Maura Tierney receives critical acclaim from Entertainment Weekly : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

This review of ER appeared in Entertainment Weekly in November

Meanwhile, the main reason to tune in to ER this season is to see the full-blooded character Maura Tierney is creating with scant help from the writers, who increasingly think the best way to hook viewers is to either endanger a baby's life or have someone shoot a gun in an operating room. Amid such shamelessness (including Noah Wyle's drug-addiction subplot, which plays to the actor's worst slapped-puppy instincts, and the gooey romance between Alex Kingston and Anthony Edwards), Tierney's Abby Lockhart has quietly been revealed as a recovering alcoholic who's now also suffering from an extended visit by her bipolar mother--guest star Sally Field, tapping into her old Sybil craziness to good effect.

In Tierney's performance, you can see exhaustion, hope, and bitter humor flash across her face in a single scene--she's raising the bar for performances in a well-acted series. If only the other characters were less one-dimensional. The worst example: Paul McCrane's once fun Dr. Robert Romano, who's bee n turned into a hapless tyrant (he's starting to look like an evil Ron Howard). In the old days of St. Elsewhere, William Daniels served a similar purpose--an imperious surgeon belittling his charges--but his Dr. Mark Craig character had a core of decency that Romano has been denied. So, too often, has ER these days ER: B-

-- T Lem (, January 05, 2001


One question. Who is Sybil? I hear people use that word but I have no idea what they're talking about.

-- Andie (, January 05, 2001.

I remember watching Sybil years ago. It was on really late, so my Mum wouldn't let me watch the end! Sally Field played a woman with Multiple Personality Disorder, which I think was caused by abuse during her childhood. It was pretty powerful stuff. I can't remember how many personalities she had, but there were quite a few.

-- Tori (, January 05, 2001.

Sybil was a movie from the "70's (I think) a true story about a women who was schizoprenic and has about 20 different personalities. Did it star Sally Field? ( I can't remember). :)

-- dawn dapkus (, January 05, 2001.

"Sybil" had 16 different personalities, brought on by her abusive mother.

A small note: The disorder once termed Multiple Personality Disorder has been renamed in DSM-IV. It is called Dissociative Identity Disorder.

There are several novel type books out about case studies of DID. One I read is called "When Rabbit Howls", and as far as I know, it is the only one written from the patient's perspective. The woman apparently had over 90 different personalities. If nothing else, it was an interesting read.

-- S. Trelles (, January 05, 2001.

Does anyone remember the spoof of Sybil they did on Saturday Night Live back when Gilda, Jane, and Lorraine were on the show? That was about one of the best sketches I have ever seen. I was laughing my bootie off at Gilda's Sybil. I think Madeline was the host. Anyway, that is way OT, but It made me think of it.

-- Carolina (, January 05, 2001.

Forgot to add: S. Trellers, there's another book written by a man who has Multiple Personality Dissorder, although he doesn't have as much as 90. It's called "First Person Plural", about a man who has 24 alters. Anyway, it's interesting, I love reading about those things.

-- Carolina (, January 05, 2001.

I agree with the article. Maura (Abby) is my favorite this year. By the way, did anyone see the interview with Michael Michele on Rosie? She was saying that when Maggie had her scene in the ER at the beginning screaming for Abby, all she could think of was Sybil and kept bursting out laughing. She said if you look at a tape of the epi, she's got her head slightly turned from the camera because she couldn't keep a straight face.

-- why? (, January 06, 2001.

I saw that Rosie show...MM seems to be a very friendly person, I thought she was pretty sweet on the show. I wish they'd make her character more like her, although that wouldn't be acting now would it! Anyways, she did a pretty good impression of SF as Maggie when she was talking about it.

-- Elaine (, January 06, 2001.

*slapped-puppy instincts* of Noah during this addict storyline? How dare the reviewer slam sweet NOah's acting! Maybe the writer's on drugs.

-- Laura (, January 06, 2001.

LOL Laura! Oh and Andie, I didn't know who or what Sybil was either until I read this post. So you're not the only one.

-- Cammie (, January 06, 2001.

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