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86 out of 102 people found the following review useful:

still the best

Author: blanche-2 from United States
26 September 2004

As an 10 year devotee of ER, I can't agree with some of the posters. The first years of a show are often its best, that is true. Yes, I miss Dr. Greene something fierce, as I do George Clooney and Juliana Margulies. But for me, ER is still a compelling, emotional show, filled with good acting, great characters, drama, humor, a fast pace and lots of layers. It remains an interactive, nail-biting show. I look forward to each episode and the journey of each character. At a time of reality shows dominating the ratings, ER remains in the top ten, as it should.

The personnel change is to be expected, but most long-running shows experience that. I don't have the connection with some of the newer people as I did with the earlier actors. But hey, I still miss Chris Noth on Law & Order, too.

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62 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

Best Drama on Television.

10/10
Author: Christian from Canada
21 November 2002

I started watching ER on Thursdays in 1995 after my basketball practices. Already at its second season, I had heard a lot of good from the show, but never bothered to see what it was all about. I was exhausted, relaxing on the couch after a good workout and a cooling shower, flipping channels, something I rarely ever do, when my attention was grabbed by the intensity of the scene that was been played out before me. Something to do with Eriq Lasalle's character (Dr. Benton) and his mom or sister, I vaguely remember. Then the emergency room complications, the tension. Blood. Hospital. This must be that doctors show, ER, I thought. Let me see what this fuss is all about, I said to myself, intended to watch at least the end of that show… But it was already too late!! I was already hooked. The next week, I found myself driving back faster from my basketball practice to make sure to catch the show again.

Seven years later, I'm still watching (or taping) it every week. Why? Because it's the best drama show on TV, hands down, no contest. I thought at first I was biased because I studied physiology and am pretty versed in the technical jargon and medical realities they face on the show. I have a great interest in medicine and even considered a career in that path at one point in my life. However, the more I watched the show, the more I realized that it's not about the physical traumas, but about the human traumas. The admittedly romanticized, but no less relevant, reality of a profession that deals with life and death day after day, night after night. This is what makes it compelling. This is what makes it of greater scope and deeper emotions.

An ER doctor never gets enough sleep, never gets to go home. Is facing critical situations one after the other. Must make life-altering decisions daily. And yes, also has to cope with his personal life. Relationships, achievements and short-comings.

The setting aside, ER is a show that can boast about serious talent in the writing, directing, acting, casting, cinematography, editing, sound and even the pretty realistic make-up-F/X departments. And I'm talking about top-notch rendition, year after year. Just look at the list of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations over the years. What should also be kept in mind is the genuine appreciation by the public, as demonstrated for example by the People's Choice Award for Favorite Television Dramatic Series for eight years straight.

Created by writing mogul Michael Crichton, this show has passed a host of extremely talented actors that went on to 'bigger and better things', while still keeping the quality and the excitement of interesting and captivating stories told by equally apt newcomers. The style of the show is unique. The humour is witty and often sarcastic (see the purposely unlikable, sharp-tongued Paul Crane's Dr. Robert Romano). The tension is handled impeccably. The death of main characters truly riveting, sad and heartfelt (no question some of the best shows). The personal stories of the nurses and doctors and their work interactions with each other is worthy of a soap opera, but handled with a honest hard look at the twists and turn of life and personal interplay. The directing is smart, thorough. The long continuous takes (with great cinematography work) enables us to feel right in the action and switch from a tense situation to the other. What can you ask more of a TV show?

I enjoy ER and give my hats off to everyone involved with the show. Back in 1994, they re-invented the TV drama genre, upping the level of writing, acting and directing. This challenged the competition at the time and started giving us altogether better drama shows (for the most part). In its ninth season, ER is still the best; it hasn't lost any steam yet. Yes, there has been a lot of changes (actors-characters), but the essence (writers, directors, producers) of what makes the show great is still there and still strong.

When it comes down to it, the daily stress and life-affecting decisions at County General Hospital coupled with the hectic work environment is a place I want to vicariously live in every week. Because, with all the pain and hardness, we understand that these doctors like to help people, but they also love the RUSH.

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54 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

The life and times of doctors at Cook County General Hospital, Chicago.

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

The best medical drama ever to be aired! It's fast paced, emotional, and suspenseful. The cast is unbeatable. Composed of some of the best actors and actresses Hollywood has ever seen including George Clooney. The show is extremely realistic down to the smallest detail, yet easy enough to understand. There is a lot of drama, but also some comic relief. The characters are all unique and different, but they work well together on stage. The plots and sub-plots are very diversified, but they all tie in somehow. The writing and coordination is incredible. I would recommend this show to everyone, it sure is a change from the warm fuzzies of television!

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53 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

I like it

Author: mechmaniac from U.S.A.
10 May 2004

I have seen every single episode from 1994 to present. I can't say much to it personally that can do it justice so I'm simply going to leave it at that I have learned much from this show, it has a lot of feeling and a lot of heart, and I have grown with it. If I'm labeled as a die-hard fan, then so be it. I'm a guy and I love E.R. Hey, I'm square with that... ; ) And to those who say it's too long because characters leave... welcome to real life. People go places, they die, they have their troubles, they go out with 4 different people (sometimes incredibly in the same workplace). They don't call it drama for nuttin' :D

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50 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Even an indifferent episode is better than the alternatives

Author: ColinBaker
29 April 2004

In the UK we have the home grown medical dramas Casualty and its sister show Holby City. Putting these against ER is like comparing two Ladas to a Rolls Royce. The Brit shows look leaden, and have far too many hammy and wooden actors.

ER has set a very high standard of modern TV drama for 10 years. True, there have been the occasional duff episodes, but the urgency of the drama, combined with what looks like hand held camera work usually delivers punchy tension filled drama, with first rate performances.

Another contributor mentioned the only serious rival to ER, Chicago Hope, a show that was cheeky enough to have a character say "I was hoping to watch ER tonight", and had a hilarious scene which culminated in the death of a heart transplant patient! Unfortunately, that show suffered with the loss of Mandy Patinkin, and began taking itself too seriously. ER may have lost most of its mainstays, especially Anthony Edwards, but it still is a far better option than any other medical drama. I realise however, that it may struggle once Noah Wyle leaves.

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44 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Wanna See What Made this Show Great? Buy the 1st Season DVD

Author: The Man With No Name from Chicago
19 November 2003

ER in its present, 2003 form is a schizophrenic mess. For every one intelligent, caring episode comes four or five exercises in downbeat, melodramatic soap opera which sap all the energy out of the show's still-present technical mastery. This four-disc set is a welcome flashback to the show's humble beginnings, when it wasn't supposed to be the most heart-pounding show on television, and succeeded on will, not on hype.

The central characters in the first season are Chief Resident Dr. Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards), ER Residents Susan Lewis (Sherry Stringfield) and pediatrician Doug Ross (George Clooney), Head Nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Marguiles), Surgical Resident Dr. Peter Benton (Eriq la Salle) and his protégé, third-year med student John Carter (Noah Wyle, the only actor to remain on the show through the entire run). They brought a fresh edge to the oft-repeated world of medical drama, helped greatly by the first television show, in my estimation, to ever put actual intelligence into the presentation. On ER, the cameras move, the people move, the consistent hustle and bustle of an actual environment is palpable, and not simply a setpiece. It's interesting to note that although the show was never broadcast in widescreen until 2001, in the middle of it's seventh season, these first episodes are all presented in the wider format. At first it might seem like hubris, but most of them fit the frame very well, with shots composed and staged for the wider picture - it's not `cinematic' just for its own sake.

Standout episodes from the season include the exposition-heavy `Pilot' which still found time for drama; `Blizzard' which was a tour-de-force of film, editing, and cutting edge medical realism; `Hit & Run' & `Sleepless in Chicago' which dealt with the heavy burden of juggling personal & professional medical care, as well as Carter's development as a doctor; and `Love's Labor Lost', an absolute masterpiece from every angle: drama, directing, scripting, staging, scoring, every cosmic tumbler clicked into place for this episode centered around Greene's tragic triumph in the case of a pregnancy gone bad.

The show took a few (deserved) knocks for being shamelessly convenient in its storylines and ignoring the realities of daily hospital structure in favor of sensationalism. This is exaggerated a little, but still a valid point; rarely an episode goes by without something in the line of an unexpected pregnancy, a suicide attempt, a violent skirmish between doctor and patient, or (in one outrageous case) a 12-year old gang member brining his Glock into a trauma room to try and finish another 12-year old off. Still, the show displayed remarkable resilience in almost always rising to become greater than the sum of its parts. Naturally, that ability has waned and virtually disappeared, but these episodes are no less enjoyable as a result of that.

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32 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Excellent drama, incredibly thrilling.

9/10
Author: Starbuck-13 from Bamberg, Germany
29 April 1999

It took me some time to get hooked by E.R.. It was only during the preparations for my exams that I discovered the daily reruns of E.R., and after some five episodes I decided to have my lunch break every day when E.R. was running.

I really love the show today, especially because of the strong, realistic characters and the thrilling action in the hospital (where time is always running low). I think this is one of the best TV series ever made. Though the newer seasons were a little worse than the first three ones (what a tragedy when Doctor Lewis left, sniff), it is still worth watching.

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27 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Extraordinary everything.

Author: (llihilloh)
22 November 2000

This show is without a doubt, the best one on television. The one thing that I like most about this show is the atmosphere and setting. Has anyone ever admired the detail put into County General? I think it's great that there is at least one intelligent show on the air.

Not only is the hospital well set up, but so is the cast. All of the characters do a superb job of portraying doctors with the exception of Michael Michele's character. (Sorry if this offends any fans.) The scripts are so well written and I can't imagine writing one every week. Thanks to the writers, producers, etc. for giving us a high-paced dramatic show.

The one thing that I find very unique is that each week new patients comes in with new injuries. With all the episodes they've done over the years, you would think that they would repeat some of their cases, but they don't.

From the scrubs to the trauma, I love everything about the show. With ER topping the ratings chart each week, I will continue to watch and be amazed. I am going to hate to see this show go off the air.

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24 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Top notch weeknight television series

Author: jmorrison-2 from Farmington Hills, MI
3 June 2005

This show has been a remarkable, long-lasting hospital drama. The acting has been superb, and the story lines intelligent, and played out very well. The show has come down a bit in recent years. It can still be compelling, but it seems some of the acting is not quite up to what it used to be.

I still remember an episode (I believe it was in the second season), where Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) ended up misdiagnosing a pregnant woman. She went into labor in the parking lot, and ended up back in the ER, eventually dying after a horribly bloody delivery (Bradley Whitford from "West Wing" played the husband). I will never forget that episode as long as I live. That was truly one of the finest, and most heart-wrenching television episodes I had ever seen. The nightmare just wouldn't seem to end. Anthony Edwards was just remarkable. I felt emotionally drawn and worn-out after watching it. That just doesn't happen with television anymore.

This show can still be compelling, and it doesn't shy away from sensitive subjects. Like Doctors and Nurses in emergency rooms, it doesn't dwell on, and overdramatize things, but tries to portray them realistically, and then moves on. Although these doctors and nurses can be understandably prone to self-pity, the show doesn't dwell on it. These people have to pick up and carry on, and the show does also.

All in all, very intelligent and thoughtfully done, for the most part.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Though It has Lost Its Edge Recently, ER Is Still The Best Medical Drama Produced

9/10
Author: waiching liu from London, England, UK
12 October 2007

Alongside The Simpsons, ER is one of the longest running US TV shows and through its successful blend of wonderful and memorable characters, intriguing story lines, strong intensity involving the cast and impressive action sequences, this medical drama is by far streets ahead of the likes of Chicago Hope and even Grey's Anatomy. Unfortunately in recent years, ER has declined in quality due to the departure of key characters, poor story lines and dull ideas, of which accounted for the decrease in viewing figures. The current crop of characters Neela, Luka, Abby, Pratt, Taggart and Barnett don't hold a candle to the experienced old rear guard of Greene, Carter, Benton, Lewis, Hathaway and Ross. They, in particular, were the original, and arguably the best set of characters the show has had.

The earlier seasons of ER were great- those times were witty, exciting and a joy to behold for us viewers. Such a shame however that when the old characters had left- or in the case of Mark Greene passed away- the writers of this drama were unable to fill that void with their newer, replacement characters, as well as good story lines and as such, the programme has suffered as a result.

There were a few story lines I didn't agree with; likewise for example, Mark Greene and Elizabeth Corday getting married together as a couple. I always had an inkling for Mark and Susan, of whom I felt had a lot more in common with each other and considering the history they had together as close friends and work colleagues they had a bond and chemistry that was like a match made in heaven. Also, a lot of ER fans preferred Mark to be with Susan, compared to those who liked Mark and Elizabeth. And so its such a shame that we never got to see Mark and Susan as a couple. There were also tragic and memorable story lines which are worth mentioning also that touched viewers hearts- Mark's brain tumour and his evitable death, Benton's son being mentally handicapped, Weaver coming to terms with her sexuality and coming out as a lesbian to her friends, work colleagues and family, and the consummation of Luka and Abbey and Ross and Carol's relationships.

The main problem with the ER though were the main characters of the earlier seasons who were on the show for a few series, and then suddenly they are written off. It doesn't matter how many new ideas, characters you introduce to the show because it is the original ideas, characters and realism of the show, of which worked so well in the first place that should be further developed. I wouldn't say that ER has jumped the shark, but it is certainly no longer the same show as it was back in 1994. ER is currently in its 14th season and whilst it is somewhat of an impressive feat, many of the original cast have gone and yet it can be argued that in reference to the current season the show has gradually become boring and stale, the longer it has gone on.

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end- and ER perhaps is no exception. Perhaps now it is the time to lay this ghost to rest. As much as it is arguably the best and most successful medical drama in TV history, ER during the last few years has spiralled downhill; the writing isn't as good as it was and it has lost a lot of its spark, which made it the no#1 hit US drama around. Still, as mentioned earlier, it is still the best medical/hospital drama to ever grace our screens. As not even the classic St Elsewhere and Chicago Hope comes close to matching, rivalling or surpassing ER's accomplishments.

Besides, this show will live long in TV history that's for sure and quite rightly so.

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