Lack of freindships on the show : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

Last night my husband and I were watching the show and it struck me how little friendship there is now. I used to love the friendships between Doug and Mark, Doug and Carol (before they reunited), Mark and Carol, Susan and Mark and Jeanie and Kerry. Now, everyone is either hooked up as lovers or has no connection whatsoever--with the exception of Carter (who has a peripheral friendship with Chen and a dependency on Abby--neither of which come close to being a full fledged friendship like the previously mentioned ones.) Is anyone else disappointed by this? I think it's a major loss for the chemistry of the show.

-- Barbara Sirois Doyle (, January 12, 2001


I agree with you. I watched the show last night and I felt like something was missing. It's those relationships the staff used to have with eachother. This new group: Malucci, Cleo, Abby, Kovac, doesn't have any chemistry.

-- Cheryl Ward (, January 12, 2001.

I know. I was watching "Who's Appy Now?" this morning and I was watching the scene where Benton hallucinates seeing Dr. Hicks, Kerry, and Carter all saying "I'm pregnant" and laughing during this scene and during the surgery scenes where they were having fun. It looked like Carter was having just a little too much fun there, didn't it? Anyway, after the show I was thinking when was the last time some fun stuff happened on the show like that? I'm guessing at the very beginning of season 6. We need more of that on the show.

-- Cammie (, January 12, 2001.

I suspect that once Ming-Na is back from leave, the friendship between Chen and Carter will be less "peripheral," especially as the limited screen time for her character in the first part of the season was probably related to the pregnancy of the actress.

I also think that TPTB have recognized this problem and are trying to inject a little more camraderie into the mix. There was the scene in "The Dance We Do" where Mark and Carter played hoops as they discussed Mark's illness. And last night's scene with Mark and Luka: were they supposed to have established a closer relationship off camera? Mark previously seemed to me to be rather distant with Luka, seldom called him by his first name, and I don't recall they ever had a personal conversation any deeper than, "how was your vacation?" Suddenly Mark is calling him "Luka," at least three times in a two- minute scene, and asking how he is with apparent concern. When Luka answers, "I am the same," it seems to be understood by both men that this does not mean he is fine. Are we going to see some male bonding here? Maybe they can teach Goran to shoot hoops.

-- Melinda (, January 12, 2001.

The friendship factor has been missing for a long time. I miss Susan and Carol type friendships (as in season one) as well as the others. It doesn't seem that Elizabeth has anyone to confide in (like she did with Carol in season 5 and 6), Chen and Abby are all alone. Seeing a character relate to a peer gives the greatest insight into that character. I guess one of the best storylines (IMO) was when Mark was promoted to an attending and he had to deal with being his friends boss. I'm hoping that we see more friendships as the season progresses.

-- Emma (, January 12, 2001.

One thing to remember is that, except for Kerry & Jeanie, all the friendships mentioned in the first post were set up before the show started. In season one we're told that Mark, Doug, Carol & Susan have known each other and worked together for several years already. So the writers didn't have to show us their friendships developing, they were just there already.

I do think they did a great job with Kerry & Jeanie, and I wish they could set up some more friendships like that. I miss the little offhand moments, like Mark and Susan talking about buying tequila for Doug's birthday. I guess lately they've spent all their time telling the "big" stories, and haven't had time to show us the relationships developing, like Luka and Mark.

-- Debbie V. (, January 12, 2001.

I have felt the exact same way. I would describe it as a polarizing of characters. Nobody interacts with more than maybe 2 or 3 other people. I was disappointed last week that we had no idea how the others reacted to the news of Mark's brain tumor. It wasn't mentioned at all last week, which made me wonder if they even knew about it. In the past, I have loved seeing the different interaction of these people. (Maybe I'm the only one who feels that not all friendships lead to the bedroom.) But, now, I feel like they are all in their own little worlds, and those worlds seldom touch.

-- Allie (, January 12, 2001.

I miss the friendships too. Personally I wish they would do more with the friendship between Peter and Elizabeth. They've had a couple moments where it's apparent they have a great deal of care and respect for each other, and I would like to see more of that. Surely Elizabeth's entire life can't revolve around Mark (excepting the tumor storyline. I expect anyone with a spouse who has a tumor become very focused on that person.)

And what about Abby and the nurses? Isn't it strange that Abby seems to only interact with the doctors? It would be great to see the nurses going out for a night on the town. I guess there is a distinct lack of camaraderie on the show.

-- Legs (, January 12, 2001.

I don't think Chen or Abby are all alone. I think Carter has been a friend to both of them. Carter was certainly there for Chen during the birth of her son and the difficulty in giving him up. I certainly think Carter was trying to help Abby when her Mom was in town. I do think we need to see more friendships on the show. I miss the comaderie the staff used to have. I think they can get it back.

-- Brenda (, January 12, 2001.

I think part of the way Mark spoke to Luka this eppy had a lot to do with a change in Mark's entire outlook. When working, he was constantly dealing with multiple patients, employee issues, etc. I think he's ready to slow down a bit, and maybe this is the first time he really took some time to *care* about how Luka is really doing. I loved that scene, however brief it was.

In general, I'd like to see more interaction among the whole group. But my biggest complaint is the Carter/Benton thing. What happened to the friendship between these two?! We never saw Carter react to Jesse's death, we've hardly seen Carter and Benton in a scene together since John got back from Atlanta! Is Abby the *only* person John can confide in? Can't Carter put in his two cents about the whole Kynesha/Cleo deal (not that Peter would actually *ask*, but that's never stopped Carter in the past)? This is a friendship that has actually been developing for several years, so why suddenly drop it? It's there, use it!

-- Maureen (, January 12, 2001.

Well, Abby's calling Carter John now, and Mark calling Kovac Luka sounded a bit strange too. I think that this little argument between Abby and Carter will just strengthen their relationship. People who fight almost seem to get closer. I'm sure one or the other will feel bad, and remember (SPOILER)

In 2 epsides, they attend a function together. I'm sure it will be friendly, though Luka sure is watching things between Abby and Carter. I wonder if he's noticed before how often they are together.

I am amazed at the lack of Carter/Benton scenes too. Don't they know how much the audience ate that up last season? Why didn't they continue that, it was so poignant last season.

-- Elaine (, January 12, 2001.

When Abby and Carter go to AA meetings together, she would have to call him John. AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous, and it's a big part of the program that nobody ever gives their last name. If she slipped up and called him Carter in front of other AA people, this would be a big violation of AA protocol. So it's natural that she's starting to call him John at the hospital, too. I didn't notice this before someone above mentioned it, but it does show that the writers are showing some attention to detail.

-- Melinda (, January 12, 2001.

I loved the scene between Mark and Luka too. It was so nice to see and really, exactly what Luka needs. I wonder if Mark knows about Luka's past. When he said "life's too short" and Luka said "yeah" I just wondered if Mark knew. These two could make an intersting pair...they've both had so much tragedy in their lives.

I too am greatly disappointed in the Benton/Carter thing. Have they had a single scene together this season?! They went through a lot together during last season's finale. I can't believe it hasn't been expanded more. Maybe they are both too uncomfortable to bring it up. But I just am so disappointed in TPTB for just dropping that.

I definitely want to see more Benton/Carter, Carter/Chen, Mark/Luka, Carter/Abby, Carter/Dave, Chen/Elizabeth (maybe -- they had a nice scene together when Jing Mei did Elizabeth's pregnancy test). Any of those friendships would be nice.

-- amanda (, January 12, 2001.

Well, here's another "ditto" to this. I've been catching the re-runs on TNT from time to time lately, and I was trying to put my finger on the different tone in new episodes, and this is exactly it. (OK, that and the mysterious disappearance of humor). I like the romantic story lines, I really do, but I'd like to see more of the likes of the Luka/Mark scene last night. And Abby/Carter. And Abby and the nurses. And Carter and Weaver, Carter and Benton. Gosh, they've let a lot slip...

-- Chris Alvarez (, January 12, 2001.

I know they have new producers/writers (?) on the show. Maybe they are trying to get the focus on the indiviual, but I pine for the days when we saw friends get together for dinner or hang together at the diner, shoot hoops, play practical jokes on each other (remember when they put a cast on Carter's foot while he was sleeping?) I am really disappointed they haven't shown Carter & Benton together. The number of sentences they have said to each other is the number of fingers I have on one hand. Mark is only with Elizabeth, Cleo just with peter, Malucci is practically non-existent, Carter is between rescuing Chen from her parents and Abby from her mom, besides going to AA with Abby, Kerry is with Kim, Luka is with Abby. No one seems to have any friends other than lovers, potential lovers or basically by themselves. The writers threw in a little tidbit last night with Luka & Mark. I hope they start ironing things out, getting people together and injecting some humour into the show again.

-- Laura (, January 12, 2001.

I agree, but also would like to see more family too... Reece, Rachel, Romano's mother - whom we've never met, but I think that'd be interesting... (I also want to see his father -- 6'7" and hair to his buns!) I would like to see Cleo's mom come in and interact with Dave -- he's sure to have something to say... I wanna see Chase again and I think Gamma should reappear... We've never seen Carter's parents, but perhaps that's by design...

As for friendships, what about the nurses' nights out and the holiday parties and picnic softball game? Remember Mark and Doug going out for dinner? These people have to eat! I pine for a good practical joke between pals...

But, I'll take what I've got!

:) Jenna (Who's almost never without an opinion...)

-- Jenna (, January 16, 2001.

i Think the friendship between Halay and Lydia is great! they are both funny and agrecive. but recently it is like they were never friends in the first place.

-- Rachel (, August 18, 2001.

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