What's with Cleo and the waffles?

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I know everyone has done a lot of "Cleo bashing" lately, but her scene at the brunch last night really bothered me. I think when you meet someone's family it is considered polite to pay more attention to the people than the food. Maybe she should tone down her workouts so she wouldn't be so famished when she is at the table. I am sure that Michael Michelle is a very nice person in real life. But Cleo irritates me more every time I see her. JMHO.

-- Lisa (lisayas@yahoo.com), April 28, 2000


I totally agree! I get more and more annoyed with her with each passing eppisode!

-- dena (dtucker73@yahoo.com), April 28, 2000.

I couldn't agree more. She is the most annoying person... I noticed her in one of those "Anti Drug" campaign comercials last night during ER, and she was even annoying in that! I can't quite put my finger on why, I guess it's the tone of voice or something- no inflection.

The look Peter's sister gave him was priceless though... "As long as you're not serious about her, then I guess I will like her." If only I could feel the same way!!

-- Kelly (kwidener@excite.com), April 28, 2000.

I'm fairly neutral on the Cleo character, but I am SO GLAD to see a female actor who EATS! And eats heartily! Michael Michele, as well as the other female actors on ER, looks healthy and fit, not gaunt and starved-looking like a lot of female actors.

-- Cindy (tailchasers@earthlink.net), April 28, 2000.

Very good point, Cindy. They all look so much better than the ladies on FRIENDS. Still, table manners are a good thing. I really liked Jackie, how she coerced information from Cleo, almost without drawing even her attention.

-- Diana (dilynne@juno.com), April 28, 2000.

I really hate Cleo, but I'm not entirely sure why. I hate her when she comes on screen and even when she's saying reasonable things or treating patients or BLINKING I dislike her. It's just something about her aura which seems to warn people off before they've even met her as if she's scared of being taken advantage of, or as if she couldn't BEAR humiliation or being made fun of or having a close friendship with anyone. She seems to take offense at every little thing and gets people's backs up and makes them act agressively, because of her own agressive attitude and thus is wary of any other person. Also she's the only person who has no problems and yet the person who most deserves them out of most of the characters on ER.

-- Juliet (Vizzn@AOL.com), April 28, 2000.

why are you people hating micheal michelle's character so much. she is a self confident doctor as are many of the women docs in the ER. the only difference between her and carrie or elizabeth or the long- gone susan lewis is that she is a black female. i never saw anyone hating jeanie boulet and even i am starting to have a love-fest for carrie. so you people should really figure out what it is that is bothering you so much. she is now the most powerful black female on the show since that one doc who gave peter lots of grief went to jerry/bob/doyle land. frankly, if anyone is beginning to annoy me it is elizabeth. in my opinion she is becoming a real bitch (pulling rank on peter, being catty with cleo,etc. maybe she is hanging around with RAh-bert a little too much....

-- dawn (qstnevrythng@hotmail.com), April 28, 2000.

Dawn, please don't get upset. I think that the reason I don't like Cleo is the fact that she doesn't seem to care about the other characters (with the exception of Peter, of course). I mean she doesn't even seem like she wants to make friends. I think that the doctor you are talking about from the early episodes is Dr. Hicks. I loved her! She was very authoritative, yet she actually seemed to care about her subordinates feelings. Plus, she if the only person that I can remember who knew how to handle Peter. The episode where she and Carter had to operate on Peter (who I believe had a gall stone?) was one of the funniest episodes I have ever seen. As for Jeanie, I think people liked her because she had such a wonderful personality and she always tried to help others even when things in her life were going so bad. Of course, that is JMHO>

-- Katrina (cattrek@ga.freei.net), April 28, 2000.

I am really beginning to wonder if the writers are wanting us to hate Cleo. I mean, lately she is doing so many taboo things. The whole debacle with Elizabeth and Peter over the car accident surgery, her awful table manners, etc. I just wonder if the writers wanted us to like her or if they were trying to ease her into the dynamics of the show, then why would they make her so hard to stomach? I do have to say that I think that Elizabeth pulling rank on Peter was long overdue. Since he stole her Trauma Fellowship, it is about time that she got even!

-- Rachel (rachelrr@ivillage.com), April 28, 2000.

dawn, there's a whole thread about your concern somewhere in the archived threads, something like "does michael michele have to be white for you to aprove of her" (i can't seem to find it, otherwise i'd give you a link for it right away), but it discussed the fact that it is not a race issue, but an issue of the actual person. the fact that everyone loved jeanie shows you right away that it definitely ISN'T a race issue, as you claim.

-- Marcia (mlg244@is9.nyu.edu), April 28, 2000.

Marcia, that thread may have been deleted but there's lots of other stuff in other ones that explain people's dislike of her. Also try to find the one about her "cradle" (I think that was how it was put). For me it's that she's a poor actress, but I've written about that before and don't want to go there today. From all the other posts, I truly do not think it's racial at all. But I think Rachel is onto something regarding the writing. "The Fastest Year" sure put us onto more info about her character. I found it interesting when Jackie raised her suspicions about Cleo and how she got her to open up about how she feels about family (and this goes back to how she relates to children as a pediatrition. Jackie didn't care much for Carla either. I don't remember how she was about Elizabeth. Her biggest problem with Jeannie was that she was married, which was a good point.

-- Diana (dilynne@juno.com), April 28, 2000.

This episode really put the cap on my dislike for Cleo. She was really gobbling like a hog! And using her own fork to get a waffle off the serving plate? Granted she only touched the waffle she planned to eat, but this was obviously the first time she had met Jackie and you would think she would want to make a good impression (but then again, she's Cleo, right?) I was also surprised to see her scarfing those waffles, made with milk and eggs. I figured she would be picking at some fresh fruit. After the way she yelled at Dr. Dave about eating "trash" after his trip to the vending machine I thought she was more careful about what she eats. Maybe when it's free food she stuffs herself, and uses the money she saves to finance her house. Just kidding!

-- Annie (GoldenLaur@aol.com), April 28, 2000.

Wow, I can see why some people don't like Cleo, but some of you just *despise* her! I mean even her way of eating pisses people off! I do not think she is all that terrible, she just *really* needs a big moment to prove herself. She has had some good scenes (I like how she used to kid around with Dr. Dave, and her and Benton aren't the worst couple in the world). As for her eating, it was a bit odd how much she was eating, but some people would see it as a compliment that their guest really enjoys their meal. Jackie offered it. I know the majority will not agree with this, but despite what reasons people here have for not liking her, I really don't understand what Jackie immediately didn't like about her...she was talkative and good with the kids, they seemed to almost admire her. So what if she thinks family businesses are too much, a lot of people wouldn't want to do that.

I just thought Cleo could use just one positive thought!

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), April 28, 2000.

I personally think people are much to tough on Cleo. If she could have a few more scenes like the one with the car wreck victim last week, maybe she could show us that she is not all bad (except going behind Elizabeth's back was not good!). I do not like Cleo/Benton together. As for her eating last night...maybe she was trying to make a good impression on Jackie I mean Jackie held the plate up and asked if she wanted another. I thought it was great seeing her eat so much, as Cindy mentioned above. It was nice to see a beautiful, thin actress eat like a normal person (even though she probably doesn't in real life!)

-- amanda (amanda.rehm@home.com), April 28, 2000.

Alas folks, that very interesting thread has been erased forever from this page because Mike, in his infinite wisdom as the all-powerful Oz of this forum, decided that it was "offensive and inappropriate" and deleted it. I told him then, and I'll say again that it was the wrong thing to do.

Are you going to delete this one, too Mike? Would you have deleted a discussion of the Season 2 episode, which just reran in my home town, where Shep wonders aloud what's the matter with THOSE people and Benton and Malik come down on him for being racist?

Sorry, I just can't help myself. On a lighter note, let me add that I too am incredibly irritated by Cleo, although MM herself seems to be a fairly decent person.

-- Mary (mslyman@erols.com), April 28, 2000.

There have been two scenes with Cleo when I liked her. The first was with the high school basketball player who (I think) had a car accident because she was under so much stress. You could see that Cleo really identified with her (slight clue to Cleo). The second was with last week's young car accident victim, distraught about wrecking his dad's car. She said all the right things to him, and her tone and manner were gentle, friendly, and soothing. Unfortunately, she then turned around and acted like a total jerk with Elizabeth.

I don't like her because she seems cold and unfriendly. She doesn't add anything to the show, IMO, except for someone for Peter to make out with, and I can do without seeing that. For a pediatrician, she doesn't appear to be very good with kids, either. Why did she become a pediatrician? Someone in an earlier thread speculated that she had been pressured to follow in her dad's footsteps, but we now know that he's in insurance.

Does it seem like the more we know about her, the less it all makes sense?

-- Felicity (felicity08@juno.com), April 29, 2000.

Aw, come on guys...Cleo isn't THAT bad! Sure she could be a little more out-going, but I think she's perfect for Peter. There may be a story behind the way she is, maybe she was abused as a child or something...I wish they would ellaborate more on her childhood and relationship with her family. Just a thought, give the girl a little slack. :)

-- Joy (joijoy@webtv.net), April 29, 2000.

Annie: What's wrong with waffles, eggs and milk? They are not unhealthy like vending machine food. She was eating strangley though- perhaps she was supposed to be nervous and just couldn't perform that? Elaine: I think the reason why Jackie doesn't like Cleo very much is for the same reason most of the viewers don't. Hmmm. I disliked Peter intensely until last season and I still would like him to go fly a kite, so maybe we're not supposed to like her, she's just not a likeable person (those certainly exist :D )

-- May (archerl@cadvision.com), April 29, 2000.

There is nothing wrong with eggs and milk but they do have a lot of fat and they add cholesterol to your diet. I thought that someone like Cleo, who makes it her business to tell other people how to eat, would avoid (or at least eat in moderation) foods with fat and cholesterol.

-- Annie (GoldenLaur@aol.com), April 29, 2000.

I agree with everyone who said I don't think we're meant to like Cleo, because the majority of people I've spoken to about this all dislike as well. It's just something about her manner - as I've said above, she's just very agressive and cold and we never see her really having emotions, except maybe annoyance, which isn't the best way to get us to like her.

In regard to her eating - at least she's enthusiastic about SOMETHING rather than being the emotionless Cleo-bot she's been all along! I think it's great she likes to eat, why not? but this doesn't make me like her, I just like the idea, that's all. :D

-- juliet (Vizzn@AOL.com), April 29, 2000.

I find Cleo very annoying. She's good with the patients somtimes but seems to alienate her co-workers. The only other character I've hated as much was Chloe. Benton and Finch have no chemistry.

-- Amanda (MEGDENTON@prodigy.net), April 30, 2000.

all i have to say is GO JACKIE!!!!!!!!!

-- rachel (thehilfigergirl@aol.com), April 30, 2000.

Amazing, isn't it, how it can be the consensus of almost everyone here that Jackie, Jeanne, Dr. Hicks, Peter, Haleh, Carla, Walt, Mrs. Benton, Timmy, Malik, Conni and almost any black character you can think of are wonderful characters who add(ed) real depth to the storylines and are an irreplacable part of the ER landscape, and yet the moment a feeling emerges that one character, well, sucks, it's labeled rascism. I'm sorry, I know this has already been discussed at length, but it really makes me angry.

-- joy (joygirl01@yahoo.com), May 01, 2000.

I think the writers don't know what to do with the character of Cleo. Her main purpose on ER seems to be as a love interest for Benton. That just isn't enough to make her interesting as a "full-time" character. If she's just there to be Benton's girlfriend, her character should just be in a supporting role (the way Jeanie Boulet's character was at first). Or, she should be given more story lines, preferably ones that don't involve Benton.

For example, Corday is such an interesting character (to me) because she was established as having a purpose for the show before she hooked up with anyone romantically. When Corday and Benton went out, she wasn't just there to be Benton's girlfriend; her character was involved in non-Benton related plot lines. Same thing goes for her current romantic situation. Corday is not there just to be Mark Greene's girlfriend; she is involved in other non-Greene related plot lines.

However, my main gripe with Cleo is that MM can't act (IMO). She has only one voice inflection: monotone. She has two facial expressions: 1) stone faced; 2) even more stone faced.

-- Lola (bearcatiscool@yahoo.com), May 01, 2000.

Add Reece to your list, Joy. He's such a beautiful child and I truly am irritated that we've seen so little of him this year. I was just thinking about the scene when Peter taught him to say Daddy in sign and then picked him up off the floor and held him up in the air. I'd like to see Peter in more scenes with Reece and (far) fewer with Cleo!

-- Diana (dilynne@juno.com), May 01, 2000.

I'm not sure how much sense it makes to assume that we are not supposed to like Cleo. After all, her purpose was to give Benton a positive and stable relationship with a black woman. It kind of defeats the whole purpose if no one likes her! After "The Fasteat Year" when we find out she is "not serious" about Benton, it seems the relationship is more what Benton and Carla had towards the end, a purely physical thing.

-- Annie (GoldenLaur@aol.com), May 01, 2000.

I agree with Joy completely. And by the way, Dawn, towards the top of this page--What exactly do you mean by "YOU PEOPLE" anyway? A white person can't say that to a black perseon without being called racist, but if you're talking about white people is it OK? Some people--not you people or those people, just some people--are real hypocrites. Face it, Cleo is unlikeable. She's either a cold fish, or she's horny.

-- Cecelia (evilstoat@hotmail.com), May 01, 2000.

I was happy to see that Cleo was eating (although the speed she was eating was a bit odd). In response to a previews answer, waffles are relatively healthy. A diet consisting solely of waffles wouldn't be great, but everyone needs a certain amount of fat and cholesterol in their diet to survive.

-- casclly (smetana.1@nd.edu), May 01, 2000.

Cecelia wrote: << And by the way, Dawn, towards the top of this page--What exactly do you mean by "YOU PEOPLE" anyway? A white person can't say that to a black perseon without being called racist, but if you're talking about white people is it OK? Some people--not you people or those people, just some people--are real hypocrites. >>

First of all, I think Dawn just meant "you people" in general...regarding everyone...all the Cleo haters. Second of all...what makes you think Dawn is african american anyway? Or did you just assume that because she brought up a racial issue that she must be of ethnic background.

-- frances christine (lghtmycndl@aol.com), May 01, 2000.

Are you assuming that's what I thought? And I notice you didn't respond to the rest of what I had to say. How interesting that THAT is what you seized upon. I think you proved my point for me.

-- Cecelia (evilstoat@hotmail.com), May 01, 2000.

"She's not that good with kids"

I think she's great with Reese, and Reese seems to like her.

-- Teddy (richarr@earthlink.net), September 02, 2001.

Well, I don't find Cleo all that appealing. She seems to be a black woman who feels this need to prove she is just as black as every other black. Earlier in the 00-01 season (I think, or was is 99-00) she was very in your face with Peter about not enough black med students. Even Peter didn't care!

I really liked the Peter/Elizabeth pairing...two competitive people who actually had some sembelance of a personality challenged each other at work and in the sack. It was, as Lizzy would say, 'really lovely.' But no... Peter can't be seen being happy with a white woman! That'd be wrong! GIVE ME A BREAK! Two people of different races happy with each other would seem to be the best way to show love, or at least lust, is colour blind.

Don't EVEN get me started on the colour/religion-thing...

:) Jenna

-- Jenna (JennaLunt@aol.com), September 08, 2001.

jenna: sing it sista!! i agree with you 100%. meanwhile, cleo (as acted by michael michelle) is the most boring character i've ever tried to watch on television. i can sit through a presidential speech easier than one of her monologues. the woman needs to get some sort of expression - and fast!

-- cheese (iluver@hotmail.com), September 09, 2001.

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