Michael Crichton has created a medical drama that chronicles life and death in a Chicago hospital emergency room. Each episode tells the tale of another day in the ER, from the exciting to the mundane, and the joyous to the heart-rending. Frenetic pacing, interwoven plot lines, and emotional rollercoastering is used to attempt to accurately depict the stressful environment found there. This show even portrays the plight of medical students in their quest to become physicians.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
The Los Angeles hospital, Linda Vista Community Hospital used for interior shots is ironically located on South Chicago St., which is where the show's hospital is located. See more »
The illuminated letters of Exit signs seen in the hospital are green in color. Both red and green colors are legal, but individual states enact the building code laws which specify what color sign can be used. Chicago requires that all exit signs be red in letter color. The interior hospital scenes are filmed in LA. See more »
All episodes before "The Visit" (airdate: 16 November 2000) were shot and broadcast in the standard television aspect ratio of 1.33:1. All subsequent episodes are done in the HDTV ratio of 1.78:1. However, the DVD collection has reformatted versions of all the early season episodes in 1.78:1. They went back to the original negatives and "matted" off the top and bottom parts of the screen, but gained visuals on the left ands right sides that were never seen before . See more »
Even an indifferent episode is better than the alternatives
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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