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Clooney's Drunk And Not Grey, Carol's Sad But Not Dead, And Everyone's A Fetus On S01 Of ER

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Memories, man. Although I didn't watch the first season of E.R. when it aired (my first episode was the live one at the start of season 4), I've watched them all a fair number of times. It's crazy to think so much happened in that first season. And yes, there were a lot of storylines that I hated:

Mark and Jen's marriage

Div being an asshole, and then flipping out

Susan's awful sister, and Baby Susie

Doug moping around and feeling sorry for himself. Though to be fair, that lasted for about six years.

Benton's family dramas

I wonder if it was only my established love for the show that got me through this first season, when I came to watch it. Or maybe it was just the strength of Love's Labor Lost, that made it all worth it. Poor baby Josh Lyman.

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Yeah, the storylines aren't necessarily helped by viewing at a two-a-day pace, either -- since The Jen Saga is not only off-putting but seems OOC based on how she's written early in S1. And you have a little too much time to think about how old Ma Benton must have been when she had Peter if he's, what, early 30s and she's 76 when she dies?

But in-episode, the show holds up. And Shep is imminent, thank God.

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I thought that was Adam Scott!

Also could not stop staring at Amy Ryan's face during her episode, because she just looked so sweet.

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I have been so happy watching these episodes on Pop. There's literally nothing better to watch when you're recovering from spinal surgery. ❤️

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3/per day on Pop is blowing up my DVR. I agree watching them back to back to back make the storylines jump from what I remember being more drawn out. Like I thought Peter's mom lingered on longer.

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50 minutes ago, Sarah D. Bunting said:

They're rerunning them two a day (and a bunch on weekends) on the POP network.

Three a day now; they added a third episode a couple of weeks ago, so it's really flying along now.

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This might be the final straw. I've never purchased a tv show on any physical format, but I've had dvds of the first few seasons of ER sitting in my amazon cart for a few weeks now. I keep thinking they will stream somewhere (the arc is long, but it bends toward ER streaming, right?????), but a girl can only wait so long.

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4 hours ago, Sarah D. Bunting said:


But in-episode, the show holds up. And Shep is imminent, thank God.

I loved Shep. Even angry, out of control Shep. Such a cutie. (Except for the weird facial hair he has in one episode; he must've been growing it for another role.) 

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50 minutes ago, desertflower said:

I loved Shep. Even angry, out of control Shep. Such a cutie. (Except for the weird facial hair he has in one episode; he must've been growing it for another role.) 

I know what you mean. there is that episode with what the heck hair and then it is gone

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I love this so much. Thanks!

Several years ago, TNT showed ER to the point I was tired of it. But the last couple of years I've been pining for it but not quite ready to pull the trigger on buying the DVDs. Now it's filling up my DVR.

I can't watch Love's Labor Lost. I know it's an excellent episode but I just can't watch it again.

I hated Jen.

I hated Chloe so much any time Kathleen Wilhoite shows up on a show I immediately hate her. Yep, even on Gilmore Girls.

We're already past Shep in the daily episodes and that makes me sad.

Watching these episodes is a fun exercise in "hey it's so and so".

Right now Jenny O'Hara is playing a gloriously bad float nurse. My love of this is enhanced by POP's recent airing of Beverly Hills 90210's "The Next 50 Years".

I didn't always love the story lines but I do have an undying love for Carter.

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6 hours ago, desertflower said:

I loved Shep. Even angry, out of control Shep. Such a cutie. (Except for the weird facial hair he has in one episode; he must've been growing it for another role.) 

I liked Shep a lot. And I liked his relationship with Carol a lot too. It's a shame that they couldn't keep Ron Eldard around as a regular, because the guy had a ton of charisma, and offered a different perspective of emergency medicine. 

The facial hair was for Sleepers, no?

My personal favourite brief characters were Anna Del Amico and Maggie Doyle. Again, two actors who they couldn't keep around, but both went on to bigger things. And they were both good foils for Carter, in different ways.

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4 hours ago, Flamingo said:



I hated Chloe so much any time Kathleen Wilhoite shows up on a show I immediately hate her. Yep, even on Gilmore Girls.

 

SECONDED!!!!!!

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I hated Chloe so much any time Kathleen Wilhoite shows up on a show I immediately hate her. Yep, even on Gilmore Girls.

Talk about typecasting. GG writers: So, we need a flaky-hippie-addictive-personality-who-neglects-her-child-to-her-sibling's-detriment type...hey, Kathleen Wilhoite just wrapped ER across the WB lot...let's grab her!

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I'm another Chloe hater. So annoying.

I'm not the one who first noticed this (it's pointed out on the all episodes thread) but season 1 has quite the Top Gun reunion: Jester, Goose and Slider all on at the same time. I just wonder if at some point people on set went around saying "Jester's dead" constantly.

Count me as another who was missing ER and debating paying for DVDs or fees on demand to watch it. Thanks, Pop.

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I've got the first six seasons on DVD... somewhere. Bought them a few years back, not long after the show ended. I would definitely recommend season 1, if only for the pretty interesting commentary for the pilot episode.

Starring to feel like a rewatch might be in order. But as I've said, season 1 wasn't my favourite by a long shot. Seasons 2 through 4 are consistently great, though.

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Aw man, that sent me down a YouTube click hole that ended with Carter reading the letter from Mark and me in tears at my desk. What? It's dusty in here!

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So, thanks for this Sars. Started sharing ER with my teenage daughter a few weeks ago when they started rerunning on POP, and she actually pays attention. Amazing. I don't think she appreciates commentary from me along the lines of "That's Chuny. She'll be a regular next season."

Just watched S2E1, and I had to pause the DVR to say "Ok, this character is called Harper Tracy, but to many of us, she will always and forever be Emily Valentine."

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22 hours ago, betsyboo said:

SECONDED!!!!!!

THIRDED!!!!!  (our Chloe hatred)

And I hated how Susan called the baby "Susz" (or however you spell it).

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33 minutes ago, slasherboy said:

And I hated how Susan called the baby "Susz" (or however you spell it).

Better than Little Susie! 

Kathleen Wilhoite also played a similarly awful character in an episode of Law & Order: SVU.  From my limited exposure to her, she's fairly typecast, but damn good at it.

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The only good thing about Chloe was that gag where Carter asked Susan if Chloe was single, in the pretence that he was thinking of asking her out. And Susan's response to him: "Who are you?" Sherry Stringfield really could nail that wry delivery for Susan.

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Quote

Sherry Stringfield really could nail that wry delivery for Susan

SS was on Guiding Light a few years before she joined ER. She definitely knew how to bring on the bitch in that role. I always liked it when Susan's pricklier side came out.

Edited by AndySmith

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Ha -- I quickly ran through my mental list of Blake scenes that might link to, and decided on that one.

Susan was a good character, a nice balance between confidence and self-doubt, cynicism and hope, etc. -- very appropriate for where she was in her life in general and career in particular.  I was sorry to see her leave.  I vaguely remember (I know, that's my MO with this show) her coming back, and some sort of relationship with the greasy, gross flight EMT played by Donal Logue, but it will pretty much be new to me.

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5 minutes ago, Rilla-my-Rilla said:

I don't know if you've heard, but it is on Hulu now!

I discovered it today.  I'm delighted.

And also finding the last couple of seasons I watched (8-10-ish) weren't as bad as I remembered.

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I just watched a few episodes a few days ago - it holds up very well for being over 20 years old (even if the equipment looks ancient now).

One thing I noticed this time that I never noticed in all the times I've seen the pilot - after the first trauma is done, when Mark and Doug are in the hallway leaning against the walls, and Carol's walking away - somebody forgot to pull up the tape for Anthony Edwards and George Clooney's marks before they shot the scene.  The little things you notice...  

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I don't hate Chloe. 

I'm watching this for the first time since 1998 or 1999. Started recording them off Pop TV. 

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Watching February 5, 1995 and one of my favorite series of scenes is in that episode. When Doug, Carol,Bob, Connie, Carter and Lydia are trying to get the crash carts back from cardiology. That shot of all of them squeezed into the stall makes me giggle every time.  Those lighter moments really helped balance the medical side of things.

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I missed watching Love's Labor Lost the first time around (didn't start watching the show until about season 2), and holy shit that episode is great and horrible simultaneously. It's so powerful without resorting to crazy diseases or ridiculous situations.

 

While the later seasons definitely got weird, I think season 1 of ER gets a lot right and feels very real.

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I missed Love's Labor Lost the first time too, because I started watching ER in Season 2. Great episode and season 1 still holds up so well.

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-Chloe is intentionally written as hateable and annoying. The fact that people find her so vexing means the writers did a good job.  
I think appreciating the storyline takes a little empathy, too. Not totally on Chloe’s behalf, but on Susan’s too: most families have their screwups, and many more know a drugged-up dropout type. People you’ve known your whole life, and you want to help them, but they just disappoint you at every turn. I actually really liked the Chloe/baby Susie storyline but that might just be because I’m a sucker for the “responsible successful sister vs. reckless screwup sister” trope

-I really, really love rookie Carter. He’s so cute it’s kind of unbelievable. The way his face just totally lights up at seeing a newborn baby….that’s some prime feel-good stuff right there! The later seasons are severely lacking in feel-good. I’m watching the rest of Carter’s arc and clocking out, man. ER essentially ended for me once Benton bounced.

-The dichotomy between Susan’s character at the get-go and when she returns…damn! She’s turned loathsome. We clockin’ out at Season 7. That’s where ER really ends. Susan stays in Phoenix and helps raise Susie Junior. It’s all good. Carter’s string of unfortunate events is mercifully shorter, there’s no vicious custody battle over Reese. Ain’t it fun to imagine? Whatever. It isn’t real.
Sure these are just the musings of some rando watching 25 years from the show’s inception, but ya gotta admit it’s an appealing interpretation. ER Season 9 and beyond is ER 2: This Time, It’s Worse. Fuhgedaboutit! (Mind you I haven’t actually watched Season 9 and beyond yet, but I know where the story goes. Outta sight, outta mind, amirite? Shit)

-I’m always pissed that they had a relatively well-meaning storyline (for 1994) about a trans woman in season 1 and then proceeded to forget all about it and weave a litany of transphobic jokes into their writing thereafter. Where’s the respect, man. (ER has that problem overarchingly, actually. Lots of fat jokes, lotta makin fun of the mentally ill, some jabs at intersex folks thrown in there. Doesn’t really make a good case for doctors when they do that kinda thing).

-Totally forgot about that psychiatrist dude Susan dated. The one who referred to psych patients as animals, n stuff. God, wasn’t he an asshole?

-Whatever happened to Patrick. He was such a lovable recurring character n then he just vanished. Hope he ended up ok

Edited by lastminutemaniac

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47 minutes ago, lastminutemaniac said:

-Chloe is intentionally written as hateable and annoying. The fact that people find her so vexing means the writers did a good job.  
I think appreciating the storyline takes a little empathy, too. Not totally on Chloe’s behalf, but on Susan’s too: most families have their screwups, and many more know a drugged-up dropout type. People you’ve known your whole life, and you want to help them, but they just disappoint you at every turn. I actually really liked the Chloe/baby Susie storyline but that might just be because I’m a sucker for the “responsible successful older sister vs. reckless screwup younger sister” trope

Except, in this case, I'm pretty sure Chloe was the older sister. But everything else you wrote fits.

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49 minutes ago, lastminutemaniac said:

-The dichotomy between Susan’s character at the get-go and when she returns…damn! She’s turned loathsome.

Well, this was also within the "Abby is EVERYTHING!" phase, when Susan returned. And as I wrote many times before, Abby had Susan's old storyline with fucked-up parents/siblings. So the writers couldn't dare keep the character as she was, with any dignity.

So Susan 2.0 is what we got.

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