ER's no soap opera : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

This epi got me to thinking about all the complaints about ER turning into a soap opera and that too much focus is on the characters than the patients. The first thing that brought it to mind was the lack of relationship building between Abby/Luka and Cleo/Peter, which people also complain about. The reason they don't focus on this-unless related to another storyline-is because it's NOT a soap. I doubt we'll even see any interaction between these couples in the near future unless it comes out of the bishop storyline or the Kaneshia storyline. And thinking about all the storylines this season, it seems to me almost all of them have centered around the hospital and/or are medical in nature, even if it's not always patients. Carter's drug problem is personal, but it has largely been dealt with in how it affects his job and regaining the confidence and trust of his colleagues. Maggie wasn't a patient, but the main reason they had her on, other than ratings, was to focus on mental health-a medical issue. And most of her scenes were at the hospital, interacting quite a bit with everyone else. Luka's upcoming storyline is going to revolve around a patient. Elizabeth sued for malpractice-real stuff. And the whole story with Mark in Piece of Mind reminded me of how many real-life doctors have experienced becoming the patient after years of being the doctor. I felt like I was being compelled to look at Mark's experiences through his eyes as the patient, clear down to the annoying idle chatter of the orderlies wheeling him into the OR. Anyway, thinking about all that gave me an appreciation for the fact that this is a MEDICAL drama and I'll be less apt to complain in the future. Anyone else agree?

-- why? (, January 05, 2001


You can have a medical soap opera, one isn't exclusive of the other. IMO all good dramas have soap opera elements in them or most of us wouldn't tune in at all. I like that I care about the character's and want to know what will happen to them each week. What I have objected to is many of the storylines and their relationship the characters. I have disliked the Maggie storyline, not becuase it isn't medically based, but because Abby was already part of two major storylines (being Carter's sponsor, and Luka's whatever), and I disliked the law suit, because it was completely out of character for Elizabeth (that and you could see it from 10 miles away...which I just generally don't enjoy). This is just personal preference on my part. I have friends that love Abby, and thought her storyline was great. I guess the other thing is that I know many residents who work 90 hour weeks, and pretty much the only thing they do outside of the hospital is sleep. I guess I want to see the characters on ER evolve as doctors not just as people, and right now the writers don't seem to be focusing on the doctor aspect.

-- Emma (, January 05, 2001.

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