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Reviews & Ratings for
"Chicago Hope" More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Had Its Good and Bad Eras

Author: tresjolie9 from NY
1 March 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

During its 6 season run, Chicago Hope had several inceptions, which different viewers either like or dislike.

When the show first started out, during the David E. Kelly/Jeffery Geiger era, it was pretty good. It had a dynamic cast, and exciting characters. It primarily dealt with issues of law, and the life of the Jeffery Geiger, a troubled cardiologist, whose wife had drowned his baby during a schizophrenic episode. The most fascinating aspect of the show was "will Jeffery Geiger go crazy.'

During the show's second season, David E. Kelly decided to leave. The lawyer, Alan Birch was killed off, and Jeffery Geiger took a `leave of absence.' At this point, many of the David E. Kelly and Mandy Patinkin fans decided to give up, saying that the show was no longer as good. With the loss of Alan Birch, the `law aspect' of the show disappeared. However others prefer the `post DEK period.' The show became more of an ensemble, with a great mix of characters. There was quiet Aaron Shutt, who was a good supporting character, feminist Kate Austin, tough Billy Kronk (who ended up in a relationship with his polar opposite, Diane Grad), lothario Danny Nyland and fatherly Philip Watters. Later on Jack McNeil, an orthopedist with a gambling addiction, and Rocky Caroll, a no nonsense doctor were added. This mix of characters did a good job carrying the show for the next two seasons. These seasons were some of the best television I have ever seen. They included storylines involving Danny Nyland and Billy Kronk helping out an inner city youth `doctor.' Kate Austin dealing with her difficult ex husband, and precocious daughter.

But, by the fourth season, things began to crumble. Danny Nyland (my favorite character), was written out, without a clear reason. Diane and Billy became engaged, married and then parents within one season! Because of this Billy began to loose the edge that made his character interesting. But the biggest nail in the coffin was the fact that Aaron's character had changed overnight! After an aneurysm, he went from being a neurosurgeon, to a psychiatrist. The show attempted to show the more `emotional' side of Aaron, but we had already seen that various times beforehand. Instead of developing the character, they changed him overnight into a `caring sensitive guys,' who attempts to help boys whose brothers had committed suicide. To replace Aaron they added a new neurosurgeon, Lisa Catera (named after a car commercial 'lease a catera). While the character would not have been that bad had they added her a season or two beforehand, the fact that she was `Aaron's replacement' and that she was getting too many storylines, gave the audience the impression that she was being shoved down our throats. Because of this, she became one of the shows most loathed characters.

By the fifth season, things began to deteriorate completely. Philip Watters was turned from a fatherly figure, into a man whose regretted having an affair with his wife. This was horrible. Two seasons beforehand he revealed to Billy Kronk, that he woke up with and went to bed with the same women for 30 years, and in the episode after Alan's death, felt guilty about starting a relationship with another women. They did a lame storyline with Kate Austin going into space...and added yet ANOTHER annoying character played by Eric Stoltz, who was diagnosing people using his 6th sense. By this point, many frustrated fans began quitting. It clearly should have been the end of the show, but for some odd reason, CBS gave it `a second chance.' In the final episode of that season, they suddenly fired four major characters, Kate Austin, Billy Kronk, Dennis Hancock, and Lisa Catera. As a longtime fan of the show, I would have preferred seeing what happened to them, despite their deterioration 

The sixth season was an attempt to bring the show back to its roots. While Jeffery Geiger was brought back, he wasn't the same character he was first season. He lost his `will he lose it edge.' He became the `evil one' who fired the rest of the cast. In addition to Geiger, they had three new female doctors running around the hospital. It was very difficult to bond to these characters, especially in the 'absence' of the ones from the previous season. David E. Kelly, was supposed to stay at the helm, but abandoned the show, prompting Jeffery Geiger, to leave the show quickly, this time to take care of his daughter (who had been aged into an annoying 6 year old, a stark contrast to Kate Austin's daughter). By the time the show was done, it had deteriorated once again. In the final episodes of the show, the hospital was purchased by an eccentric millionaire played by James Garner. The last episode was a sad reminder of what the show had become. It dealt with a paralyzed millionaire(who did something in computers) making a pair of `fake hands' so he could move again.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Life and times of doctors at Chicago Hope Hospital.

Author: julia_rakowski from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
21 March 2004

Chicago hope is one of the best medical dramas, and television shows in general, I have ever seen. The cast is amazing and includes some of Hollywood's top names. The show follows the lives of numerous doctors through their daily work and personal routines. The show tends to be very dramatic, but it has comedic elements. Each character has their own way of dealing with personal loss and trauma, which is a very common element in Chicago Hope. The characters are all different, with diverse personalities and temperaments. Though there is some jargon, it is mostly explained clearly and easy to follow. I find myself relating to some of the characters and their problems. The episodes are very touching and realistic. The on screen chemistry between the characters is incredible. A glimpse into the everyday life of a typical inner city hospital physician. Two thumbs way up!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Lacking Dr Gieger

Author: Edward Knowles (ewknowle@hotmail.com) from Sheffield England
4 February 1999

Chicago Hope is full of good actors and dialogue, Hector Elizondo is a notable example. And is fresh in the fact that it has wonderfully light hearted moments which intense programs such as ER lack.

I have two major problems with the show recently, in that it is severely lacking two characters which I believe made it the best series on television rather just the good series it is now.

1) Peter Mchnicol as the eel was a wonderful character and he is missed (although its good to see him on Ally Mcbeal) 2) The major flaw in the series though is that Mandy Patinkin is not there. He is such a wonderfully sincere, intense, and brilliantly funny actor that he gave the series a depth not possible without him. For god's sake bring him back.

Good series, can only be brilliant again with Dr Gieger back at the operating table.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Hospital life

Author: Petri Pelkonen (petri_pelkonen@hotmail.com) from Finland
19 September 2000

Chicago Hope is a hospital show with amazing cast.Hector Elizondo plays the boss Dr. Phillip Watters.Other doctors include Dr. Aaron Shutt (Alan Arkin), Dr. Jack McNeil (Mark Harmon), Dr. Keith Wilkes (Rocky Carroll) and so on.Mandy Patinkin plays Dr. Jeffrey Geiger, who was gone for a few years but came back in 1999.He fired a few doctors, like Dr. Kathryn Austin (Christine Lahti) and Dr. Robert Yeats (Eric Stoltz).They were replaced by some others, like Dr. Gina Simon (Carla Cugino) and Dr. Jeremy Hanlon (Lauren Holly).To be honest I kind of miss the old characters but these new ones are doing a nice job.Chicago Hope is a great TV show, that is often very touching.It's amazing to watch these people saving lives, but it's sad when they don't succeed in it.Watch Chicago Hope if you want to see TV drama at it's best.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Lahti didn't replace Patinkin

Author: amyhpete from United States
15 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't know where people got the impression that Lahti came on after Patinkin left the first time. They were on the show together, quite memorably in my opinion. Lahti was either part of the original cast or added very shortly after it began. And no one is talking about Tommy Wilmette, the ex-husband. He was evil-brilliant. My favorite episode (which I still have on VHS in a packing box somewhere) was when an argument broke out between Geiger and Willmette in the corridor.

They were facing each other, sort of countering each other's aggression by moving in a circle, and the camera circled with them, giving us a view of both of them, and they were talking over each other at exactly the same decibel, yet you could sort of understand what each was saying. Finally Wilmette prevailed, raising his voice. Geiger says, "That was fun. I'd go two for three, but I have surgery," turned around and left. It was classic! And while I agree it was a mistake to write out Peter MacNichol's character, the lawyer, his death was some of the best dramatic writing I've ever seen in television. He was shot by a patient, and as he was struggling to speak, he said, "You can take steps to make sure the hospital assumes no liability for this..." the gathered cast then cheers and says, "He's going to be just fine!" which as it turns out he wasn't, but he was in every cell of his body a lawyer until the end.

Then there was the time Camille Schut had, inexplicably, slept with Billy Cronk. The next day she encountered Aaron at a funeral for their mutual longtime rabbi. "You smell like sex," he told her as they were standing around the burial site. "Excuse me," she says. "You smell like sex," he replies, "I've had sex with you and I know that you smell like sex." I thought Diane Grad and Billy Cronk were a great storyline - until they got married. I liked Aaron Schut and his struggle after his stroke. It gave him a chance to really explore his anger. Prior to that, the extent of his emotional range was whining to Hector Elizondo, "Why is everyone else more important than me?" Most of the time I think crossover shows are stupid, but there was one with Picket Fences where reference was made to Cook County General (the hospital portrayed on ER) and Hector Elizondo said, "We never talk about that other hospital." Anyway, Christine Lahti was on with Patinkin during his original stint with the show. His torment of her and his ardent dislike for Tommy WIlmette was one of the points of watching. It was far and above ER in terms of quality and writing. But it did go downhill in the last two seasons.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

a classic

Author: oego from Gold Coast, Australia
6 October 2002

Chicago hope is an absolute classic. David E Kelley triumphed again with this one. Although even I must admit the show grew a little tiresome at the end of its' run, it was still streets ahead of the opposition. The first few years, particularly 94,95, and 96 were just amazing eps', with great true to life (mostly!), well-rounded and heartfelt characters like the eel, camille , schutt and geiger, keeping me tuning in week after week. An awesome show, with such amazingly talented writers and actors! Although not always action packed, the shows deep and subtle storylines would get you hooked, whether 11 (like I was) or 111! I used to love this show so much that i used to beg permission to stay up until 10.30 on a school nite to watch this, and i am sure there were many others just like me! If there are repeats on, please catch them if you can, it will be well worth it! Oh and look out for cameos' by the likes of Julia Styles, Ryan Phillipe, Mena Suvari etc.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Chicago Hope

9/10
Author: Tim Cox from Marietta, OH
22 March 1999

Started off great with Mandy Patinkin in the lead, but when he left and Christine Lahti stepped in, the quality got lost. While Hector Elizondo still gives great performances episode after episode, the show doesn't have its original punch. Peter MacNicol and E.G. Marshall were wonderful members of the original cast while Berg annoys incessantly. Harmon isn't really in the show much; he just sticks his head in once and a while. One more year and it'll be gone.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The best medical series on TV

Author: filmsfan38 from Toronto
16 March 2004

I used to watch this show every week till it ended, though it may be in syndication and on my TV at some late hour. I always watched the show every week and I particularly liked the attractive Adam Arkin, and Nurse Camille (Roxanne Hart) as his wife. One episode about both of them getting back together was very romantic and touching. Mandy Patinkin was good as the sometimes temperamental Dr.Geiger. Also I liked Hector Elizondo as Dr. Watters, the head of the hospital. I didn't care much for Christine Lahti. In my view, she is not a very good actress. I don't know why they haven't brought out some of the episodes on DVD/VHS. I would buy it and probably lots of others.Its better than a lot of junk you see on DVD. I would buy it and probably lots of others.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I'm a REAL doctor, and this show is GOOOOOOOOOD

Author: (hpande@satyam.net.in) from India
21 November 2000

Hey people,

I am a real life doctor, and watching CH really makes my night. Adam Arkin is one REAL talented actor; the role he has to play is not an easy one, yet he does it so well. Mark Harmon is another hunk. Eric too does a fine job, although personally he was portrayed as a little rebellious guy, which doesn't actually work in the medic world. But soon he captures the audience.

dr.hemant pande

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent hospital show...

Author: AllisonLVenezio from Jersey shore, USA
7 January 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I do not regularly enjoy doctor shows, especially since I am the one who will outright refuse to see doctors for anything (and I'm only 19). However, my mother watching this show during my sophomore year of high school prompted me to watch it too, and ask lots of questions.

The show takes place at Chicago Hope hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and focuses on the lives of several doctors working there, under the guidance and helm of Dr. Philip Watters (Hector Elizondo). In the season I saw in entirety, the 1998-99 season, there was Dr. Bobby Yeates (Eric Stoltz), a free spirit, who consistently clashed with Dr. Kate Austen (Christine Lahti), Dr. Jack MacNeil (the very handsome Mark Harmon), and orthoscopic doctor, Dr. Aaron Shott (Adam Arkin), who is now a psychiatrist after suffering an anyerism (sp?), Dr. Caccachi, who ends up taking his own life by jumping off the roof (I NEVER liked him, and I was with Jack--pull the plug, he's done for), and Billy and Diane, who are juggling their careers with new parenthood.

This show is interesting, because I've learned so many different kinds of hospital terms that I probably wouldn't otherwise know. This show combines the drama of saving lives with some essential humor (especially from Jack MacNeill--you couldn't have found a better person to play this role!). My favorite episode is the first episode I ever saw, the 100th episode, in which Philip becomes ill and halucinates that Allan Birch (Peter MacNichol) has come back. That episode was freaky, but it ended well, with Philip recovering. My one question: Did Jack date EVERY woman in the hospital?

In all, this is a great show, with a great cast. I try to catch the reruns as often as they air on Lifetime. If you get the chance, watch it too. You seriously won't regret it.

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