Friday, April 3

The End Of An ERa

And that's it. After a whopping fifteen years on air, ER has finally finished.

Fifteen years. Let's put that into perspective: that's spanning a period of half my entire life - or over that for the most of the show's target demographic. Most successful shows don't get past their fifth or sixth year, but ER managed three times that. I would call that institutional.

Still, I must admit that I called for ER to end, although that was during a spat of boring seasons. Still, a part of me felt obligated to see through seasons ten and eleven, and by twelve I was glad my previous request was ignored. ER managed to get back to the awesomeness it had for most of its first decade, a time when it consistently made number one in the US ratings.

Quite laughably, if there was one thing which constantly reminds me of how I could have been a doctor, it was ER. Yes, all my doctor friends constantly tell me how it's not reality, but I'm sure that there's some truth in the excitement, friendship and, well, eliteness demonstrated by those in the show. It makes medicine look fun, intense and rewarding; way more than visiting Whipps Cross ever did.

As a show it was pretty special. ER wasn't about story arcs spanning multiple episodes or people having affairs or clever comedy or wordplay. There were no gimmicks, and no determinable hook other than making you want to follow the lives of some relatively real people in relatively real situations. In that sense you can see why it lasted much longer than other shows which possibly relied on a more short term attraction; it was very much about Barnett, Benton, Carter, Chen, Corday, Gallant, Gates, Greene, Hathaway, Knight, Lewis, Lockhart, Morris, Pratt, Rasgotra, Romano, Ross, Taggart, Weaver and many many others than what they did for a living.

There was the usual fan service seen during series finales in last night's episode - full opening credits (a rare treat nowadays), a return of old faces and even na bhgfvqr fubg bs Pbhagl Trareny, something we've never actually been shown before. It all made the occasion way more poignant than it should have been - the episode itself didn't offer anything more than a nod to what made the show so great. Understated yet still good, there was never going to be an easy way to end ER.

And so it's done. There is no more ER, and the show I've seen for the longest and most of is finally over. I'm actually going to miss it, I think.

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