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 set for the pilot episode was a rundown hospital in East Los Angeles, as they couldn't afford to build a proper set of their own. As the rooms were quite small, this necessitated the use of the Steadicam, which has since become the trademark of the show. Real members of the public, usually punk gangs, would often pull up outside, mistaking the set for the real thing. See more »
In many episodes the doctors cross over to different rooms or send other doctors/nurses to another room (touching walls/doors, and don't change robes and possibly gloves. 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 »
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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