Old Episodes vs. New

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I happened to catch the epi of "Men plan, God laughs" last night on TNT and was struck by the fact that, despite the fact that it was a 1st season epi, the hospital staff felt like family. There was a hidden history behind each character's interaction with all the others...these people know each other.

Comparing this to what's been going on this season (and a few past ones too) it seems to me that one of the writers' mistakes has been introducing characters who are new to the staff. I realize that hospitals recently get influxes of new workers, and it's difficult in TVland to introduce someone new and yet act as if they've been there all along. But the easy comfort of those first season situations is just utterly lost these days. The epi recently with SuperNurse, who everyone seemed to know yet who we the viewers had never met, is an example of the kind of comeraderie I miss. I guess not every cast member addition could fit this guideline, but I wish the writers could try harder to make additions/subtractions more seamless. I just feel like the ER is a fractured, splintered place right now, compared to what it used to be like, anyway, and we're not really being shown anyone attempting to start making "new history" on the staff. Anyone feel differently? Does anyone forsee someone asking someone else's kid to be a ring bearer in their wedding (as Carol asked Mark in MP,GL)or some sort of similar reflection of good will? Am I crazy for expecting this much from a TV show?

-- nancy (ntc72@mailcity.com), April 19, 2000


I know what you mean. Because I am watching the TNT episodes, there really doesn't seem much closeness amongst the staff this season then the 1st season. I remember just watching a show (can't remember the episode name), but Carter was "Twist and Shout" with Carol and Susan, and it was really cute. Granted Carter has grown up since then but, I do miss the closeness. Too bad Carol is leaving, I think if she was staying on the show, she would be the one helping Carter out.

-- Paula (pbranden@dwave.net), April 19, 2000.

I miss this closeness, too. Whether it was Carol asking Mark's daughter Rachel to be the ring bearer; Doug immitating Kerry to cheer Susan up; Doug, Carol, Lydia, and Carter stealing crash carts; Carol going to Doug for comfort after losing Tatiana; Mark showing up at Susan's place with pizza and beer, or the countless other examples, the fact remains that these people used to be friends. Susan was maid of honor in Carol's wedding (I think, or was she just a bride's maid?), they sunbathed on the roof together, etc.

They used to be actively involved and concerned about one another's lives, which made their working relationships all the more interesting -- given their personal relationships, who will they side with in a professional disagreement? That's really lacking now. The only "oldER"- type friendship that remains is Carol & Mark. A trusting, platonic friendship that will never be anything more. Carol and Carter aren't really friends, per say, but they do have little heart-to-hearts and will support one another if needed. This is what I miss in the current shows, the comeraderie.

-- Arianne (CarolRossSusanGreene@yahoo.com), April 19, 2000.

I personally feel that maybe the writers are just getting tired and running out of ideas. I'm not a professional writer, but I do like to write. I know from experience that sometimes, no matter how good something is, when you're done, you're done. Maybe they need new writers. Whatever happens, they really need to sit back and take a look. It would be great if they read a forum like this and realized that so many of us feel the characters need more deep friendships among each other. Too many romantic relationships and it turns into a soap opera.

-- kristal (teetle1@juno.com), April 19, 2000.

By now most know that I totally agree with this. There is a little commeraderie, but each week someone is bonding with someone new, just to have them not interact w/ each other again for weeks/months (i.e. Carter and Deb, Carter and Abby, Carol and Elizabeth, etc....) Also, there are 3 major issues going on right now, and they are happening with 3 very popular cast members. Unfortunately this means none of them can support each other as much as they otherwise would.

SPOILERS may follow, do not read if you don't want to know!

CAROL She is leaving 3 shows from now, so she will not be there to give her usual "Carter pep talks" (regardless of what some say, I think they are pretty good friends). And, if David Greene does die on/around the season finale, she will definetly not be there to help Mark out...in fact, they haven't even talked about his father once! Plus, instead of spending her last few days/weeks at the work she loves, she'll be out on the town w/ Luka, when I would much prefer her interacting w/ Mark, Carter, Kerry, the nurses during her final days.

MARK He is dealing with his father, so he will hardly even be around for Carol's final days in the ER. I expect their goodbye to be touching. But after she leaves, he still has a dying father to go home to, while another of his best friends has moved across the country.

CARTER Of course, Mark has no time to give his usual "Carter pep talks" either IMHO, the most effective encouragers are Mark and Carol and neither can help him right now.

I enjoy all of these storylines, I just wish they weren't all happening at the same time. I wish they would let David Greene live alittle longer, he's a good guest addition, let him survive into next season.

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), April 20, 2000.

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