Cleo: Intrigued : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

Judging from earlier discussions, it looks like the general consensus is that everybody hates Cleo. I agree she's a bit of a bitch and definitely has some "issues" (race issues), but since I'm new here...several episodes ago, I noticed that she was SUPER COLD to Carter, and he approached her about it and she wouldn't own up to it. What was that all about? Was she pissed that he was still working there after the "drug addict" situation? One thing is true in all dramas, there needs to be a character that everyone hates, and I think she is it. I think Romano was it for a while, but now he's just such a dick, that it's quite entertaining!

-- Lee S.S. (, December 12, 2000


Well I'm undecided as to whether I like Cleo or not...she's definetly not my favorite, but I forgot about her little cold shoulder act towards Carter...there's so much going on they forget to continue on other things. Can they slow down a bit?

Also, on ER Daily News it was announced that both EL and MM won NAACP awards for portraying positive black role models (I believe).

-- Elaine (, December 12, 2000.

The difference between Romano and Cleo is that I love to hate Romano and Cleo just irritates me (although she seems to be slowly improving). I wish that we would see more interaction between Benton and Carter primarily because I think it would be a much more interesting storyline if Cleo and Carter didn't get along if Benton and Carter were closer. One of the problems with Cleo (as others have noted) is that she is isolated. Her only real connection is with Peter, we don't see her regulary interacting with any of the other characters. We only see a few exchanges now and again with other characters. I guess I miss the days when the characters on ER used to talk to each other about trivial stuff.

-- Emma (, December 12, 2000.

MM & EL were nominated for the NAACP awards, but have not yet won them. EL was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama, and MM for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama.

My problem with MM is that she doesn't seem to fill a role. I don't "hate" her, because I simply don't care about her. Let's see... we know she's a pediatrician who only occasionally shows any talent around children, she grew up biracially in the suburbs, and apparently has race issues. She is either independently wealthy or someone left her a really nice home. So far there's nothing there to make me care one way or another. I think I'm supposed to be intrigued about her, the way we are about other characters we know little about (like Weaver), but she just seems too boring to even care. To me, her only role is as EL's love interest, and that is just too contrived. I would have liked her better if Benton had shown an interest and she had been very adamant about not dating people she worked with... then maybe they'd have to develop her more and I'd see some other reason for her to be in the opening credits.

-- Ruthie (, December 12, 2000.

I don't hate Cleo either. I agree they haven't given much reason to care for her. I think she has gotten much better over the past couple of episodes. I'm even curious about parts of her past now -- growing up with all brothers in a bi-racial household (her competitiveness and issues with race). I think the reason she was so cold to Carter is that she has not fully forgiven him for the snafu with the diabetic boy and that Carter fudged on his chart.

-- amanda (, December 12, 2000.

I don't know if it's TPTB that have dropped the ball with Cleo, or the actress herself but this is a character that is just not realistic.

1. She's supposed to be a paediatric resident, but we've seen scenes where she just doesn't mesh with kids, and there's no attempt to understand why or for her to improve her bedside skills (a VERY important part of being a paeditrician.

2. She's very judgemental. She apparently hasn't forgiven Carter fudging the papers on the diabetic kid, but she wants Benton to do that same for the breast cancer woman, and is angry that he doesn't.

3. She's mad that Benton stayed in Chicago for Reese, and not for her. Get over yourself Cleo, you're old enough to get on a plane by yourself. Not to mention that she could follow him in July at the end of her rotation.

4. She lacks that humanity and empathy (putting oneself on the same level as the patient) that both Carter and Luka have.

5. I see zero chemistry between her and Benton. (Even all you who have Abby & Luka together have to agree that at some points they did connect.) They can't even agree on his job search strategy. (She is so superior -- she think he should only take godly surgeon posts.) All this relationship has going for it is sex.

I don't like to say it, but I've been thinking for some time that this relationship is really racist. All they have in common is the fact that they're both Afro-american.

I'd like to see Benton in a relationship in which the audience can be emotionally involved. And if they keep Cleo, I hope TPTB fix the character.

-- Kate (, December 12, 2000.

I completely agree with everything Emma said above! Esp. about Romano and Cleo: I love to hate Romano, and Cleo's just annoying. I am wondering if TPTB will ever pursue that bit where Cleo snubbed Carter. Why put it in at all, if they never pursue it? Did they forget they even wrote it? Their continuity is slipping. I can't emphasize enough how much I would like to see more interaction with Benton and Carter. We never even got to see Carter's reaction to Jesse's death! Did he ever even approach Benton about it? Did he attend the funeral? (assuming there was one- we never got to see it) For all we know, no one ever told Carter! I'm kidding, of course, but I wish they'd SHOW us some of this stuff.

-- Maureen S. (, December 12, 2000.

I agree with much of the above list. However, there has been one problem with the characterization of Cleo. There has been none. She has actions without any reason. We keep waiting, but it's her second season. The only memorable scene I remember was with the high school basketball star that Cleo tried to help by putting a cast on her.

Cleo is sullen and withdrawn. Please tell us why!! Play her or trade

-- Zorbo (, December 13, 2000.

Hey, if we get rid of Cleo, we'll have an opening for a cathatonic character and we could give Mark the surgety he needs and keep him...should we start a petition?...=)

-- jules (, December 13, 2000.

Reading Kate's post, I couldn't help thinking that their race IS the only thing Cleo and Benton have in common. That relationship doesn't seem very committed or passionate to me. Awhile back, I read that Eriq LaSalle forced the writers to end Benton's relationship with Elizabeth Corday solely because she was white, and he was tired of having Benton's relationships with black women portrayed as flawed and his only "successful" relationship being with a white woman. I don't necessarily agree, I think Benton's unsuccessful relationships are a result of his character's inability to connect with a woman regardless of her color. (I thought he and Carla had GREAT chemistry but he just acted like a selfish clod!) So, perhaps they paired Benton and Cleo just to satisfy LaSalle's demand to have him in a healthy relationship with a black woman (despite the fact that Cleo is half white).

-- Cindy (, December 13, 2000.

I see several things to like about Cleo. First, she won't take Peter's crap. To me this is the first woman we've seen him with that will stand up to him - I thought Corday was often cowed by him.

Cleo is competitive, but since when are women not allowed to compete with men? I think that makes her a role model for young women - she's strong.

Finally, cut her some slack about not falling all over your beloved Carter after his return. According to the noted rehabilitation experts I work for, it is common for coworkers to have a hard time accepting "back into the fold" a coworker who has been in treatment, whether for mental problems, or in Carter's case, drug addiction. Why should she go easy on someone whom she might suspect still HAS a drug problem? Think about it, the guy is back in an environment where he can easily get his hands on his drug of choice. I used to work in a hospital where we had a pharmacist who'd been rehabbed TWICE for addiction to exactly the same drug as Carter. The third time he was caught stealing it, they finally "encouraged him to go into a new field" where he wouldn't have access (rehabbed him again but told all other hospitals about him. I think they gave him too many "fresh starts", personally.) Tell me you don't think his coworkers were constantly on edge, watching him, expecting the worst. I don't think there's been nearly enough treatment of these very common "coworker rejection" and "temptation" issues on ER this season.

As for Cleo's race hangup - that's dead on target. Many biracial people, especially women, really do some soul-searching when they hit their late teens and twenties, even beyond, to determine which community/culture they identify with. I saw a PBS documentary on a biracial young woman who felt accepted by neither whites nor blacks. She finally decided that since, at least in the U.S., people see her as black, she felt most comfortable attempting to join the black community. Perha

-- Regina (, December 14, 2000.

I think there's a big difference between "not taking someone's crap" and not giving a damn about someone's life as long as it doesnt affect you. I think she has a "Me, me and then Me" attitude, maybe if Benton didnt have Reese, he'd be like that. Some people call that being assertive; I think there are times when you have to stand up for yourself (and we saw Corday doing that) but there are times when the other person's priorities should come first; since a relationship is about giving AND taking. LaSalle expressed that he didnt like that Benton was having a better relationship with a white woman, and that's why the writers broke that storyline and probably why they came up with Cleo. Correct me if I'm wrong, but most fans feel that Cleo is here only to be Benton's girlfriend and a pediatrician. And she looks pretty cold on both activities. Lately, TPTB have made her smile and be more expressive, but now it doesnt feel natural, and the fans ask themselves...what is she up to? The worst part is that we dont know for sure if the character was written cold or if it's MM's acting.

-- jules (, December 14, 2000.

Although Cleo never hesitates to tell Peter what she thinks, she does take some crap from him, in that she always goes back for more. Every time they argue, nothing comes of it. She seems to just get over it, with no real apology or changes coming from Peter. Also, I found it completely believable that she was cold to Carter, I mean she doesn't know him very well and has no reason to put any trust in him. I just wish the writers would follow it up! They had her act cold toward him one time, and I'm curious if they ever plan to do any more with it.

-- Maureen S. (, December 14, 2000.

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