The significance of Kerry and her hiccups : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

What was the signficance of Kerry having hiccups? I can't understand why the writers put that in. Is this a common physical symptom when one changes sexual orientation? (The last statement was a joke)

-- (, December 15, 2000


I think Kerry's hiccups began right around the time that Kim Legaspi came to the admit desk to talk with her (i think...). Anyway, I took it to be sort of a physical reaction to being indesisive or just confused about her feelings and relationship with Kim. After drinking the water with the match and talking with Legaspi, her hiccups seemed to have stopped.

-- Jen (, December 15, 2000.

I think it was supposed to signify that she was nervous around Kim Legaspi. In my opinion, it was just irritating. That kid she and Kim were working with shot Kerry a "look" when she hiccuped once, and I know exactly how he felt. Jeez.

-- Rubi (, December 16, 2000.

I LOVED the hiccuping! So very human, and normal, in the tradition of all the ER shows! I believe that this was a nervous reaction to Kim and that it appeared just as Kim did. I do hope that Kerry doesn't decide to 'try' s'thing with Kim. I have loved ER since beginning, and i will have to change the channel. I have enjoyed the human side to ER, but, i could do without the sex scenes so much, and if Kerry does Kim, then there's just another sex scene as far as im concerned. I dont want to see it! and i don't want my kids to see it!

-- Judy (, December 16, 2000.

I hope your kids are older than 14. ER is not a good show for little kids to be exposed to. And no it's not the sex, it's all the blood and violence - or haven't you noticed that?

-- spring (, December 16, 2000.

i thought you get hiccups when you're excited about something. if so, kerry was excited about seeing kim, which i would say was true.

-- Jessie (, December 17, 2000.

Well, according to Freud, hiccups are a sign of sexual tension/nervousness/anxiety. I thought Kerry was quite uncharacteristically nervous throughout the episode around Kim, tho' she also seemed to request her presence a lot. I have to admit tho', I was sorry to see that Kerry didn't look thrilled by the kiss. But I thought Kim handled that whole scene beautifully. She was saying "I can't handle this because I'm attracted to you, and you can't just sweep that under the carpet and pretend my sexuality is non-existent". I really hope the many homophobes out there---you should check out the NBC chat room! scary people!!!---won't somehow force the producers to either terminate this subplot, or just turn it into a fling. It would be another tribute to diversity if Kerry turned out to prefer women.

-- secret (, December 17, 2000.

Oh pleeeeeze do not even go to the homosexual issue on this show! I love er but I am really sick of getting homosexuality shoved in my face on every show we watch. If you wanna be a homosexual thats up to you but I don't have to sit and watch it thank you. I am not a homophobe, but don't enjoy getting grossed out either. For you homosexuals out there that will probably call me names, trust me, I have seen and been around enough of it to know what I think and feel. So spare me the lectures. Just hope er has more class than these other shows. I have rights too. And my rights say I don't have to subject myself or my children to this.

-- navel (, December 17, 2000.

Funny -- I don't recall any gay people complaining about heterosexuality being shoved in our faces with all of the previous male/female romantic relationships/flirtations on er. Bravo to the writers for addressing Kerry's sexuality, and bravo to Laura Innes for her enthusiasm for the new direction of her character.

-- melissa (, December 17, 2000.

"I am not a homophobe, but don't enjoy getting grossed out either"

And so it starts with the 'I'm not a homophobie BUT...' -

Let me help out any other prospective non-homophobes who might think about posting, since y'all are so nice with not being homophobic and all:

'I'm not a homophobe, BUT there are children watching... [at 10 PM, on a school night, on one of the goriest shows in America, where lots of non-married adults are having out of wedlock sex, not to mention shootings, stabbings, regular exposure to death and adult themes...]'

'I'm not a homophobe, BUT I don't want it shoved down my throat on EVERY SINGLE program [uh, ok sure buddy - I would also like to not see HETEROSEXUALITY shoved down my throat in every freakin' commercial, billboard, movie, tv show, pop song, tampon ad,etc..]'

'I'm not a homophobe, BUT in Leviticus blah blah yadda yadda [Don't EVEN get me started on Leviticus, or else we'd all be DEAD, straight and gay]'

And can someone tell me why people always say 'Shove it down my throat'? That's gotta be the gayest sounding exclamatory statement in the known universe.

-- spring (, December 17, 2000.

Very well said, Melissa. I'm saddened to see such obvious discomfort & prejudice on the part of some readers of this board. It is very courageous & long past due for the makers of a major TV show to have a primary character exploring her (or his) sexual preference in such a natural, respectful & realistic way. It's much more realistic that *finally* one member of the staff is shown to be other than 100% heterosexual than it is that such a large percentage of opposite gender co-workers can't seem to find romance outside the workplace.

If I had children, I'd certainly much rather have them see the former healthy depiction of a budding relationship than some of the rather inappropriate & often ill-suited pairings between the male/female castmembers. (Or many of the other odd & often traumatic storylines unfolding these days.) Kudos to ER for handling this with such grace.


-- Phoenix (, December 17, 2000.

Hmm...guess what? You're a homophobe. Why not just own up to your feelings on this issue?

I'm against them turning Kerry into a lesbian for two reasons: one, we're going to have to see this whole drama played out in front of us, and I'm sick and tired of seeing every single doctor in the ER's love life front-and-center, and two, why does a strong woman who isn't supermodel-gorgeous (although I would argue she's pretty) and who doesn't feel the compulsive need to have a boyfriend every second of her life have to become a lesbian? It's just so trite and predictable (and advances all sorts of awful stereotypes). I was afraid that they were going to do this to Kerry *years* ago. Now I guess I'm going to have to suffer through it.

-- Laura Lindstrom (, December 17, 2000.

I gotta disagree: I think Kerry kissed Kim back and enjoyed it, then realized she was enjoying it and got freaked out and pulled away. It was totally realistic. I have seen that reaction from more than one girl I've kissed for the first time...

And incidentally, you can be a straight woman and enjoy kissing another woman. For one thing, women kiss better than men. So just because Kerry found it a pleasurable experience doesn't mean she's a le

-- Regina (, December 17, 2000.

Laura said:

"why does a strong woman who isn't supermodel-gorgeous (although I would argue she's pretty) and who doesn't feel the compulsive need to have a boyfriend every second of her life have to become a lesbian? It's just so trite and predictable (and advances all sorts of awful stereotypes"

As a lesbian, I'm pretty damned happy that the strong independent woman without the need to have a boyfriend every second of her life is getting involved with another woman. Actually I'm delirious with joy. I don't personally know of one gay/bi person who is offended that they've made the most complex character on the show gay/bi. She's the same as she was before, but now gay(ish). WAHOO! Not only is Kerry a smart, attractive, intelligent, strong, opinionated, confident, kind, warm, mature looks like she's into chicks too! And not any chick, a beautiful chick!

Since Kerry Weaver is my favorite character, I am only too happy to have homosexuality aligned with someone who is obviously so complex and multi-layered, someone who is comfortable in her own skin and doesn't seem (until recently) to give a rat's ass about what others think about her. Interesting how the gay folks are thankin' their lucky stars.....

-- Spring (, December 17, 2000.

Doug and Carol, Mark and Jen and Elizabeth (and the 100 other women Doug and Mark dated), Carter and his relationships etc. that did not gross me out, or most of the audience i dare say, so what is the big deal with Kerry and Kim? Why did this relationship bother the "non homophopic" among us? If two people work together why does it matter?

-- mk (, December 17, 2000.

Navel, if watching two people of the same gender being attracted to or loving each other "grosses you out", I suggest you not watch ER, unless you feel seeing human beings loving each other might help to cure your homophobia. All prejudice is rooted in ignorance.

-- Cindy (, December 19, 2000.

Navel, you're have the right to not watch something you find offensive to you or inappropriate for your children. That's why there is a dial on your TV, so change the channel if you don't like something. Don't be surprised, however, if you find something offensive to you on another channel as well. I'm going to keep watching ER!

-- Diana (, December 19, 2000.

It's amazing that gay and lesbian folk have been watching heterosexual couples on television since it's inception and there hasn't been a prolonged collective puking sound across the country. If it grosses Navel out, I agree with everyone else - TURN IT OFF!!!! Well, unless, like Cindy said, seeing two people who love each other will do something to cure feelings of moralistic superiority because of one's heterosexuality.

In the meantime, I too will keep watching. As a matter of fact, Kerry and Dr. L. are the ONLY reason I decided not to scrap ER completely and am tuning in this season.

-- Sacha (, December 19, 2000.

Wow, have you noticed that the complaints about the storyline seem to be coming from straight women? I could be wrong but perhaps "the lady protests too much..." Anyway, I agree with Regina, Kerri responded to the kiss and then got freaked out becuase she realized she ws enjoying the kiss. The hiccups were wonderful and definetly a clue as to Kerri's inner struggle, her body is betraying her need for attention.

-- K (, December 19, 2000.

What's wrong with a gay storyline? It's pretty realistic; in my workplaces there were people of every orientation, straight, gay, and bisexual. The only thing I *was* concerned about was (as someone mentioned above) that it might be advancing a stereotype since Kerry is so strong and controlling in the workplace. I hate to see people say, Oh she must be a lesbian, because that's baloney- there are lesbians of all different personality types just like the rest of us. But maybe lesbian viewers don't see it that way, judging from one of the other comments. And I'm afraid I'd have to agree with the others who said that you really can't say you're not homophobic and then state that it grosses you out to see two women kiss. Unless of course it grosses you out to see *anyone* kiss. But I don't think you'd still be watching ER if that were the case, because it frequently features couples kissing.

-- Maureen S. (, December 19, 2000.

Actually, my concern was that the writers picked Kerry to be "the lesbian character" because of homophobic stereotypes that they might harbor--they picked the only woman in the ER who is perceived to be "bitchy" and the only one we rarely see dating and the only one who isn't a glamour girl. Being the non-homophobe that I am, I know that lesbians and gays come in all shapes, sizes, and personality types, and I was worried that the writers might not be recognizing that fact.

Actually, Kerry's my favorite female character on the show, and I hope that they continue to write her in the way that she's always been written--rational, in control, and very self-aware. Let's face it, she's the most well-adjusted doctor in the place! I don't have a problem with the fact that they've decided to have her explore homosexuality. So long as everyone in the ER is shacking up, why shouldn't Kerry get in on the action? ;)

-- Laura Lindstrom (, December 19, 2000.

I really don't want to get in the middle of this argument but I felt that I had to say this. I just wanted to mention a show that just got a bunch of Emmys a few months ago and 2 of the main characters are gay and they have kissed each other and other gay men before. One of the main cast members who plays a gay man won for sest Supporting Actor in a Comedy. The show I'm talking about is "Will and Grace". The actor is Sean Hayes. If it was such a big deal they wouldn't have won a bunch of Emmys. That's all I wanted to say here. You can go back to arguing now.

-- Andie (, December 19, 2000.

I don't see anyone here arguing. I've certainly seen worse rumbles over this issue. Thanks everyone for keeping it civilized :)

I really don't think it would be buying into stereotypes if the writers had Kerry enter into a lesbian relationship, or even come out. For me having Kerry with another woman would seem like a natural progression. It fits into her personality. Anyway, I think television often swings extremely to the other side by only portraying lesbians as cutesy lipstick types that are palatable to the eye and easier to accept. Heck, they're cute, so it somehow makes it better! While this increases exposure, sometimes I feel it also sends a message that to be acceptable and gay, you have to have some other attractive quality about you. Maybe it would be good to show a strong woman who is in control and good at her job, AND is a lesbian. Maybe the writers are working under the assumption that most ER viewers are in a place where they can separate people from stereotypes, and if some viewers are unable to do that, they will turn the channel. TPTB can't expect too many would turn the channel or they wouldn't have started this storyline. Unless EVERYONE turns it off, I would guess they will follow-through in some fashion also. Is the world ready for a main character as part of a lesbian couple? I hope so.

-- Sacha (, December 19, 2000.

If you are enjoying the Kerry/Kim storyline, you might want to let TPTB know over at NBC connection:

Negative voices frequently scream the loudest, so don't just assume because the producers have initiated this storyline that they will follow through.

-- Scout (, December 19, 2000.

I think I had a bit of a different take on the whole Kim & Kerry story line.

I like Kerry a lot. Next to Carter, I know her the best. She can be grating and abrupt, then shift on a dime to hold a patient's hand or ask Carter how he's doing -- in a way that I get her compassion and outward focus. It's not just lip service for her. She's authentic. But who's holding her hand? She doesn't have any friends in the ER -- Mark comes closest, but he's off having brain surgery right now. So when the day ends and she's spent, who does she talk to? She's _lonely._

With Kim, I saw Kerry liven. Kerry sang in the shower, smiled more in one episode than I think I've ever seen, and got a little tipsy and closed the place down having dinner with Kim. When Kim told her she was a lesbian we had Kerry's stammered reply. She was thinking out loud! I saw her go through "Oh no" to "What a fool I've been" to "It doesn't matter, I need a friend." And she DOES. And therein lies the tension we saw in "Greatest of Gifts." Kerry is willing to have this friendship, but Kim has enough friends, thank you. The look on Kerry's face after Kim broke the rough kiss and left was priceless: devastated, crushed, then resigned and resolute. And no longer smiling.

-- Tina (, December 20, 2000.

I think the significance of the hiccups is fairly obvious, as fellow contributors to this thread have explained. I'd like to comment on the final scene between Kerry and Kim, which I thought was well-realized by both Laura Innes and Elizabeth Mitchell. It was a necessary confrontation, an honest but painful expression of uncertain feelings and a search for understanding (how very human, unlike sitcoms, where party A says, "You don't know me!"; party B says, "But I do, because ..."; and party A responds, "Oh, you do know me! Now we can put the past behind us"; or insert whatever generic dialogue and feelings you want). I must compliment Elizabeth Mitchell on her performance in this episode, as well as the other episodes she's been in. Her character, as realized by her performance, is cheerful, compassionate, honest, and appealing (No wonder Kerry would feel drawn to her: emotionally, certainly, as for her other motivations, we'll see those revealed, I imagine, in future episodes). Mitchell's acting is finely nuanced, and her facial expressions seem to have a quality and ability to express a great deal (I don't believe enough credit has been given to her guest appearances, unlike Sally Fields, who, we can argue ad nauseam, has fleshed out her character with deft acting, or created an overwrought, difficult-to-accept character: though for someone suffering from a bipolar disorder, I imagine an actor/actress has to tread a fine line). But I digress ... Final comments about that scene: I think Kim was appropriately straightforward; she had to be realistic with Kerry and help her realize to what depth her investment would be if she and Kerry were to pursue a relationship. Kerry had to confront this reality, and Kim left her no choice but to do so after she kissed her--and I emphasize, that was absolutely necessary. Kim knew that her affections would grow beyond friendship if she and Kerry were to develop a mature relationship, whereas Kerry wants to limit their relationship to friendship: emotional intimacy without deep physical expression. The scene ends on a sad note (pardon the cliched phrase) when Kerry pulls away from Kim's gesture of confrontational affection, and Kim looks away from her, saying "That's why I can't be your friend Kerry." It is a painful, but ultimately honest and mature confession, and Kerry is left to deal with the truth of that confrontation. Note: Another sad detail of that scene: Kim leaves the room without taking Kerry's gift with her.

-- Irish girl (, December 20, 2000.

I agree with the latest postings about Kerry and Kim, especially about Kerry's loneliness and her lack of people to turn to for support. I was crushed for her when Kim said "I don't need any more friends." The way Kerry just accepted it - as if she had had this happen to her before, as if she suddenly felt insecure and maybe undeserving - was heart breaking.

-- LJA (, December 20, 2000.

To add to my previous posting, I felt a little stab in my heart when Kim responded to Kerry, "That's why I can't be your friend, Kerry." If I were on the receiving end of Kim's response, which essentially refuses to accept Kerry's offer of platonic affection, I would feel rejected and wounded. But as viewers, we are presented with both sides of the story, through the dialogue and body language of each character. When considering the conditions of their situation and the revelations of their individual histories, I would have to conclude that Kim said the right thing, if only to help Kerry understand that to pursue a strictly platonic relationship would eventually hurt both of them: because, as I inferred from Kim's admissions, she had previously tried to maintain a friendship with someone to whom she found herself attracted and was unable to prevent her affections from surpassing the boundaries of their friendship. To be that self-aware and honest with oneself and to act accordingly is to behave in a very moral way (all you moral traditionalists may quibble over that all you want). I have to confess (and I am not trying to blur the line between fictionality and the real world) that I envy the personality of Elizabeth Mitchell's character, considering the little glimpses we've had of her. I think she makes a great mate for Kerry (platonic, which now appears to be an impossibility, or otherwise). I hope that the writers are able to reconcile their differences in a mature and satisfying way, and in a way which stays true to their individual affection (sorry if that last bit sounds odd--I don't know how to articulate any other way).

-- Irish girl (, December 21, 2000.

I think the hiccups were a sign that Weaver is going to turn, her conscious mind has not yet caught up with her unconscious mind. Some folks have commented that she's sending mixed signals. The signals are not mixed, her speaking is.

-- Random Person (, December 21, 2000.

i think the hiccups had to do with how much she needed kims presence, i have one question though, are they really lesbian in real life??? i mean how did keri actually kiss her on the lips, thats gross

-- parin patel (, February 16, 2001.

It's called ACTING. That's how she kissed her. The actresses are not lesbian in real life & do not have to be in order to play one on this show

-- (, February 17, 2001.

What do you mean, the one woman who isn't supermodel gorgeous? Laura Innes is beautiful--bright red hair, water blue eyes, flawless skin, gorgeous bone structure. And no, I'm not a lesbian, but I do appreciate the beauty that my fellow women possess. I hope that she gets past her fear and revives her relationship with Kim. It would be nice to see a softer side to her personality. I like ER because the characters aren't just doctors and nurses-- they're also human beings with real relationships and real problems.

-- Lilith (, May 04, 2001.

I agree with all of the people who support Kerry and Kim's relationship I think it is great that they picked the one character that you would'nt suspect in being homosexual to be just that. I think that people should stop analyzing this show with a fine tooth comb, if you are worried about subjecting your children to what you believe is inappropriate material then don't watch it, or tape ER and preview it to see if it's suitable in your opinion.(I myself have to tape the show and watch it the next day because I have to go to school) I again must applaude Laura Innes and Elizabeth Mitchell in their portrayls of their characters, they do a magneficent job in showing their characters emotions. I find that storyline being one of the reasons I continue to watch ER.

-- Avid viewer (, May 15, 2001.

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