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>
On at least four occasions during the series characters refer to LVN's (licensed vocational nurses). Only Texas and California use that designation. Other states, including Illinois, designate this level of nursing Practice as LPN (licensed practical nurse). See more »
A way to determine the difference between time zone broadcasts of the 1997 live episode is to look at the scene with the man on the gurney who loses it and threatens people with a scalpel. In the east coast broadcast seen by most of the country, the scene went as scripted. In the second broadcast, the man accidentally knocks the instruments off the table and recovered by holding out his arms to keep the others away, still in character. 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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