In defense of Sally Field : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

I know a lot of people have gotten really sick of Sally's screeching (and so forth) on the show. However, I have to defend her a little here. Unfortunately, I have a lot in common with Abby's character. My mother is manic depressive, refuses to take meds, and made my life a living hell when I was growing up. In fact, her antics still wreak havoc on my life from time to time, and I managed to move to the opposite side of the country!! I must say that Sally depicted the typical m/d very well, it was hard for me to watch the shows because it was such an accurate portrayal. As annoying as it was, it was DEAD ON! The woman may have aggravated the daylights out of a lot of people, but it seems that was the point. I had friends comment to me "gee, I saw your mom on TV the other night!" I was getting chills, it was like reliving some of those experiences again. I, too, am glad her time on the show is now over, but for a different reason. I just thought I'd add this, from someone who has really been there.


-- Brandy Martinez-Rogers (, December 14, 2000


I also know someone who is currently being tested for manic-depressiveness. SHe is not bi-polar, so the character Sally Field portrayed had a kind of double-whammy, but her depiction of someone who is manic depressive is dead on, the sudden screaming fits and violent outbursts as well as the equally strange repentence that follows. Sally Field is one of the best (if not THE best) actresses of her generation, and I love her in almost anything that she has done. Steel Magnolias is one of the best movies ever, and of course she is the backbone of that film. ER was very honored to have her as a guest star, and I can't wait for her return!

-- Becky (, December 14, 2000.

I have to chime in - agreeing that Sally Fields' portrayal of a manic- depressive is so accurate it's frightening. I think the writers and especially SF's acting have done a true service to all of us who have a manic-depressive in our lives (in mental health practice, and also best friend's mother who WAS and IS Maggie - is now institutionalized) And if many of you are sick of it, okay, I think you are equally as irritated at the writers for hitting us over the head with the whole storyline. (Me, too: I really love Abby's character, have from the beginning, but JEEZ she must have one hell of an agent to get this much screen time away from everyone else. Carter's PTSD hasn't even been touched on, for example, and the "non- star" staff - nurses, Rhandi, etc - still doesn't get enough time to suit me...) Well, this thread is to defend Sally Fields and I am, frankly, awed by what I am seeing. But I also want to put in 2 cents worth that there are OTHER services they could be doing: the recovery part of Carter's problems is great, ups, downs, meetings, arrogance, I could go on. BUT - for God's sake, he has a mental health problem - where are the sweats, nightmares, problems walking into the room where he was stabbed, I am glad they had a violent patient episode because that is what it's all about - walking back into the lion's den and facing it down. I'd like to get beat over the head with THIS ONE. And I feel they are almost skimming over Chen's dilemma, hope this episode sticks with it. Kerry gets brief scenes until the T-giving epi? Over a life crossroads type of daydream-into-reality? I could go on but then you'd be thinking I'm belaboring the point too. But okay, Sally Fields will go away (already has?) and I will STILL think that she deserves some type of nomination. It was freakin' brilliant. And sad. Tough life for bipolars and those around 'em...'nuff Patti C

-- Patti C. (, December 14, 2000.

Patti, I agree with you. I haven't enjoyed the storyline primarily because of the massive amount of air-time it seems to be sucking up from other characters. I'm glad that Carter's recovery is being done subtly, but I still can't believe that Carter is only dealing with the superficial aspects. No where have I seen where Carter deals with what caused the addiction in the first place. I guess I become a little frustrated when I see Abby crying every ten minutes over her mother, and we are lucky if we see 3 minutes of Chen every other week trying to make the biggest decision of her life. I have never met anyone in with bi-polar disorder and so Maggie's behavior, while probably very realistic, seemed unbelievable to me. Sally Field has reputation for playing very emotional characters, I have to think that perhaps it's Sally Fields reputation that contributes to why so many fans become annoyed with her character. If it was a different actress then I think many people may feel differently (I know I would). Sally Field probably will earn a emmy nomination. I just hope that now Sally has left ER (for the time being), that the focus can be shifted onto other characters.

-- Emma (, December 14, 2000.

Yes, while I agree that the Maggie storyline has taken us away from some of our favorite characters, it HAS given us a chance to learn more about Abby. I wasn't that interested in her before (when she was Carol's nurse in L&D) but ever since they have paired her with Carter (AA) and introduced her ex and mom, I want to learn more. Just like we all wanted to know more about other MAIN characters. I think the writers are slowly turning her into a MAIN, it's great.

And YES, the portrayal of Maggie was DEAD ON. I am a former outreach worker for the mentaly ill and I have participated in many hospitalizations that mirrored that scene in the ER. I have had clients begging me to not let doctors give them shots and admit them. I've had a client clinging to me one minute, crying almost like a hurt child and then lashing out violently at me the next, calling me and my co-workers ugly names, shouting, spitting etc. Kudos to the writers on their research for the portrayal of this illness!

-- mimi (, December 14, 2000.

As much as I like Maura Tierney and her character, it's time to give others a little more. I would say they moved her pretty quickly into a main character (although I'll admit they took a slow approach last season), which is okay, because most people find her likeable, but I just hope they give some time to others who have had a few fleeting lines in the past couple episodes.

-- Elaine (, December 14, 2000.

All i can say is "YOU GO GIRL!" I love Sally and she has provided the most irritating performance of her career! I love it! Cuz i believe that is what she is s'posed to do!!!!


And if Luca will still be there for Abby thru her mother and addiction, hey, what other kind of guy do you want?

-- Judy (, December 16, 2000.

I do agree with those of you who are sick of being "hit over the head" with Abby and her story lines. I, too, would like to see more of some of the other characters. In addition, I don't nessecerily care for Sally Field either way. I just wanted to point out that extremely annoying nature of her character probably has more to do with what she is supposed to be portraying than with her personal attributes (or lack thereof). Just thought I'd clarify.


-- Brandy Martinez-Rogers (, December 17, 2000.

Brandy, I could not agree with you more! My mother is a manic depressive, and Sally Fields' episodes really hit home. She was shockingly accurate in her portrayal, and let's not forget Maura's acting, either. Wow!

-- Heather (, December 18, 2000.

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