring character like the dozens and dozens of other short term characters on ER and virtually every other TV series.  If she turned down ER, the top rated show at the time which then went on to run for more than a decade longer, that was some seriously poor thinking on her part.

 

It's extremely common, many actors have kicked themselves thinking: "Well, my character won't last." Or they get offer in a spin off and it's: "Well, it probably won't be successful." I remember the great Michele Forbes who turned down a staring role on Star Deep Space 9, which was to be basically what Kira's role was for Nana Vistar. She thought the Star Trek piece would end after TNG was going to end. So she went on Homicide in 96 and of course stayed with it until 2000. Of course Deep Space 9 went on to 2001 and was a top rated series from the get go. She even said in a past interview: "I really should have thought it through more and I didn't like how my character ended on Next Generation. Because it felt like all the character work was thrown out." People make those decisions. Even Shelly Long kicked herself for leaving Cheers.

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Doug did have a rather emo storyline. He drank too much, had a series of meaningless one-night stands, a bad relationship with his father, etc. But Doug was actually very funny. There are many moments with Doug that made me laugh out loud. One was Doug giggling non-stop that Mark set up three dates but lost them all. Another favorite moment of mine was Doug and Carol engaged in a breathless gossip session about Mark and Susan. 

I do think a lot of it was George Clooney inserting his own personality into the character. George Clooney is famous for his pranks and jokes, and there was a lot of that from Doug as well. 

Luka had the same outline character as Doug but somehow ended up being a vortex of glum, negative energy. There just wasn't anything appealing about the guy other than a pretty face. It's kind of fitting that he ended up with Abby. At least they can't ruin two marriages.

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1 hour ago, Growsonwalls said:

Doug did have a rather emo storyline. He drank too much, had a series of meaningless one-night stands, a bad relationship with his father, etc. But Doug was actually very funny. There are many moments with Doug that made me laugh out loud. One was Doug giggling non-stop that Mark set up three dates but lost them all. Another favorite moment of mine was Doug and Carol engaged in a breathless gossip session about Mark and Susan. 

I do think a lot of it was George Clooney inserting his own personality into the character. George Clooney is famous for his pranks and jokes, and there was a lot of that from Doug as well. 

Luka had the same outline character as Doug but somehow ended up being a vortex of glum, negative energy. There just wasn't anything appealing about the guy other than a pretty face. It's kind of fitting that he ended up with Abby. At least they can't ruin two marriages.

A Doug line that makes me laugh is "Weaver and the Sound of Her Own Voice: A Love Story." Hee.

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If she turned down ER, the top rated show at the time which then went on to run for more than a decade longer, that was some seriously poor thinking on her part.

I never said she was offered a long term contract.

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If she turned down ER, the top rated show at the time which then went on to run for more than a decade longer, that was some seriously poor thinking on her part

Well, that's more or less what happened. She was recurring on ER, and rather than stick with that recurring role which could have led to something more permanent, as it did with Jeannie and Kerry, she went and did LA Firefighters. I can somewhat understand, since she was just recurring on ER and here was a show offering her a main role, but in hindsight, yikes, what a dumb decision.

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As far as Jeannie being a love interest for Peter, I don't think that is why she got main cast status.  After all, by the time she was added, Jeannie and Peter were no longer a couple.

And I never said that's why she got the main part. Just making that point that Jeannie was only brought on for a recurring role which was extended into a main part. And that it could have happened with Harper as well. Who knows.

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3 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

Doug did have a rather emo storyline. He drank too much, had a series of meaningless one-night stands, a bad relationship with his father, etc. But Doug was actually very funny. There are many moments with Doug that made me laugh out loud. One was Doug giggling non-stop that Mark set up three dates but lost them all. Another favorite moment of mine was Doug and Carol engaged in a breathless gossip session about Mark and Susan. 

I do think a lot of it was George Clooney inserting his own personality into the character. George Clooney is famous for his pranks and jokes, and there was a lot of that from Doug as well. 

Luka had the same outline character as Doug but somehow ended up being a vortex of glum, negative energy. There just wasn't anything appealing about the guy other than a pretty face. It's kind of fitting that he ended up with Abby. At least they can't ruin two marriages.

I couldn't agree more. I know Luka was popular with some, but I could only square it as being women who found him handsome and wanted to mend his poor, broken heart. He was so hangdog and determinedly miserable that I lost any sympathy for his genuinely tough backstory.

Doug definitely had high spots, to counter his often self-indulgent misery. And I think you're right that some of that was down to Clooney's naturally fun loving personality. There were plenty of moments where he'd be flashing that twinkly smile in scenes, even if Doug didn't really have many lines. It did a lot to make him seem like a real person, and one who was understandably attractive to a lot of women. Luka? I don't see how anyone could spend more than about twenty minutes with him without wanting to jump out of a window.

He and Abby were perfectly matched, as orbiting black holes of navel-gazing misery.

But I think part of it was down to a decrease in the quality of the writing. Susan was a really great character, in the first three seasons. Even with her troubles with Chloe and Suzy, she was a lot of fun, and had a very attractive energy. When she came back in season 8 she was kind of bland but sometimes a weird combination of schoolmarm and schoolgirl that just didn't work.

Edited by Danny Franks
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1 hour ago, Danny Franks said:

I couldn't agree more. I know Luka was popular with some, but I could only square it as being women who found him handsome and wanted to mend his poor, broken heart. He was so hangdog and determinedly miserable that I lost any sympathy for his genuinely tough backstory.

Doug definitely had high spots, to counter his often self-indulgent misery. And I think you're right in some of that was down to Clooney's naturally fun loving personality. There were plenty of moments where he'd be flashing that twinkly smile in scenes, even if Doug didn't really have many lines. It did a lot to make him seem like a real person, and one who was understandably attractive to a lot of women. Luka? I don't see how anyone could spend more than about twenty minutes of him without wanting to jump out of a window.

He and Abby were perfectly matched, as orbiting black holes of navel-gazing misery.

Luka's misery and negative energy did ironically make the writing out of Carol one of the more believable and well-written exits. If the choice is to spend the rest of your life with fun-loving Doug or miserable Luka, it's not surprising Carol bounced and went to Seattle to live with Doug. (That and she and Doug had twins together and were soulmates and all that but ...)

I mean, I think Don Draper had funnier more lighthearted moments than Luka. 

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2 hours ago, Hiyo said:

I never said she was offered a long term contract.

Well, that's more or less what happened. She was recurring on ER, and rather than stick with that recurring role which could have led to something more permanent, as it did with Jeannie and Kerry, she went and did LA Firefighters. I can somewhat understand, since she was just recurring on ER and here was a show offering her a main role, but in hindsight, yikes, what a dumb decision.

Sorry, but that is not what happened. Christine Elise was signed to appear in a finite number of episodes in Season 2 as part of Carter's story arc.  At no time was she ever given the option to do more episodes, she didn't turn down further appearances on ER; she was never offered any.  Like actors do, she finished one job and went onto the next.  Christine Elise made no decision either way; she never had a choice.  If she was so popular as Harper and TPTB wanted her back, they could've very easily done that after her new show tanked after just a few episodes.  Plenty of recurring characters like Dale and Anspaugh and Doug's drug rep girlfriend kept coming back here and there; but not Christine.  It's not like she was busy with other TV jobs, hence, I don't think it was her choice to leave ER. 

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Sorry, but that is not what happened. Christine Elise was signed to appear in a finite number of episodes in Season 2 as part of Carter's story arc.  At no time was she ever given the option to do more episodes, she didn't turn down further appearances on ER; she was never offered any. 

Sorry, but so were Gloria Reuben and Laura Innes for their respective arcs, and then they were added to the main cast. It's not like there hasn't been a single actor/character on this show that started out as recurring and was the added as a main character.

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Christine Elise made no decision either way; she never had a choice. 

She left ER for another show. Nothing you said has convinced me otherwise, and probably won't.

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Plenty of recurring characters like Dale and Anspaugh and Doug's drug rep girlfriend kept coming back here and there

Did any of them come back as main charters?

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

If you want to have the last word, go ahead and have at it.

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Let's cut the sniping at our fellow posters, please. Remember the golden PT rule: Be civil or be gone. Not hard to follow. If there are any questions or concerns, please send a PM my way.

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I'm rewatching season 10 because I'm a glutton for punishment, and I'm reminded yet again how insufferable I found Neela. She was always feeling sorry for herself and was both insecure and overly self-righteous. She never really redeemed herself either. 

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