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I've watched 13 episodes and I'm all in. In my research I see lots of comments that the first season isn't great and many saying to skip it, but as a soap fan I always need to see from the beginning if possible. I do see the problems with this season, but I feel it's valuable to be introduced to the characters the way it was intended. I'm not sure if they had a lot of freelancers, but the stories are very hit or miss. What works is that the cast is fantastic, both contract and the recurring people at the hospital. Everybody has enough of a personality that you instantly get a sense of place when the episodes start. The biggest miss for me is the story with Dr. Lewis' sister, but I'm enjoying most of the personal stories so far. In the most recent episode I watched I was introduced to Ming Na's character and was shocked that she seems to be so unexperienced and clunky. I'm used to seeing Asians as the perfect and smartest person in the room, so it's nice that they decided to defy stereotypes and allow her to be more human. I'm curious to see her evolution knowing that she'll disappear after this season and return later. That is another reason I'm glad I didn't skip this season! 

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I don't know why people would say skip Season 1. It was certainly a critical and commercial hit out of the gate, IIRC.

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On 4/30/2021 at 8:23 AM, Chris B said:

Looking forward to seeing this slice of history so many seem to love! Would y’all say it holds up until the end?

 

It did suffer a drop in quality the last few seasons, but I'd say it was still better in those waning years than most of what you get on tv now.

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On 5/7/2021 at 10:08 AM, Vee said:

I don't know why people would say skip Season 1. It was certainly a critical and commercial hit out of the gate, IIRC.

I'm not sure either! I was reading the Primetimer forum for ER and in the rewatch thread so many people were saying they just started with season 2. Yes there were some clunky early episodes, but I think they quickly figured out what type of show they wanted and I haven't noticed any bad episodes after maybe the first 5-6. I had heard Love's Labor Lost was on a lost of "Best of" lists and it definitely lived up to it's hype. I was on edge the entire episode and it was a great showcase for Anthony Edwards who is easily the star of this season.

 

It's interesting watching this now and seeing how supporting Julianna Margulies is and George Clooney to a lesser extent. I expected them to dominate the show just based on how big their names are today. I imagine their characters will grow as time goes on. In addition to Anthony Edwards, I feel Eric La Salle and Sherry Stringfield carry much of the emotional weight since they have the biggest personal stories. The show is very well balanced considering how huge the cast is. They have so many recurring characters, but it doesn't distract and only makes it feel like a real workplace. So many shows ignore those background characters and treat those roles more as dayplayers. It would benefit them to look at how ER did it. 

 

 

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Carol was only supposed to be in the pilot and die from her suicide attempt. IIRC, it was Steven Spielberg's (a producer on the show) idea that they have her live and keep her around.

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Three episodes into season 2 and I understand why people say to skip season 1. I still think it's wrong, but for people revisiting the show I can see how off putting season one can be due to the look and feel of the show, which is a bit dated. Season one had a very realistic visual style, everything looked gritty and dirty and didn't have that Hollywood sheen. With season two it instantly looks like they got a huge influx of cash in the budget and all the doctors have makeovers, the set is cleaned up and less cluttered and the picture is now crisp and looks HD, which is a complete change from season one.

 

Despite all the changes, it still works. I like the new characters, especially a character called Kerry Weaver. She's very direct and likes things to be done her way, but she doesn't come off mean spirited as you can sometimes get with this type of character. An exciting surprise for me was Christine Elise from 90210 as a new intern. I didn't expect to see her on a show like this for some reason, but she's great. It's weird seeing Emily Valentine as a normal doctor, but she does a great job in the role. 

 

I'm excited to dig in and see what this season is all about! One last thing, I have to say I'm absolutely in love with Anthony Edwards. I now want to go find everything he's been in and watch it. 

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The great Laura Innes (Weaver) was so good on the show. She directs a lot now.

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Some random thoughts...

 

Gloria Reuben definitely should’ve played Victoria Rowell’s sister at some point. I love how ER balances screentime so everybody doesn’t peak at once. Season two did such a good job of developing her character and that HIV reveal was incredible! The fallout has been great as well. She is doing an amazing job with this story. She has to portray so many layers of emotions while balancing how she can act with each character due to keeping her status a secret. I am exhausted for her!

 

As I watch season three I’m devastated knowing Sherry Stringfield is leaving soon. I still find the story of her exit questionable. I just can’t understand how she just wanted to leave and somehow got out of her contract. I feel there had to be something more going on. Beyond that, I have to say she is fantastic. Whoever cast this show had an eye. Not one bad apple in the group. I’m going to miss the heart she brought to Dr. Lewis. She will be missed. 

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Originally watching ER when it first came out, I couldn't stand Susan, now I like her lol

 

Same with Benton(I have a love/hate thing for him) lol

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I think Stringfield's just always been very willful and keen to do her own thing. She bucked NYPD Blue in its first season despite having a initially very plum role (I began watching that recently during the pandemic - a fascinating time capsule, doing stuff stylistically they still don't necessarily do much today on network; a lot of similar shows are much more glossy) and it was the hottest show on TV. She just doesn't care.

 

I always felt it was a mistake to abandon Boulet's relationship with Benton outright. I loved Jeanie but her stories were too often just about quiet misery. I think she even came back in the final season and we'd learned half her family was dead or struggling. Like, why?

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52 minutes ago, Vee said:

I think Stringfield's just always been very willful and keen to do her own thing. She bucked NYPD Blue in its first season despite having a initially very plum role (I began watching that recently during the pandemic - a fascinating time capsule, doing stuff stylistically they still don't necessarily do much today on network; a lot of similar shows are much more glossy) and it was the hottest show on TV. She just doesn't care.

 

I always felt it was a mistake to abandon Boulet's relationship with Benton outright. I loved Jeanie but her stories were too often just about quiet misery. I think she even came back in the final season and we'd learned half her family was dead or struggling. Like, why?

I remember watching one of those Emmy TV Legends interviews with Steven Bochco. And the interviewer asked him about Sherry Stringfield. And he was like I don't want to speak much about her or something of that nature. But she wanted to leave NYPD Blue because she wanted to move back to New York and quit acting. However, he was mad she lied to him because the next thing he knew she was on the next hottest show ER. 

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About to start Season 10. Excited to see what they bring.

 

On 5/10/2021 at 7:24 AM, Chris B said:

Three episodes into season 2 and I understand why people say to skip season 1.

 

I haven't seen Season 1 since 2008 when I first started properly watching the show but I get it. As far as I recall, Season 1 had a heavy emphasis on the medical and hadn't quite found itself yet. I enjoyed most of it but was bored a few times. But I had to see it all from the beginning. After all these years, I'm getting excited to rewatch and see if I feel differently.

 

On 5/10/2021 at 7:24 AM, Chris B said:

a character called Kerry Weaver.

 

"A character called Kerry Weaver"  I guess you really don't know much about the show! lol I love it. And you'll love Weaver. Her story never stops to evolve, surprise, and intrigue.

 

On 5/14/2021 at 10:30 AM, Chris B said:

Some random thoughts...

 

Gloria Reuben definitely should’ve played Victoria Rowell’s sister at some point. I love how ER balances screentime so everybody doesn’t peak at once. Season two did such a good job of developing her character and that HIV reveal was incredible! The fallout has been great as well. She is doing an amazing job with this story. She has to portray so many layers of emotions while balancing how she can act with each character due to keeping her status a secret. I am exhausted for her!

 

Jeanie! Her story was exhausting and heartbreaking. Loved every minute of it but I do wish they had lightened up with her even a little bit every now and then.

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@YRBBStorywise all I know are things you couldn’t miss in the press like Kelli Martin getting stabbed. I remember that caught my attention because I loved her in Death of a Cheerleader. I know Dr. Greene dies of cancer because that was promoted endlessly and I know something happens with a helicopter. Beyond that I know some of the actors who join the show, but that’s it. It’s certainly unique going in so blind. My jaw is constantly dropping watching this show!

 

I also am finding that it’s not making me want to watch another medical drama. This is spoiling me. I feel like anything else wouldn’t be able to compare so I don’t see myself watching another one anytime soon, once I finish ER. 

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