"Bidding a non-fond fairwell to Marguiles on ER" - CNN

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Check out this scathing beratement of Marguiles/Hathaway on the CNN page: www.cnn.com/2000/SHOWBIZ/TV/05/10/marvin.kitman.lat/index.html

My favorite part is where he condemns her for having her babies without a husband/father around, which he finds to be a bad influence on society. Granted, I believe in the beauty and necessity of a complete family unit, but would he rather she had an abortion instead? She didn't know Doug was going to leave when she got pregnant, and was left in this position.

I say, fear not Mr. Kitman. Most likely all of your wishes will come true. Ms. Marguiles is leaving the show for good tonight, and is most likely going to Seattle to be with the father of her babies. Is that pro-father enough for you?

-- Sidnee (src@frankel-group.com), May 11, 2000


Sorry ... I just realized that someone else already posted this article on the discussion forum. I was so mad when I read it that I just jumped at the chance to share without checking what was already there...

-- Sidnee (src@frankel-group.com), May 11, 2000.

For those of you who can't pull up the site, here's the text....Marvin Kitman Bidding a not-fond farewell to Margulies on 'ER' May 10, 2000 Web posted at: 2:25 p.m. EST (1825 GMT) (Los Angeles Times Syndicate) -- I have a confession. I'm not feeling sad that Nurse Carol Hathaway is leaving "ER" Thursday night (10 p.m. on NBC). Also Julianna Margulies, as she is also known. Actually, I'm delighted. I wish both of them had left sooner. I just hope now that she doesn't come back for a guest appearance.

For six years I haven't been able to stand Margulies/Hathaway. Her character is very annoying, one who detracts from the show much the way half the cast of "Chicago Hope" does.

I never really cared about Nurse Hathaway the way I got involved with the other characters. Her relationship, or nonrelationship, with Dr. Ross (George Clooney), never gripped me.

Usually I taped the show and found myself fast-forwarding through her segments.

So I was amazed to read the producers were trying to pay her all this big money to stay on. I was very happy she rejected the megabucks for the greater challenges.

She is the weak link in an otherwise excellent cast. As lovable and perfect as the other characters are, they all have flaws. Nurse Hathaway is all flaws.

Out of sync with the show Maybe it's just me, but Nurse Hathaway always seemed to be out of sync with the rest of the show. Sure, they all have personal stories, but the rest of the characters were very much intertwined in the hospital, in the ER. She seemed a separate case, like a nurse temp who just happened to work there.

I know this is not the case, but it's almost as if she has her own writer working on her segments who didn't read the rest of the script.

I can't wait for her to get off the screen. And take her babies with her.

The worst thing about the character has been the babies. Not only did she have one out of wedlock, she had two. What is bad about this is it's being portrayed as a nice, normal thing to do.

The show spent the better part of two episodes with Hathaway trying to get pregnant. She and Ross talked about it, they actively tried and were so disappointed, looking at whatever test they were using. Then she goes and has twins while he leaves the show, abandoning the babies.

The message is it's OK to have babies with no father around. Look, it's on TV. And she's such a nice person.

Aren't dads important anymore? Perhaps the even more important message is, who really needs a husband or a father for kids?

"Study after study shows kids are better off when they have a mother and father," explained Dr. Bill Blank of Syracuse, a urologist and a surgeon who specializes in in vitro fertilization and in reversing vasectomies to help couples have children. "Nurse Hathaway made it seem that men are expendables. What is the man -- just a sperm donor?"

Well, it was clear she would have married him, if he asked. But he wasn't asking.

"A typical doctor," Blank said. "Just looking out for himself."

Hathaway was a bad role model for young women watching TV. Also for irresponsible men.

"This is a pretty horrible thing in real life," Blank said. "But they portrayed her as admirable, some kind of heroic figure for doing something incredibly moronic."

Actually, we see this all over Hollywood today. So many high-profile women are having babies without getting married. Maybe they are watching TV and seeing it's OK.

It happens even on sitcoms. The character Roz had a baby out of wedlock on the otherwise marvelous "Frasier." Especially strange, since in previous seasons they had a lot of jokes about Roz' slutty behavior. Pregnancies and babies seem to be not such a big deal whatsoever on TV anymore.

"What the hell does she need two babies for anyway?" Blank said, "when she still wants to have her career uninterrupted. She still wants her nursing job not inconvenienced. ER staff lets her take phone calls from baby-sitters. It's just a slight hassle having kids, the show's message is. It isn't an absolutely gut-wrenching experience."

The one good thing: She's unraveling now One good thing: Nurse Hathaway did seem to be unraveling this season. She's not able to do her job as perfectly as she did prior to having the babies. She's been messing up a bit lately, which hasn't gone unnoticed by professionals.

Blank's guesstimation is that Hathaway is quitting, not to spend time with her babies, but because she is no longer the superstar nurse.

Besides, I never particularly liked the way Nurse Hathaway looked. Her eyebrows are too bushy. She also had this lost-puppy expression. Not that I would hold this against her, but don't forget she tried to kill herself a while back.

I don't know. Tried to kill herself because her boyfriend wouldn't marry her, then go and have babies? The implication was that he treated her so rotten it drove her to suicide. And no psychotherapy that we saw? Unless it happened during commercial interruptions. All in all, a bad six-year arc in a show that takes pride in its realism.

Otherwise, I don't have any opinions on the subject of Nurse Hathaway's leaving.

Kitman is the television critic for New York Newsday. His column appears regularly on CNN Interactive's Entertainment section. E-mail Kitman at MarvinKitmanShow@worldnet.att.net

(c) 2000, Newsday Inc. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

-- Laura (llivingston@fulbright.com), May 11, 2000.

I love how journalists feel that because the have the power of voice, they can say whatever the hell they want. I find it hard to believe he would tape the show because he is a fan but fast-foward through the Carol parts. Give me a break!

-- Joanne (bucklind@hotmail.com), May 11, 2000.

Well, I thought he was a bit rough. But he's a critic, so of course he can write "whatever he wants." Would you rather he not give his opinion in an opinion piece and instead parrot what others think? He's paid to write whatever he wants.

However, the personal remarks about her eyebrows were unprofessional. But, I have to agree with him somewhat. I never got into Carol that much... fast forwarded through her scenes, etc. I didn't hate her, just never liked her all that much. I was much sorrier to see Susan Lewis and Jeanie Boulet leave the show (JMHO). But, Carol is obviously much loved by many viewers, so I understand the hype and emotion behind her last show.

-- L. (bearcatiscool@yahoo.com), May 11, 2000.

L - I agree with you on many levels. Although some on the discussion forum may be upset with him for his disliking of the Hathaway character or of Marguiles as an actor, I felt his conclusions regarding her character were off base.

"The worst thing about the character has been the babies. Not only did she have one out of wedlock, she had two. What is bad about this is it's being portrayed as a nice, normal thing to do ... The message is it's OK to have babies with no father around. Look, it's on TV. And she's such a nice person. "

I disagree with this because in the last few episodes, we have witnessed her question everything about her life, particularly the fact that she is trying to raise 2 babies without their father. Maybe Kitman fast-forwarded through her talk with Kerry when she said she hated her life ... of with Luka, when they talked about how important a father is to children.

And, yes, that eyebrow comment was completely unprofessional. He is entitled to his opinions about the character and the actress, but leave the baby name-calling at home!

-- Sidnee (src@frankel-group.com), May 11, 2000.

Not only was it unprofessional in content (the eye brow comments, etc.) it was very poorly written. This guy is a professional writer? I think not.

-- Emma (redwing8420@aol.com), May 11, 2000.

Unfortunately, he is a professional writer. A professional writer is someone who gets paid to write, not someone who gets paid to write well. And, seeing as how he is a writer for the L.A. Times Syndicate, he is indeed a professional writer.

Actually, many professional writers do not write all that well. They have overall talent, good ideas, or are willing to take the time to wade through a lot of facts to get the real story. But their stories are often filled with poor grammar, are unorganized and lack focus. That's why editors are hired: to clean up what writers write. Editors not only edit for grammar, spelling, etc., they also edit for logic and consistency (hmmm... maybe ER needs to hire editors instead of better writers). If his critique was not written well, it's the editor who is at fault, at least according to how things work in the world of professional writing.

-- L. (bearcatiscool@yahoo.com), May 11, 2000.

I agree with Sidnee...if he is fast forwarding through all of Carol's parts then what is the basis for his argurment? He obviously has not watched the past few shows where she has really struggled with being a single parent. I don't think they are showing single parenthood in a favorable way at all on this show! I enjoy Carol, but do get a little fed up with her depressing ways and "holier than thou" attitude at times, but overall I think she has been a great character and will be missed on ER. To each his own!

-- amanda (amanda.rehm@home.com), May 11, 2000.

What a complete jackass. Aside from writing at a 5th-grade level, this moron obviously has no conception of what goes on in the real world. People DO have babies out of wedlock, and instead of simply getting rid of them, she chose to embrace them, to care for them, to raise them with all the love that she had. Not a role model for young women? I beg to differ. Her character is the validation of the path I chose for my life, and hopefully, it will persuade other women that, although babies do require a lot of time, love, and energy, they are the most wonderful gifts in the world. I'm sure Carol felt, as I do, that these would not be fatherless babies forever. Yes, it was selfish of her to reject Doug simply because she was afraid of getting hurt. As Mr. Kitman points out, all characters have flaws. The character of Carol Hathaway is a kind, loving, smart, funny, beautiful person who has dedicated her life to caring for others. Remember the time she paid for a $600 test out of her own pocket because radiology refused? The time she turned herself in after giving a patient the wrong blood, then insisted she be suspended and went to the press to take the blame? The time she helped Doug detox baby Josh, jepoardizing her own career? The night she spent by Joi Abbott while she watched her son die? The time she tried to adopt Tatiana, the little AIDS patient no one wanted? When she tried to track down a burn victim's daughter so he could say goodbye to her? Took pencils and a blanket to the schizophrenic under the bridge? When she resigned as head of the clinic so hundreds of people wouldn't be left without care? Not a role model? More than any other character, she has acted as an advocate for the sick and disadvantaged, has served as a shoulder to cry on for her friends, and has shown what it is to embrace the beauty of life. I hope I have the blessing of at least one "Carol" in my life.

-- joy (joygirl01@yahoo.com), May 11, 2000.

Well, that was about the dumbest article I've ever read! I guess Mr. Kitman must have fast-forwarded through the part where Carol found out she was pregnant AFTER Doug left. And I really doubt that anyone is going to model their behavior after a fictional TV character and become a single mother because of something they saw on a TV drama.

More likely, TV shows tend to mirror what is going on in society already. But I digress. There were so many points in that article that were just plain stupid and wrong. (Carol DID mention that she got therapy after her suicide attempt, even though we did not actually see it, she did NOT attempt suicide only because Doug broke up with her, etc.)

For anyone who was not able to link to the article, it says his e- mail address is: MarvinKitmanshow@worldnet.att.net (hint hint!)

-- Melanie S. (msintn@hotmail.com), May 11, 2000.

I was so disgusted by the factual errors and outright childishness of this article, I DID write to the author. He was completely off-base about everything, and I agree with what Joy said. If anybody is a role- model on that show, it's Carol!! She opted to parent instead of aborting her children. She's had to overcome so much hardship and puts that all behind her to be a patient advocate. To be a wonderful mother, a caring friend, an excellent nurse. People don't become single mothers because their favorite TV character is, and I doubt anybody would think that being a single parent is easy or the first and only choice after watching Carol's struggles. She wants to spend more time with her daughters, but has to work in order to support them. She wants to give them a father, yet worries if their father will stick around. "ER" is portraying single parenthood as a JOB, which it is. Not just with Carol, but with Mark and Benton, as well. Obviously this critic hasn't payed attention to the show or any storylines over the past six years, or he'd clearly have no case to base his opinion on.

-- Arianne (CarolRossSusanGreene@yahoo.com), May 11, 2000.

This has to be one of the most mean-spirited articles I've ever read and completely out of touch with any reality other than Kitman's own fantasy world. Fathers AND mothers are important...but unfortunately they aren't always around or together in the real world nor on TV. The chip on this man's shoulder has got to be very heavy for him to carry everyday. Perhaps a look at his own life and choices is in order. I'm wondering if watching ER is a career choice (to write reviews) or he truly likes the show. If it's the first, how can he truly write a good review while fast-forwarding through major scenes (and Carol was in major scenes!)? And if it's the later and she annoyed him that much, stop watching...that's what I did with Providence and the main character's sister (well actually almost everyone annoyed me, so I stopped watching!). :) I know one thing: if I see Kitman's by-line again, I won't bother to read the article!

-- Diana (dilynne@juno.com), May 11, 2000.

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